UNITED NATIONS, April 23 – On Western Sahara, when the UN Security Council's rare meeting began on March 21, Secretary General Antonio Guterres' personal envoy Horst Kohlerwalked in with security. Asked if he would speak with the press afterward, he had one word: "No." Amid escalating spin in the run-up to the slated extension the MINURSO mission - with the R for Referendum still not carried out - on April 18, after Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric entertained questions from multiple of the Moroccan state media the UN gives office space and full access to, Inner City Press asked, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: Morocco seems to be claiming that both Bir Lehlou and Tifariti are… where the UN has team sites are located within the buffer zone. Frente Polisario says that's entirely false. Obviously, this is a dispute about where these meetings take place. What I wanted to know, it should be pretty straightforward for the UN to say, given how long it's had a mission there, are these two sites, Bir Lehlou and Tifariti, are they within the buffer zone or, as stated otherwise, are they not in the buffer zone?
Spokesman: I don't have any new language on Western Sahara, so I'll get back you to." And the next day, April 19, he came to the briefing and said "I can say that neither Bir Lahlou nor Tifariti fall within the buffer strip." Asked and answered.
Inner City Press today exclusively publishes the marked up new Security Council draft resolution, attached to this article, now proposing that the Council“Expresses concern regarding the Polisario Front’s announcement of the planned relocation of administrative functions to Bir Lahlou, and calls for the Polisario Front to refrain from any such destabilizing actions." Was this really announced? Full text on Patreon, here. Today's UN gives office space and full access to multiple Moroccan state media, including moonlighters as UN staff, while evicting an restricting underdogs. On April 4 after Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita met Guterres -- who gave no read out, as has become his norm -- Morocco arranged a press conference, not in the UN Press Briefing Room but elsewhere. In it, Bourita reportedly threatened military action, and said Guterres spoke to the King by phone (again, no read-out) and to the President of the Security Council. Arranging this was the Moroccan Mission to the UN, which in its last public UNTV stakeout in the UN, last April video here,used the platform to criticize the Press for asking too many questions. Expect more. On April 5 Inner City Press asked Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: a readou of the meeting that the Secretary-General had with the Foreign Minister of Morocco. There are these quotes from the Foreign Minister of Morocco after the meeting saying that all options are on the table; Morocco is considering taking up its responsibility to act if the UN doesn't. Is it true that the Moroccan Foreign Minister threatened military action in the meeting? And what was the Secretary-General's response?
Spokesman: Listen I'm challenged enough to speak for the Secretary-General, so I will not speak for any other parties. The Secretary-General and the Foreign Minister discussed issues of mutual concern. Including, obviously, the situation in the Western Sahara.
Inner City Press: No, but, I mean, I guess if he's a conflict-prevention guy and… and… and the person that he meets with comes out of the meeting saying, I threaten to take military action…
Spokesman: The Secretary-General's focus continues to be on prevention of conflict, and that's why he meets regularly with representatives of Member States.
Inner City Press: But I'm saying, with the Polisario Front, their representative at the UN, now recently deceased, with whom on the other side as a conflict-prevention man is Mr. Guterres speaking?
Spokesman: "As you know, the death of the Polisario representative was very sudden, coming in the last two or three days. I don't know if they have appointed someone to replace him."
And now Guterres leaves town for another six days. Inner City Press also asked the Dutch military adviser, video here.