Casablanca - Earlier this week, Mauritanian authorities made its stance on the Sahara issue far less neutral and allowed the Polisario to enter Lagouira, in the southernmost part of the Western Sahara, in Morocco’s territory.
Casablanca – Earlier this week, Mauritanian authorities made its stance on the Sahara issue far less neutral and allowed the Polisario to enter Lagouira, in the southernmost part of the Western Sahara, in Morocco’s territory.
In the latest in a series of events worsening relations between Morocco and Mauritania, Al Massae’s December 8 issue reported that Brahim Ghali, the current president of the Polisario Front as of July 9, was allowed to enter the Lagouira territory and take pictures in the Guerguerat zone.
It seems as though Mauritanian authorities were not bothered by the fact that Brahim Ghali is currently accused of crimes against humanity by Spanish authorities.
This news only serves to escalate tensions between Mauritania and Morocco, especially after Nouakchott did not exit the Arab-African Summit in solidarity with Morocco, as did eight other countries, in response to the Polisario’s participation.
Mauritania, which has not had an Ambassador in Rabat for nearly five years, has reportedly tried to change the status of the Lagouira territory in December 2016, by allegedly placing a Mauritanian flag in the city, allegations that were later denied by Moroccan Minister of Communications Mustapha El Khalfi.
Nouakchott furthermore declined to meet a Moroccan delegation sent by King Mohammed VI this summer to inform the Mauritanian President of Morocco’s intent to rejoin the African Union.
Meanwhile, business relations have also been deteriorating since August, when Mauritania refused to let Moroccan merchandise trucks enter its territory, infringing on several agreements signed between both nations allowing for Moroccan merchandise to deliver vegetables, fruits and other food products through Mauritania and into other countries.