On January 30, 2004, Polisario was able to celebrate its
30th anniversary, and the same day routinely extended
Minurso's mandate in Western Sahara to April 30.
October, the UN Security Council unanimously passed a
resolution extending the UN mission to April 30, 2005.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan stated in a report to
the Council: dead end, in which the peace plan to give
the people of Western Sahara autonomy is ». Ifht. in the
presence of Minurso, Annan recommended that the status
quo be maintained, or that at most 37 of the 203
military observers be withdrawn.
After 2 years of no rain or state visit, South
Africa's Foreign Minister Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini Zuma
and a small committee representing the Tabo M'Beki
government arrived at the Sahrawi camp. The visit was a
strong call by the South African government, which has a
high status within the African Cooperation Organization
AU, to recognize Western Sahara's right to
self-determination, and demands for Morocco's compliance
with a number of UN resolutions, which it has so far
The fact that Algeria called on Morocco to respect
Western Sahara's right to self-determination meant that
the summit of North African heads of state to be
implemented in Libya at the end of May 2005 was
postponed indefinitely. Otherwise, it should have been
the first summit of its kind in a decade. At the same
time, Polisario conducted a comprehensive demonstration
of strength to show that the movement was willing to
resume the armed struggle if necessary, and in response
to the negotiation process being completely stalled.
However, Morocco will easily be able to resume the armed
struggle, and the force demonstration in Western
Sahara's capital therefore exhibited more clear
discrepancies between Polisario's leadership in exile
and the leaders of Western Sahara.
In July 2005, Dutchman Peter van Walsum was appointed
as the United Nations Secretary-General's personal envoy
and embarked on a tour of the region. In August,
Polisario released 404 Moroccan prisoners of war, some
of whom had spent more than 20 years in captivity in the
Communications Minister and Spokesman for the
Government of Morocco, Nabil Benabdalá declared in
October 2005 that Morocco "continues to envisage
extensive autonomy (to the Sahara) within the framework
of Morocco's sovereignty and respect for the territorial
integrity of the Kingdom".
In April, the UN renewed MINURSO's mandate once
again, but the Kofi Annan report indicated that the
World Organization was abandoning its hope of resolving
the Western Sahara-Morocco conflict.
Despite the pessimistic mood in the UN, new
negotiations between Morocco and Polisario were
initiated in the first half of 2007. In June,
delegations of both parties met for negotiations in New
York. In July, Morocco declared its readiness to discuss
"autonomy and nothing but autonomy". Acc. However, the
UN broker continued the negotiations without prior
In late 2009, Morocco conducted military maneuvers in
Umm Dreiga, located in the ceasefire zone. It happened
in violation of the ceasefire agreement.
The EU has signed agreements with Morocco on fishing
in the waters off Western Sahara. In early 2010, a
secret stamped report from the European Parliament's
Legal Office was leaked to the press. The report marks
the fisheries agreement with Morocco as being in
violation of international law.
In October, several thousand Sahrawi camps in Gdim
Izik, a few kilometers from Laayoune, protested against
the marginalization of the West Saharan population as
well as the lack of jobs and housing. On November 8,
Moroccan security forces attacked the camp being
demolished and its inhabitants dispatched. Many
residents got the hang of it and got their belongings
destroyed. Immediately following this, unrest erupted in
Laayoune. At least 13 were killed. The crew arrested
about 200 who were subjected to torture and
condescending treatment. 145 were charged with
disturbing public order and 20 were transferred to a
military court in Rabat.
In dissatisfaction with al Jazeera's coverage of the
Western Sahara conflict, Morocco closed the TV station's
office in the country.