The desert sands in Morocco’s southern provinces are hot enough to boil water and make coffee.
Rabat – Photos of Moroccan soldiers stationed at the Western Sahara defense wall, also known as the Berm, are circulating online.
The photos show the difficult conditions Morocco’s armed forces endure as they defend the country and its southern provinces.
Soldiers stationed at the Berm must withstand the burning sun and scorching temperatures in full gear. The photos circulating online show a thermometer measuring 59.5 degrees Celsius, or 139.1 degrees Fahrenheit.
The photos also show how the desert sands are hot enough to boil water and make coffee.
The scene reveals the extreme conditions that Moroccan soldiers face in Western Sahara, adding to their dangerous mission of guarding the country against foreign aggression.
— Sahara Question (@SaharaQuestion) August 6, 2020
The 2,700-kilometer-long Berm marks the border between Morocco and Algeria’s Tindouf province, and acts as a line of defense from potential Polisario hostility. Morocco built the barrier between 1980 and 1987.
However, the Polisario Front has repeatedly violated the 1991 ceasefire agreement with Morocco by maintaining a presence east of the Berm, carrying out military maneuvers, and inaugurating illegal facilities.
In April 2018, Morocco warned that the presence of Polisario militias in the area may warrant Moroccan military action if the UN fails to intervene.
Despite these warnings and increased UN patrols of the region, Polisario continued to defy UN mandates and remain in the restricted area east of the defense wall.
Polisario’s presence violates UN Security Council Resolution 2440, which calls on the separatist group to stay out of the buffer zone and the regions east of the Berm so as to not stoke tension with Morocco.
Morocco’s defense wall is also a site of Algerian displays of military aggression. In May, Algerian armed forces carried out military exercises using live ammunition south of Tindouf.
The army tested several weapons and war machines, including missile launchers, mounted machine guns, tanks, helicopters, and armed vehicles.