The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) has expressed support for Morocco’s recent operation in Guerguerat, near the Moroccan-Mauritanian border.
“As we celebrate the 65th Anniversary of Independence of the Kingdom of Morocco, the Member States of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States wish to express their support for the actions taken by the Government of Morocco to preserve the peace and stability within the ‘Buffer Zone’ of El Guerguerat in the Sahara, as well as to allow the free movement of people and goods to the wider African continent,” the OECS said in a statement.
The OECS comprises 11 member and associate member states: Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Martinique, and Guadeloupe.
The statement, published on November 24, came 11 days after Morocco acted at the Guerguerat crossing point to lift a three-week blockade by the Algeria-backed separatist Polisario Front.
The November 13 operation restored the flow of civil and commercial traffic between Morocco and Mauritania.
The OECS also urged the Polisario Front to adhere to the UN-led political process in Western Sahara instead of escalating the dispute through hostile acts.
“We urge adherence to the Resolutions of the [UN] Security Council, in particular Resolution 2414 and 2440 which call for the maintenance of peace and order in this North African region,” the statement said.
The separatist group breached its 1991 ceasefire agreement with Morocco on November 13 when its militias attempted to attack the Moroccan army. Polisario’s leader, Brahim Ghali, also declared a “war” against Morocco one day later.
Prior to the OECS’ statement, several member states of the organization, such as Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, and Grenada, individually expressed support for Morocco’s intervention in Guerguerat.
The statement came the same day as Haiti announced its intention to open a consulate general in Dakhla, Western Sahara, marking an important milestone in diplomatic relations between Morocco and the Caribbean state.
Haiti is set to become the first non-Arab non-African state to open a diplomatic representation in Morocco’s southern provinces, materializing its support for Moroccan sovereignty over the region.