Polisario breached the decades-long ceasefire agreement on November 13, opening fire on Morocco’s army after a non-offensive Moroccan action to secure the flow of traffic Guerguerat.
Rabat – UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric has said that MINURSO, the UN peacekeeping operation in Western Sahara, continues to receive reports of shots being fired “during the night at various locations along the Berm,” or the Moroccan defense wall.
Dujarric, the spokesperson of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said during a press briefing on Tuesday that MINURSO reported shots fired in the areas around the Berm adjacent to Smara and Awsard in southern Morocco.
“It goes without saying that we continue to urge the parties to take all necessary steps to defuse tensions,” the UN spokesperson said without identifying the party firing the shots.
The UN official also recalled the conversation between King Mohammed VI and Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday.
He said Guterres held telephone calls with several other stakeholders concerned with the issue in Guerguerat and in the buffer zone.
The conversation between Morocco’s monarch and the UN secretary-general focused on the Guerguerat crisis.
“And as you know, in recent days, [the UN] has been very much involved in multiple initiatives to avoid an escalation of the situation and to warn against violations of the ceasefire and serious consequences to the status quo,” he said.
On November 16, King Mohammed VI vowed that Morocco will continue to take the necessary measures to ensure order and the safe movement of people and goods in the buffer zone.
The monarch reaffirmed Morocco’s commitment to the ceasefire agreement, which the Polisario Front breached.
“The Kingdom remains firmly determined to react, with the greatest severity, and within the framework of self-defense, against any threat to its security and the peace of mind of its citizens,” the King said.
The Royal Armed Forces (FAR) announced that the Polisario Front opened fire against Morocco’s military when they moved to secure Guerguerat.
Morocco kept its actions in Guerguerat peaceful and non-offensive but the Polisario Front escalated tensions in the region, forcing the army to respond firmly.
The army neutralized hostile attacks from the Polisario militiamen along the Moroccan defense line in Mahbes, a UN-restricted area near the Algerian border.
Polisario also carried out harassment shots along the defense line.
FAR said none of its personnel were injured nor any Moroccan military equipment damaged in the attack.
Morocco’s defensive actions resulted in the destruction of a Polisario vehicle bearing arms east of the defense wall at the level of Mahbes.