Africa

UN urges return to full operation of Western Sahara mission

The U.N. Security Council is calling for the urgent return of the U.N. peacekeeping mission in the disputed Western Sahara to its full operation in a rebuke to Morocco, which expelled most of its civilian staff to protest a comment by the U.N. secretary-general.

The vote Friday was 10-2 with three abstentions, with those voting "no" and abstaining angered that the resolution wasn't stronger and failed to condemn Morocco's actions.

The U.S.-drafted resolution expresses regret at the U.N. mission's inability to fully carry out its mandate of monitoring a 1991 cease-fire and organizing a referendum on the future of Western Sahara. This language is slightly stronger that the initial draft which expressed concern — but not tough enough for five council members including Russia, which abstained.