United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara
 
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Identification of Eligible Voters

Establishment of the Identification Commission (IDC)

1. The IDC was established, as part of MINURSO, under Security Council resolution 690 of 29 April 1991, following a recommendation by the Secretary-General ( S/22464 of 19 April 1991). The Commission was to identify individuals eligible to vote in the referendum for the self-determination of Western Sahara. Once the identification process was completed, a Referendum Commission was to replace the IDC and take charge of operations related to the referendum, which was scheduled to take place in January 1992.

2. Due to differences between Morocco and POLISARIO over eligibility criteria, the IDC mandate and terms of reference could only be finalized in mid – 1993 (Secretary-General’s report S/26/95 of 28 July 1993)

Revision of the Spanish census (June - November 1993)
3. In May 1993, an advance team of IDC staff was on the ground. Their initial task was to revise and update, on the basis of information provided by the parties, the Spanish census of 1974, which listed 74.343 people. The tribal fractions and sub-fractions listed in the Spanish census are in annex I. The revision process identified 1.498 deceased and 484 cases of duplication of names. Thus, the revised census list included 72.361 names. It was transmitted to the parties in November 1993.
Registration (November 1993 - October 1994)
4. On 3 November 1993 identification and registration of the eligible voters started in earnest. Registration forms were submitted by the 25 October 1994 deadline as follows:
Registration forms received from Western Sahara:
83.970
 
Registration forms received from Morocco:
99.225
 
Registration forms received from Algeria (Tindouf):
42.378
 
Registration forms received from Mauritania:
19.070
 
Total :
244.643 applicants.
 
5. The registration forms included a questionnaire in Arabic, French or Spanish seeking information on the applicant’s identity, the tribe and sub-fraction, family relationships, the number in the Spanish census, if any, and present residence. The IDC provided the forms to Morocco and POLISARIO and it carried out direct registrations in Mauritania.
 
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