U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres waits for his next meeting at the office of the U.N. Secretary General at the United Nations in New York City, U.S. April 28, 2017. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith
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The United Nations Security Council has unanimously backed attempts to restart talks between Morocco and the Polisario independence movement over the Western Sahara conflict and has extended its peacekeeping mission for another year.The resolution late Friday came after the U.N. mission confirmed the Polisario had withdrawn troops from disputed territory's Guerguerat area, where they faced off since last year with Moroccan forces. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres earlier this month called for Morocco and the Polisario Front, who fought a war over the region until a 1991 ceasefire, to enter new negotiations that would include proposals from both sides.Morocco claimed the region, but Polisario fought a guerrilla war for independence until the U.N.-backed ceasefire.Tensions rose last year when U.N. peacekeepers intervened in a standoff after Moroccan forces crossed beyond the earthen wall in Guerguerat near the Mauritania border and Polisario responded by dispatching troops to the area.
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