Tensions High in WS Buffer Strip: Morocco Slams Latest Polisario’s Breach of UN Ceasefire Deal

Written by | Monday, January 8th, 2018

Morocco has condemned the new deployment of Polisario militias in Guerguarat, the demilitarized border crossing with Mauritania. Morocco’s Ambassador to the UN, Omar Hilale, said that these provocations in the area are a major violation of the UN-brokered and -backed ceasefire deal. They also disregard the UN Secretary General’s calls for the withdrawal of all troops from the buffer zone. Morocco has warned the UN Security Council of these irresponsible acts impeding on the political process.

The UN official further explained that through these new actions, the Polisario proved of their readiness to repeat the same scenario of March and April last year when its armed militiamen set up checkpoints in Guergurat but then retreated in humiliation out of the fear that the Security Council might condemn the actions. Mr. Hilale also “deplored that the Polisario and its paymaster Algeria, which equips it with vehicles to block Guerguarat road, have not drawn lessons from their humiliating defeat last April.”

“Morocco, the UN Secretary General and the International Community consider that the Polisario’s provocations are detrimental to the efforts led by Mr. Kohler (UNSG Personal Envoy to the Sahara) to relaunch the political process,” he added. Mr. Hilale also reminded that the political process was in the need of upholding commitments but this is obviously very unlikely in the context of the recurring Polisario provocations. While reaffirming that his country was faithful to its commitment and withdrew from the area last year in response to calls by the UN Secretary General, Mr. Hilale, however, also noted that “Morocco’s patience has limits.”

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