By Safaa Kasraoui
By Safaa Kasraoui
Rabat – Moroccan NGOs are calling on United Nations member-states, through an online petition, to take urgent action against Polisario military units that are menacing stability in the Western Sahara buffer zone known as Guerguerat.
Several Moroccan non-governmental organizations, including the Moroccan Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Laâyoune, Dar Attaliba, the Forum for Development and Culture, Association of Saharawi Women of Sea Fisheries in Laâyoune, have used a global web organization for activists and community petitions, Avaaz (voice), to convince UN member-states of taking appropriate measures against Polisario military elements.
The UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, urged Morocco and the Polisario Front to implement serious efforts to reduce tensions by abiding by the United Nations’ 1991 cease fire agreement. This followed King Mohammed VI‘s appeal concerning the Polisario Front’s activities, which threaten stability in the Guerguerat buffer zone.
In response to Guterres’ request, Morocco disengaged from the region on February 26, after it had sent police forces to the area last August to fight against drug trafficking.
In contrast, the Polisario rejected the UN request to withdraw its forces from Guerguerat. Guterres sent the Head of MINURSO, Kim Bolduc, to negotiate with the Polisario’s defense minister, but his efforts were fruitless.
According to the Avaaz online petition, the Polisario-armed militants have committed a series of illegal actions.
Moroccan truck drivers documented an illegal checkpoint imposed by armed militants on the road to Mauritania. Drivers were forced to remove the Moroccan road tax discs and license plates from all vehicles and were told to either cooperate with the Polisario’s orders or die.
This showcases the diplomatic failure of the Polisario Front and Algeria, whose activities have not been in line with the UN-brokered ceasefire or with international laws and protocols.
Morocco, however, has complied with the instructions of the Security Council outlined in Resolution 2285, which was adopted at the end of April 2016.
So far, the online petition has garnered 500 signatures. The organization aims to reach 700.