Rabat - After months of Polisario’s escalation in buffer zones of Western Sahara, Morocco’s army has begun mobilizing its personnel in southern Morocco to repel any possible new “provocations.”
Rabat – After months of Polisario’s escalation in buffer zones of Western Sahara, Morocco’s army has begun mobilizing its personnel in southern Morocco to repel any possible new “provocations.”
Since December 2017, Morocco has informed the United Nations of the “provocations” of the separatist group in buffer zones of Western Sahara, including Guerguerat, Bir Lahlou, and Mahbes.
In addition to defying the United Nations and its 1991 ceasefire agreement through its continuous presence in the restricted buffer zones, the separatists have reportedly established tents in the restricted zones and announced the relocation of their military facilities to Bir Lahlou, another area of the buffer zone, located 230 kilometers away from the Es-Semara provinces in Moroccan territory.
Sources from Laayoune told Moroccan news outlet Hespress that high-level military reinforcements arrived in the city, including military trucks and other equipment, to deter any future provocations by the separatist group.
Meanwhile, news sources close to the Polisario expressed the front’s “readiness to respond to any Moroccan move that would undermine the liberated territory or change the status quo.”
On Sunday, the Moroccan parliament held an emergency meeting with Morocco’s Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani, Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita, and Minister of Interior Abdelouafi Laftit. During the meeting, political parties condemned Polisario’s actions, calling on the government to respond strongly to its “provocations.”
On Sunday night, Morocco’s Ambassador to the UN, Omar Hilale, addressed a letter to the UN Security Council, urging it to take responsibility and to compel the Polisario to respect the provisions of the ceasefire and Military Agreement 1.
Hilale made clear to the Security Council that any attempt by the Polisario to change the status quo of the buffer zone could constitute a “casus belli.” Hilale emphasized that Morocco will resort to all means necessary to deter and repel Polisario’s “provocations.”
“Morocco will not stand idly by the deterioration of the situation on the ground,” said Hilale
Polisario’s coordinator with the United Nations mission in the territory, known as MINURSO, Mhamed Khadad, described Morocco’s warnings an “attempt to disavow the peace process.” He said that the separatist group will respond “to any breach of the ceasefire.”