Moroccan soldiers are seen on an earth wall that separates areas controlled by Morocco and the Polisario Front in Western Sahara, Sept. 10, 2016.
Moroccan soldiers are seen on an earth wall that separates areas controlled by Morocco and the Polisario Front in Western Sahara, Sept. 10, 2016.

The U.N. Security Council has approved a resolution welcoming stepped up efforts to try to restart negotiations to end the 42-year conflict over the mineral-rich Western Sahara between Morocco and the Polisario Front.

Morocco annexed Western Sahara in 1975 and fought the Polisario Front until the U.N. brokered a cease-fire in 1991. A peacekeeping mission established to monitor it was also mandated to help prepare a referendum on the territory's future that has never taken place.

Wednesday's vote on the U.S.-sponsored resolution extending the mission's mandate until April 30, 2019, was 12-0 with Russia, Ethiopia and Bolivia abstaining.

Bolivia's U.N. Ambassador Sasha Llorentty Soliz welcomed an upcoming roundtable of key parties but complained that the resolution neglected the crucial issue of self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.