Rabat – Morocco’s government spokesperson Mustapha El Khalfi denounced the Polisario fake news campaign on social media during a meeting at the National Press Club in Washington on April 20.
During a presentation on fake news, as part of the meeting organized by the Moroccan-American Network, El Khalfi said that fake news published by separatists leads to misleading conclusions, on the four-decade-long conflict in Western Sahara.
The Moroccan minister also discussed Algeria’s involvement in the conflict, echoing King Mohammed VI’s statement addressed to the United Nations on April 4.
“It is Algeria that hosts, arms, backs up, and brings diplomatic support for the Polisario,” said King Mohammed VI in a letter personally delivered to the UNSG by Morocco’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Nasser Bourita.
During his presentation, El Khalfi also challenged Algeria’s “neutrality,”, emphasizing that country “arms the Polisario, shelters it, supports it financially and stands up against any solution.”
El Khalfi denounced Polisario’s designation of the area east of Morocco’s defense wall as a “liberated zone,” despite the fact that it is an area under the responsibility of the United Nations, represented by MINURSO.
“This is a real example of separatist propaganda that seeks to disseminate false information alleging that the sand walls are [only] walls of separation,” he said.
El Khalfi, emphasized that the walls “have defense and security objectives and played an important role in the stability and effectiveness of the implementation of the ceasefire agreement and subsequently in the fight against drug trafficking.”
El Khalfi also refuted allegations that the Polisario Front is an official representative of the Saharawi population, calling them “unfound,” as the vast majority of Sahrawis are living in Morocco’s southern provinces and not in Tindouf camps, Algeria.
Tension in the region has escalated in recent months due to Polisario’s ”illegal incursion” east of Morocco’s defense wall. In response to the Polisario’s maneuvers, Morocco called on the United Nations Security Council to take the necessary measures to stop the Polisario’s attempts to change the status quo in the region, warning that it would take all necessary measures to abort the Polisario’s attempt, including the use of military force.
Earlier this month, Dujarric said that members of the UN Mission had not “observed any military elements in the northeast territory.”
However, on April 20, UN Secretary-General’s spokesperson confirmed Polisario ’s illegal activities in the region, noting that a MINURSO patrol unit was attacked and faced Polisario gunfire on April 16.
“MINURSO has informed the UN Security Council that on April 16, in the Tifariti area, MINURSO observers were intercepted by Polisario elements, who then proceeded to fire warning [shots],” the UN official said, adding that the observers were deterred from doing their job and could only resume working much later in the day.
Local media have been reporting on Polisario’s illegal actions in the region for the past several months. Other MINURSO convoys were allegedly targeted and intimidated with warning signs about potential minefields they had been monitoring in the areas, thus preventing the UN mission from conducting thorough observations in some areas.