Polisario’s militiamen fled Guerguerat but launched hostilities in the Mahbes area, a region close to Algeria.
Rabat – The Polisario front launched further hostile acts in an attempt to attack the Moroccan defense wall in Mahbes, a buffer zone and a UN-restricted area.
Morocco’s armed forces responded with “anti-tank means” to neutralize the enemy, a source close to the dossier told Moroccan news outlet Le360.
The attack comes after Morocco announced it was mobilizing a contingent to secure the flow of commercial and civil traffic in Guerguerat.
The Royal Armed Forces (FAR) announced that it set up its troops in the region on the night of Thursday to Friday.
FAR noted, however, that its mobilization to secure commercial and civil traffic will be “non sensitive” and without “any bellicose intent.”
Following the announcement, local media reported that Moroccan armed forces have managed to secure the area from Polisario’s militias.
According to Le360, however, the Polisario elements only fled the region to launch further hostilities in Mahbes.
Mahbes is the closest town closer to the Algerian border in north-eastern Western Sahara.
Algeria has long supported Polisario’s maneuvers by arming its militias and sheltering them in the deserted area of Tindouf, where thousands of Sahrawis live in allegedly dire conditions.
While the Algerian government claims to support the peaceful UN-led political process to end the Western Sahara conflict, President Tebboune’s cabinet continues to challenge Morocco’s territorial integrity. Algiers backs the Polisario Front’s provocations in the region.
Algeria also continues to remain silent on Polisario’s militarization of a number of UN-restricted areas, fuelling fears of the end or failure of the ceasefire agreement Polisario and Morocco signed in 1991.
While Polisario has a history of mounting intermittent military provocations in the buffer zone, the separatist group has shown more reluctance in recent weeks. Defying repeated warnings from the UN Secretary-General and the Security Council, the group continued to carry out its illegal acts in the region and distress thousands of road users.
Over the months, the official agency of the Polisario Front has also threatened to end the ceasefire and expressed its determination to wage a war against Morocco.
In response to repeated provocations from armed Polisario elements, Morocco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the country’s troops will respond firmly “within its duties and in compliance with international law.”
“These acts undermine the chances of any relaunch of the political process sought by the international community. Since 2016, the ‘polisario’ has multiplied these dangerous and intolerable acts in this buffer zone, in violation of military agreements,” the ministry warned.
The ministry said that it gave all time necessary to UN’s MINURSO to urge Polisario against further illegal actions.
“Appeals from Minurso and the UN Secretary-General, as well as the intervention of several members of the Security Council, have unfortunately been unsuccessful,” the ministry said.
The Ministry also argued that Polisario is the only party that should shoulder responsibility over full consequences of its acts in the buffer zone.