Rabat - Contrary to the UN spokesperson’s categorical denial of any Polisario Front-linked military presence in the Western Sahara buffer zone, there is a wealth of evidence that suggests that “Polisario is indeed engaged in military operations in the buffer zone,” as Le 360 reported earlier today.
Rabat – Contrary to the UN spokesperson’s categorical denial of any Polisario Front-linked military presence in the Western Sahara buffer zone, there is a wealth of evidence that suggests that “Polisario is indeed engaged in military operations in the buffer zone,” as Le 360 reported earlier today.
Upon being asked during a briefing at the UN’s headquarters in New York on Monday, Mr. Stephane Dujarric, who is the UN Secretary General’s spokesperson, said: “With respect to that situation [Polisario’s military presence], our colleagues of MINURSO have not observed any military movements in the north-east territory.” Mr. Dujarric added that “MINURSO continues to monitor the situation closely.”
These remarks completely overlook Morocco’s satellite images, which clearly display the considerable Polisario military presence in the buffer zone.
Most importantly, however, Mr. Dujarric’s remarks are a glaring disregard of UN Secretary General Antonio Gueterres’s advanced copy of the annual report on the Western Sahara question. In the much-awaited report, Mr. Gueterres expressed his “deep concerns” over the Polisario Front’s military maneuvers in the buffer zone, and “escalating situations” in regions, such as Guerguerat. He also called on them [Polisario militants] to “withdraw from the buffer strip as they did in April 2017,” suggesting that there indeed remains a military presence in the area.
Amidst the tensions and the public outcry provoked by Mr. Dujarric’s latest “unfounded denials” of reports by both the UNSG and Moroccan authorities, Le 360 reports that some pro-Polisario outlets have sufficiently covered the front’s military operations in the very region that UNSG’s spokesperson reported having “not observed any military movements.” This clearly discredits the spokesperson’s stance and reports of others who are also “closely monitoring” the situation in the buffer zone, Le 360 said.
“No later than December 27, the Algerian state-owned TV channel A3 diffused profuse images of a Polisario military parade, which was performed in the presence of the group’s leader Brahim Ghali in Agouinit, which is situated in the buffer zone,” Le 360 writes. The report further mentions a reportedly militarized sit-in that was recently reported by a pro-Polisario outlet.
Under the theme “A Cry Against the Wall,” Polisario activists and militants allegedly gathered to provoke Moroccan security personnel with derogatory and insulting slogans. The “so-called civil society activists” were supposedly demonstrating in the zone to “witness no political movements” as explicitly mentioned in MINURSO’s guidelines for its “peacekeeping mission.”