Sao Tome and Principe is among the African countries that recently opened a diplomatic representation in southern Morocco to reiterate support for the Moroccan position over Western Sahara.
Rabat – President of the National Assembly of Sao Tome and Principe, Delfim Santiago Das Neves, expressed his country’s solidarity with Morocco against Polisario’s recent maneuvers in Guerguerat, a town in the buffer zone along the Moroccan-Mauritanian border.
Das Navas told Morocco’s state media that his country learned of Polisario’s illegal acts in Guerguerat with “great sadness and with deep concerns.”
He recalled that the Polisario Front has continuously escalated tension in the region since October 21 through acts that caused a blockade of movement between Morocco and Mauritania.
“We consider this act as criminal, repugnant, and condemnable which we do not subscribe to,” the official said.
He also reiterated Sao Tome and Principe’s firm position, backing Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara.
“We believe that, in the name of legality, plausible solutions to [protect] the movement of people and goods will be found so as to … ensure the security of the population,” Das Neves said.
Sao Tome and Principe is among the states that recently opened a consulate general in Morocco’s southern provinces.
The country inaugurated its diplomatic representation in Laayoune in January of this year, reflecting its firm support for Morocco’s territorial integrity.
In his statement to MAP, Das Neves expressed his country’s full determination to continue to boost cooperation with Morocco.
Morocco’s government announced on November 13 that it sent troops to the Guerguerat region to ensure the safety of civilians and truck drivers traveling across the border amid Polisario’s blockade.
Polisario sent its supporters and some of its “administration” executives to block the traffic of goods and civilians despite the UN’s concerns and warnings that such maneuvers could undermine the status quo of the region.
Polisario announced on November 14 that Morocco’s intervention in Guerguerat was a call to war, saying that it ended the ceasefire agreements concluded in 1991 with Rabat.
The separatist front’s continued maneuvers triggered criticism from several countries that backed Morocco’s decision to send its armed forces to the region.
Oman, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Jordan, and others condemned Polisario’s maneuvers and supported Morocco’s intervention to secure Guerguerat.
Morocco also asserted that its acts in the region were peaceful, emphasizing that carrying out the mission to secure commercial and civilian traffic was “non-offensive” and without any “bellicose intent.”
Morocco’s Royal Armed Forces announced in the evening on November 13 that Polisario opened fire during the peaceful intervention earlier that day. The following day, the Front declared they would no longer respect the UN-mandated ceasefire with Morocco.