Rabat - Despite repetitive threats from the Polisario Front to the participants of races, the Africa Eco Race went ahead successfully across the Moroccan-Mauritanian border in Guerguerat on January 8.
Rabat – Despite repetitive threats from the Polisario Front to the participants of races, the Africa Eco Race went ahead successfully across the Moroccan-Mauritanian border in Guerguerat on January 8.
The passage of the participants of the competition was supervised by United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO). In order to pass the border from Morocco to Mauritania, participants also had to stop and complete the extensive and cumbersome customs paperwork, drastically simplified especially for this rally.
Futurosahara, a pro-separatist news website close to the Polisario Front claimed that the participants of the competition”ignored” the recent threats made by the front. “It turns out that the organizers did not take seriously the warnings of the Sahrawi authorities,” said the separatist news outlet.
Earlier this month, armed groups of the Polisario conducted a series of armed operations in Guerguerat in an attempt to escalate tensions in the region. Polisario’s provocative actions were strongly denounced by both Morocco and the United Nations’ Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres. On January 6, the UN chief expressed his deep concern over Polisario’s maneuvers in the region, urging the Front and Morocco to ease tensions in the region.
Guterres’ statement was highly welcomed by Morocco. Morocco’s Permanent Ambassador to the UN Omar Hilale, said that Gueterres 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.