Rabat – Polisario may not like it, but the front’s repeated provocative actions near Guerguerat buffer zone represent a losing battle. According to Mustapha Salama, a Polisario Front dissident, the separatist group will not dare attempt to provoke a battle around Guerguerat due to “power imbalances” between Morocco and the front.
Salama, who was a former police chief in the Tindouf camps, took to his Facebook page to give a brief analysis of the situation in the region after a series of provocative actions carried out by Polisario.
“Morocco’s military equipment has moved toward Guerguerat. Before that, Polisario’s militias cut off Nouadhibou’s (second largest city in Mauritania) roads for hours. Polisario exercised live ammunition in the Aguenet region in the south. A constant talk of escalation, provocation and readiness to respond: Can Guerguerat be a scene of an impending war [between Morocco and the front]?” asks the activist.
Since 2011, Salama has regularly criticized Polisario’s provocative actions, describing how the front lost its influence in the conflict since the 1991 ceasefire agreement.
In his recent remarks, the Polisario dissident said that the front can never dare engage in open war in the buffer zone. “In order to access Guerguerat, which is located close to the Atlantic coast, Polisario has to enter to the depth of the Moroccan forces for nearly 250 km in a narrow strip extending from the east to the west of Tichla,” a small town and rural commune in Aousserd Province of the Dakhla-Oued Ed-dahab region of Morocco.
For Salama, “any military action carried out by Polisario in those areas is totally a suicide,” a truth that Polisario, Morocco and MINURSO are “fully aware of.”
The activist said that the western regions of Tichla have not experienced any military engagements since the construction of the Moroccan defense belt, explaining that “if a member of the Moroccan military force crossed the defense belt, this will be a clear ceasefire violation.” He added that Morocco would not take such a step as it would endanger its strategy of diplomatic engagement in managing the four-decade-long conflict. “Morocco is the current winner of the situation,” he added.
Salama concluded his analysis by explaining that, “what has happened and will happen is a review of power and messages from the parties to the conflict to gain points for the April report.
In the past few months, Polisario has been conducting a series of illegal armed maneuvers in the buffer zone of Guerguerat. These operations were strongly denounced by Morocco and the United Nations, which warned Polisario against undermining peaceful negotiations to end the conflict.
Edited by Mark Mahon