A Polisario official has visited parts of Western Sahara, violating Resolution 2440 just before the Geneva talks.
Rabat – Last week, Polisario’s proclaimed minister of national defense, Abdellah Lahbib, made a tour of Tifariti and Mehriz, towns east of Morocco’s berm wall in Western Sahara, according to Polisario’s “official news agency” SPS.
The visit may escalate tension in the conflict, coming two weeks ahead of a UN roundtable scheduled for December 5-6 at the request of the personal envoy of the UN Secretary General, Horst Kohler.
The pro-Polisario news platform said Lahbib’s visit to what it calls the “liberated zones” marked the “inauguration of several facilities and inaugurating numerous facilities and laying the foundation for construction of others.”
The Sahrawi “People’s Liberation Army,” the outlet said, “achieves security and stability thanks to its readiness, professionalism and thwarting of all schemes of the Moroccan enemy aimed at flooding the region with drugs.”
The Polisario Front is violating UN Security Council Resolution 2440, which called on the front to “fully adhere to its commitments to the Personal Envoy with respect to Bir Lahlou, Tifariti, and the buffer strip at Guerguerat.”
The areas refer to towns in Western Sahara east of Morocco’s defense wall. The Security Council adopted the resolution on October 31.
The resolution also warned the front to withdraw from any intention that might change the status quo of the region or hamper the UN-led political process.
The UN also banned any meeting between foreign representatives outside of the Tindouf camps in Algeria, and urged Polisario to refrain from relocating or constructing any facilities in the areas that Polisario has long claimed as “liberated zones.”
The separatist group also defied the UN’s orders when it carried out similar actions in the region this year. Polisario organized a military parade in Tifariti in May, defying the previous resolution, 2414, adopted on April 28.
The UN Security Council expressed serious concerns then about Polisario’s intention to relocate its administrative functions to Bir Lahlou.