Settlement Plan

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The Settlement Plan was an agreement between the Polisario Front and Morocco on the organization of a referendum, which would constitute an expression of self-determination for the people of Western Sahara, leading either to full independence, or integration with the kingdom of Morocco. It resulted in a cease-fire which remains effective to this day, and the establishment of the MINURSO peace force to oversee it and to organize the referendum.

It was based on an earlier peace proposal by the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), but this time organized by the United Nations. Originally introduced in the late 1980s and in 1990 in Security Council Resolution 658, the plan was signed in 1991. The referendum was then supposed take place in 1992, but this never happened, as both parties did not agree over who should be allowed to vote. In 1997, the UN's Houston Agreement attempted to clear the path for the referendum to be held in 1998, and published a comprehensive electoral census. However, due to Morocco's refusal to accept the census results, and thus unlikelihood of accepting referendum based on the voters proposed, the UN Secretary General suspended the Settlement Plan.[1]

Other solutions were sought by the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy James Baker in 2001, and Morocco accepted but Algeria and the Polisario Front rejected what became known as Baker Plan I. In 2003 Baker Plan II was rejected by Morocco and accepted by Algeria and the Polisario Front. In June 2004, James Baker resigned his post as UN Envoy to Western Sahara.


  1. ^ Miguel, C. Ruiz (2005). "El largo camino jurídico y político hacia el Plan Baker II. ¿Estación de término?". Anuario Mexicano de Derecho Internacional 5: 461.