Rabat - Morocco’s Permanent Ambassador to the UN, Omar Hilale, welcomed the statement issued by the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, on Saturday regarding the buffer zone, Guerguerat. For Hilal, Guterres fully expressed Morocco’s deep concern over the Polisario's repeated violations of the ceasefire in the restricted buffer zone.
Rabat – Morocco’s Permanent Ambassador to the UN, Omar Hilale, welcomed the statement issued by the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, on Saturday regarding the buffer zone, Guerguerat. For Hilal, Guterres fully expressed Morocco’s deep concern over the Polisario’s repeated violations of the ceasefire in the restricted buffer zone.
Hilale said that the UN Chief is aware that no political process is possible as other parties “opt for provocation and escalation” in the region. The diplomat said that Morocco has taken steps at all levels to comply with the UN political process, recalling Polisario’s “provocative” actions in the region after they blocked the participants of the rally Sahara Desert Challenge from crossing the border.
“Polisario’s maneuvers in the region undermine [Horst] Kohler’s current efforts to resume the political process,” to find a mutually acceptable political solution for the Western Sahara dispute, Hilale emphasized.
The Moroccan official added that the Polisario’s armed forces continued their “provocative” actions in the buffer zone until they were forced to leave the premises by MINURSO on January 3.
Hilale expressed Morocco’s strong condemnation of the Polisario’s presence, adding that the country alerted the UN of the Polisario’s violations in the Guerguerat on Friday. Morocco’s official also warned the UN of the Polisario’s threat to block participants for the Africa Eco Race rally, which will take place on Monday, January 8.
Hilale also called on the UN officials to “assume firmly and promptly their responsibility by demanding the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the Polisario armed elements from the region.”
The ambassador added that Morocco “vigorously condemns these continuous provocative acts, which violate the Military Agreements and endanger the ceasefire in place since 1991.” Hilale emphasized that these provocative actions threaten security and stability in the region. “These irresponsible Polisario actions constitute a challenge to the international community and an affront to the Secretary-General and the Security Council.”
Hilale added that Guterres’s message is very clear to the Polisario, urging the front to stop hindering, in any way, the freedom of commercial traffic and regular civilians in the region. Guterres’s warning statement “constitutes a firm and categorical rejection of Polisario’s provocative actions in the buffer zone.”
“No action, which would change the status quo in the buffer zone, should be undertaken. Therefore, Polisario’s presence in Guerguerat is illegal, because it violates agreements and tends to change the status of the area.”
Hilale stressed that Polisario’s maneuvers in the region “desperately” aimed to repeat the crisis of last March and April. “Polisario forgot that it was forced to withdraw its armed forces following the Security Council condemnation and threat.”
Hilale said that these maneuvers are proof that Polisario and Algeria, who provides financing by delivering weapons and buying pickup trucks, did not learn from the lessons of their April failure.”
Hilale warned that “no political process” is possible as long as the other parties persist in their violations of the military and ceasefire agreements.”
“As the Secretary-General said, the political process urgently needs an environment of serenity, calm and respect for the commitments made,” he said.
In response to Polisario’s continuous accusations, claiming that Morocco has violated the UN resolutions, Hilale said, “Morocco has honored its commitments since the crisis of last year and has not undertaken any act that would affect the status of the Guerguerat buffer zone.”