The signing of the agreement is expected to anger Morocco’s government and the United Nations.
Rabat – The Polisario Front has signed an agreement with an international company to explore minerals in UN restricted zones, setting a dangerous precedent for the ongoing UN-led settlement process.
The front’s move comes weeks after EU authorities rejected its appeals against the EU-Morocco agriculture and fisheries deals, suggesting that the front is angered by the EU’s commitment to agreements with Morocco.
On Sunday, the “news agency” of the separatist group announced the signing of an agreement between the front and Australian company Hanno Resources Limited.
The agreement will allow the company to explore “liberated zones” for iron, gold, and other minerals in an area of 8000 square kilometers.
The agreement, according to the separatist website, “comes as part of the revision and amendment to the previous agreements in the liberated region of Tiris,” east of Morocco’s defense wall.
The agreement is another violation from the Polisario Front as the United Nations clearly warned against any illegal activity in Western Sahara and in the region east of Morocco’s defense wall claimed as “liberated zones” by the front.
During the adoption of Resolution 2440 in October 2018, the Security Council called on the Polisario to refrain from any maneuvers that would change the status quo of the region.
The Security Council also called on Polisario to refrain from relocating or constructing any facilities in the areas that Polisario has long claimed as “liberated zones.”
This year again, the front conducted a series of illegal maneuvers east of Morocco’s berm wall.
In January, the front carried out military maneuvers in the “fourth military region in Mehriz,” a town east of the Moroccan berm.
The provocative move resulted in Morocco’s Permanent Representative to the UN Omar Hilale condemned the Polisario actions, emphasizing that they are “flagrant violation” to the UN 2440 Resolution.
Addressing a letter to the Security Council, Hilale said, “On the behalf of the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco, I would like to bring to your attention that the Polisario persists in its violations and provocations in the Guerguerat buffer zone, as well as in the east of the defense system in the Moroccan Sahara.”