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SA hits out at UN Security Council over Western Sahara resolution

Ambassador to the world organisation Jerry Matjila said South Africa had considered voting against the resolution drafted by a handful of European powers and the United States.

Jerry Matjila waves his SA’s flag during the flag installation ceremony held to honour the newly-elected non-permanent members of the Security Council for the term 2019-2020. Picture: United Nations Photo.

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa has chided the United Nations Security Council for passing what it calls an unbalanced resolution on Western Sahara.

With Russia and South Africa abstaining, the 15-nation UN powerhouse resolved to extend the mandate of the UN peacekeeping force in the country occupied by Morocco in defiance of the international community.

Ambassador to the world organisation Jerry Matjila said South Africa had considered voting against the resolution drafted by a handful of European powers and the United States.

It extends the mandate of the UN peacekeeping force in Western Sahara by six months rather than a year in the hope that that will pressure both sides to negotiate an agreement to the dispute that has raged since Morocco's 1975 invasion of the country.

Matjila said the resolution did not address human rights violations perpetrated by Morocco.