Rabat - Amid Moroccan anger over Polisario’s presence in buffer zones of Western Sahara, spokesman of the United Nations Secretary-General, Stéphane Dujarric, said that members of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) have not “observed any military elements in the northeast territory.”
Rabat – Amid Moroccan anger over Polisario’s presence in buffer zones of Western Sahara, spokesman of the United Nations Secretary-General, Stéphane Dujarric, said that members of the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) have not “observed any military elements in the northeast territory.”
When asked about the United Nations’ opinion on Moroccan charges of illegal Polisario activity in the region, Dujarric said that his colleagues in MINURSO have not discerned any activities in the region, adding that the mission continues to monitor the situation “closely.”
The UN spokesperson made his remarks in a briefing (00:26:00) at the United Nations headquarters in New York on April 2.
In contrast to these statements, in the advanced copy of the his annual report on the Situation in the Western Sahara, the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterresm, expressed his concerns over Polisario’s presence in restricted zones and called for an immediate withdrawal similar to that of April 2017.
Morocco has been warning the MINURSO and UN Security Council of Polisario’s activities in the region, stressing the need for immediate intervention to avoid further escalation.
Military elements of the Polisario Front have repeatedly violated the 1991 ceasefire agreement through its repetitive incursions into the buffer zone. In the advanced of the report he released on March 29, Antonio Guterres expressed his deep concern about the Polisario’s ‘renewed presence’ in the Guerguerat.
Moroccan press reported on Monday that the Moroccan army is preparing to respond to any new provocations from the front in the buffer zones. During an emergency meeting with a joint committee of both chambers of the Moroccan parliament, Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita and Minister of Interior Abdelouafi Laftit, described the situation in the region as “dangerous.”
That same day, Moroccan Ambassador to the UN Omar Hilale addressed a letter to the UN Security Council, urging it to prevent the Polisario front from changing the status quo in the region.
Hilale warned the security council that any attempt by the front to change the status quo of the buffer zone could constitute a “casus belli,” emphasizing that Morocco will not “stand idly,” but rather deter and repel Polisario’s repeated “provocations.”
King Mohammed VI, according to Moroccan Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani, expressed his condemnation to the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres.
El Othmani made his statement on Monday in a meeting convening trade unions, secretaries-general, and representatives of all political parties. The meeting aimed at informing all officials of the “dangerous development” in the region.