A high-ranking member of the Polisario Front that seeks independence for Western Sahara is warning war is possible for the disputed territory annexed by Morocco if the U.N. Security Council fails to set a self-determination referendum timetable.

Bachir Mustafa Sayed told reporters in Madrid Tuesday that it's not enough for the Security Council to simply restore the mission's role of monitoring a cease-fire between the Moroccan government and the Polisario Front.

Morocco expelled most of the peacekeeping mission last month and has proposed autonomy for Western Sahara.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has recommended extending the mission's mandate until April 30, 2017.

The Security Council is expected to vote Thursday. It has called for the mission to continue but is divided on the way ahead.