Mission des Nations Unies pour l'organization d'un référendum au Sahara occidental

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operation area Western Sahara
German name United Nations mission for the referendum in Western Sahara
English name United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara
French name Mission des Nations Unies pour l'organization d'un référendum au Sahara occidental
Based on UN resolution 690 (April 29 1991)
Other UN resolutions 2152 (April 29, 2014)
2218 (April 28, 2015)
2285 (April 29, 2016)
2351 (April 28, 2017)
2414 (April 27, 2018)
2440 (October 31, 2018)
2468 (April 30, 2019)
2494 (October 30, 2019)
Type of mission Peace mission
Beginning April 1991
The End ongoing
management Colin Stewart CanadaCanadaCanada 
Military out EgyptEgypt ArgentinaArgentina BangladeshBangladesh BrazilBrazil China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China GermanyGermany DjiboutiDjibouti El SalvadorEl Salvador FranceFrance GhanaGhana Guinea-aGuinea HondurasHonduras HungaryHungary IndiaIndia IndonesiaIndonesia IrelandIreland ItalyItaly KazakhstanKazakhstan CroatiaCroatia MalawiMalawi MalaysiaMalaysia MongoliaMongolia NepalNepal NigeriaNigeria AustriaAustria PakistanPakistan ParaguayParaguay PolandPoland Korea SouthSouth Korea RussiaRussia SwitzerlandSwitzerland Sri LankaSri Lanka TogoTogo YemenYemen
Police off EgyptEgypt ArgentinaArgentina JordanJordan YemenYemen
Deaths 16 (as of January 1, 2020)
costs $ 52,519,000  (July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2018)
Location of the operational area LocationWesternSahara.svg
On the right a post of the Polisario Front, on the left behind a vehicle of the UN mission; in the south of Western Sahara (2017)

The Mission des Nations Unies pour l'organization d'un référendum au Sahara occidental , MINURSO for short ( English : United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara ) is a United Nations mission and was founded in April 1991 on the recommendation of the UN Secretary General of UN Security Council established ; the mandate includes monitoring the ceasefire in Western Sahara and holding a referendum to choose between integration into the Moroccan state and independence .


View of the headquarters of the UN mission in El Aaiun in Western Sahara taken in July 2012

The maximum strength of the observer mission is 245 authorized military personnel (as of October 8, 2017), as well as 457 civilian employees and 15 UN volunteers.

The mandate of the mission, which has been regularly renewed due to the lack of a referendum and the still unresolved status of the territory, was last extended to April 30, 2019 on October 31, 2018 with UN Security Council resolution 2440 . Until 2018, the mandates had been extended by 1 year each - this now shorter time limit can be seen as a sign of the pressure on the conflicting parties to return to direct talks after the recent escalations in the buffer zone and a stagnating status quo.

The German Wolfgang Weisbrod-Weber was appointed on June 15, 2012 by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as the new Special Representative for Western Sahara and Head of MINURSO. On July 31, 2014, the Canadian Kim Bolduc , most recently the United Nations Development Program Coordinator ( UNDP ) in Panama and Deputy Special Representative at the United Nations in Haiti ( MINUSTAH ), succeeded him. She was followed on December 1, 2017 by the Canadian Colin Stewart .

The authorized for the mission 12-month budget from July 2019 is 60,453,700  dollars .

Force Commander

No. Surname nationality Beginning of the appointment End of appointment
1. Major General Armand Roy CanadaCanada Canada   1991   1992
2. interim:

Brigadier General Luis Block Urban

PeruPeru Peru  Apr 1992  Oct 1992
3. Brigadier General Andre Van Baelen BelgiumBelgium Belgium  Oct 1992  Apr 1996
4th Major General Jose Garcia Leandro PortugalPortugal Portugal  Apr 1996  Nov 1996
5. Major General Jorge Barroso de Moura PortugalPortugal Portugal   1996   1997
6th Brigadier General Bernd S. Lubenik AustriaAustria Austria   1997   1999
7th Brigadier General Claude Buze BelgiumBelgium Belgium   1999   2002
8th. Major General Gyorgy Szaraz HungaryHungary Hungary   2002   2005
9. Major General Kurt Mosgaard DenmarkDenmark Denmark  Sep 2005   2007
10. Major General Zhao Jingmin China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China People's Republic of China   2007  July 2011
11. Major General Abdul Hafiz BangladeshBangladesh Bangladesh  July 2011  July 2013
12. Major General Imam Edy Mulyono IndonesiaIndonesia Indonesia  Aug 2013  Sep 2015
13. Major General Tayyab Azam PakistanPakistan Pakistan  Sep 2015  Nov 2016
14th Major General Wang Xiaojun China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China People's Republic of China  March 2017  Apr. 2019
15th Major General Zia Ur Rehman PakistanPakistan Pakistan  Apr. 2019

German participation

The federal government has the participation of up to 16 October 2013, four officers of the Armed Forces decided and a UN request met on 16 September, 2013. The cabinet decision is valid until the end of the mission.

Swiss participation

The Swiss Army participated in MINURSO from November 1991 to August 1994 with a Swiss Medical Unit (SMU) with a maximum of 85 members. On November 10, 1993, the Federal Council decided to extend the mandate of the SMU one last time to June 30, 1994. While the majority of the SMU returned to Switzerland at the end of June 1994, individual SMU members stayed on site until August 1994 to ensure the handover to South Korea, which was the medical successor to the SMU. Since July 2011, the mission has been supported by Switzerland with two demining specialists. In July 2014, the UN asked Switzerland to send unarmed military observers. The investigations by the DDPS have shown that the Swiss army has the military observers it is looking for. The Federal Council has therefore decided to support MINURSO with a maximum of six unarmed members of the army.


  1. MINURSO Fact sheet. United Nations Peacekeeping Force , accessed January 1, 2020 .
  2. MINURSO Fact Sheet. Retrieved October 19, 2018 .
  3. Article in the Maghreb Post of April 28, 2018
  4. Ban appoints UN official as head of mission on referendum in Western Sahara. UN, June 15, 2012, accessed June 23, 2016 .
  5. Secretary-General Appoints Kim Bolduc of Canada Special Representative, Head of United Nations Mission for Referendum in Western Sahara. UN, May 12, 2014, accessed on June 23, 2016 (English, press release SG / A / 1469-BIO / 4591-PKO / 400).
  6. UN Secretary-General statement of December 1, 2017
  7. UN Peacekeeping Fact Sheet , accessed June 21, 2020
  8. Current situation in the areas of operation of the Bundeswehr 42/2013. (PDF; 256 kB) Bundeswehr, accessed on June 23, 2016 .
  9. As a military observer in the Western Sahara. Bundeswehr, November 6, 2013, accessed on June 23, 2016 .
  10. admin.ch : MINURSO (West-Sahara) ( Memento from August 13, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  11. Swiss military observer for the UN mission in Western Sahara. August 20, 2014, accessed June 23, 2016 .

See also

Web links

Commons : MINURSO  - collection of images, videos and audio files