Rabat – Moroccan Royal Armed Forces (FAR) have carried out important military exercises dubbed “Tafilalet 2018” in the southeastern Moroccan city of Errachidia, in the Draa-Tafilalet region in preparation to deter any further escalation east of Morocco’s defense wall.
The most recent edition of the FAR magazine notes that the operations took place between March 22 and April 7.
The Moroccan military maneuvers form part of Morocco’s mobilization to respond to a long series of illegal maneuvers by the Algerian-backed Polisario.
The magazine wrote that FAR is mobilizing its members in “an environment close to reality” and identical to that in Western Sahara.
The magazine described the operations as “the action of a joint force generated around the means of the operational sector Tafilalet, engaged in a defense of territorial integrity, in response to a fictitious aggression.”
The tension due to Polisario’s repeated actions east of Morocco’s defense structure persists as the separatist group has conducted yesterday a parade to celebrate the “45th anniversary of its armed struggle” in Tifarriti, east of Morocco’s berm.
Polisario’s action, which constitutes a violation of the ceasefire agreement, came after the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2414. The resolution, adopted April 27, expressed concern about Polisario’s intention to relocate their facilities east of Morocco’s defense and urged the separatist group to withdraw from Guerguerat.
Prior to the recent violation, the front had been defying the United Nations and the Security Council since December 2017. For months, the separatist group has been threatening Morocco and the UN that it would relocate its functions to Bir Lahlou, east of Morocco’s defense wall.
Ahead of the adoption of the 2414 resolution, Morocco provided the UN with evidence of the presence of the Polisario Front in the region. The proof included satellite images captured by the Mohammed VI-a high-resolution satellite.
In April, United Nations Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric confirmed Polisario’s illegal actions in Tifariti. Dujarric reported that members of the Polisario Front intercepted a patrol unit of the UN mission in Western Sahara (MINURSO) 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 official said at the time.