UN says Western Sahara envoy Ross has offered resignation

March 7, 2017 GMT

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. political chief says the secretary-general’s personal envoy for the disputed Western Sahara has offered his resignation.

Jeffrey Feltman told reporters Monday that U.N. chief Antonio Guterres will act on the resignation offer from Christopher Ross “at a time when he sees fit.”

Feltman says Ross has served for eight years trying to get the Moroccan government and the Polisario Front independence movement back to negotiations on a permanent settlement of the Western Sahara dispute.

Morocco fought the Polisario after it annexed Western Sahara in 1975 until the United Nations brokered a cease-fire in 1991.

Morocco considers Western Sahara its “southern provinces” and has proposed wide-ranging autonomy, but the Polisario Front insists on self-determination through a referendum of the local population.