Morocco’s permanent representative to the UN, Omar Hilale, has said Morocco’s Mohammed VI-A satellite tracks the “slightest movements” of the Polisario Front.
Rabat – At the United Nations headquarters in New York, Hilale said on Wednesday that Morocco can track the separatist group “every minute and every second.”
Unlike the past, Hilale added, “we are now able to follow the movements of the separatists and we inform the UN Secretariat” by presenting satellite photos.
When Morocco severed ties with Iran in May due to alleged collusion between Polisario and Hezbollah, Moroccan officials said that they had proof of ties between the separatist group and the Iranian ally through satellite pictures.
Hilale’s statements followed the Security Council’s adoption of Resolution 2440, which pressured Polisario to refrain from any activities that might change the status quo in Western Sahara.
Morocco also used its first high-resolution satellite, which weighs over 1,100 kilograms, to detect illegal activities from the Polisario Front east of Morocco’s defense wall earlier this year.
Launched in 2017, the Mohammed VI-A satellite operates from Kourou, in French Guiana, at the Centre Spatial Guyanais.
The satellite is dedicated to high-resolution imaging, with high resolution Imager (HiRI) playloads that can give a resolution of up to 70 centimeters and 28 inches.
The satellite is capable of taking 500 images daily and updates its data every six hours, providing Morocco’s intelligence agencies with threat identification capabilities.
Moroccan newspaper Al Massae quoted an anonymous military source on September 4, who said that Morocco is planning to launch a second surveillance satellite by the end of 2018.
The source said that the project will cost Morocco €500 million and will be able to monitor activities on its borders, taking pictures with a precision of 50 centimeters. However, the Moroccan government has not yet announced the project publicly.