Results of the Second Round of Direct Talks (London Compromise Agreement on Outstanding Identification Issues)
20 July 1997
The Parties in responding to the Settlement Proposals agreed that the people of Western Sahara would choose freely and democratically between independence and integrating into Morocco, through a referendum. The Parties agreed that a Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General would oversee the period between the ceasefire and the holding of a referendum by Western Sahara, and may take any action to ensure the freedom of movement and security of the population and ensure the impartiality of the referendum. The Parties agreed to ensure that members of the Frente Polisario who are outside the Territory are able to return to Western Sahara and participate freely in the referendum. The Parties agreed that all adult Saharans counted in the 1974 census, as reviewed and updated, would be able to take part in the referendum and that a census would be undertaken of Saharan refugees, undertaken by an Identification Commission set up by the United Nations in consultation with the Organisation for African Unity. Conditions were set out to ensure that the referendum is free and equitable. Representatives of the two Parties would be invited to observe the organisation and conduct of the referendum. The Parties agreed to accept and abide by the outcome of the referendum. The Parties agreed to the proclamation of an amnesty and release of all political prisoners, and the Parties agreed to the return of refugees.
The Parties to the Second Round of Direct Talks agreed that the identification of individuals presenting themselves for purposes of updating the census would proceed as soon as possible. The Parties further agreed that the Identification Commission would recognise credible oral testimony and agreed to cooperate with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in implementing the refugee repatriation programme.
The Parties to the Third Round of Direct Talks agreed that Moroccan armed forces would be reduced and that all prisoners of war would be repatriated in accordance with the provisions of the settlement plan. The Parties agreed that any and all Saharan political prisoners or detainees would be released, pursuant to the amnesty envisioned in the settlement plan, before the beginning of the referendum campaign.
The Parties to the Fourth Round of Direct Talks agreed to comply with their commitments as regards the identification process, repatriation of refugees, prisoners, detainees, confinement of their respective troops as well as the code of conduct for the referendum campaign. The Parties agreed that the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General would be authorised to issue regulations prohibiting graft, fraud, intimidation or harassment which could interfere with the organisation and conduct of a free, fair and transparent referendum, and would likewise be authorised to require that all Parties have equal access to all television and radio facilities for the purpose of broadcasting their respective views on the referendum. The Parties agreed to a code of conduct during the referendum.