Western Sahara. In April, the UN Security Council extended MINURSO’s peacekeeping UN force’s mandate in Western Sahara to 2016. MINURSO’s task is to monitor the ceasefire in the region and to organize a referendum on the independence of Western Sahara. Since the UN operation began in 1991, the mandate has been extended 42 times.
In March, a Swedish aid worker and a Western Sahara filmmaker were expelled from what was reported to be a Moroccan police when they visited the human rights activist Brahim Dahane in the capital El-Aaiún.
In May, Amnesty International published a report with 173 testimonies on torture in Western Sahara and Morocco by Moroccan police and Moroccan security forces between 2010 and 2014. Among the torture victims were among other activists and oppositionists.
In October, five refugee camps in Algeria with refugees from Western Sahara were damaged by floods following prolonged rain. 25,000 Western Saharans were affected by the masses of water that destroyed houses, food and other supplies.
On November 6, 40 years after Morocco’s invasion of Western Sahara, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon wrote in a press release “that the situation in Western Sahara has become increasingly alarming”. He urged all concerned in the region to “take advantage of UN envoy Christopher Ross’s increased efforts to facilitate the start of sincere negotiations in the coming months”.