Leaders around the world followed the events in Guerguerat closely as the crossing point is a critical connection between “the North and the South.”
Rabat – Developments in Guerguerat favoring Morocco have frustrated and weakened the country’s enemies, Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani said Thursday.
Referring to the fake news Polisario and Algeria deployed in futile attempts to garner support for the separatist group’s blockade of the Guerguerat border crossing, El Othmani said it is clear Morocco’s opponents are losing momentum.
Morocco’s armed forces carried out a non-offensive security operation on November 13 to secure Gurguerat, a crossing point on the Moroccan-Mauritanian border where Polisario elements had staged a blockade since October 21.
The successful security operation and the international praise Morocco received for the action “angered the enemies and inflicted serious damage on them.” Polisario and Algeria were left with no other means of gathering support but to propagate “unfounded accusations” of Moroccan violations of international law and UN resolutions by disseminating fake news, videos, and images.
Morocco’s successful securing of the Guerguarat crossing gave rise to a “new diplomatic and political reality,” the head of government said during the weekly meeting of the Government Council.
Government spokesperson Saaid Amzazi relayed El Othmani’s statement during a press briefing at the end of the meeting.
“The El Guerguerat passage is neither a purely Moroccan passage, nor a purely Mauritanian passage and does not connect only Morocco and Mauritania, but rather is an international road connecting the North and the South,” El Othmani said.
Morocco’s action, therefore, earned the unprecedented support of its African allies and international observers. The decision also enjoyed a consensus of support within the country.
The head of government particularly commended Moroccan media outlets and social networks for countering slander, allegations, and fake news regarding Morocco’s position in Western Sahara and its action in Guerguerat.
Battle for unity
Moroccans are leading a battle not only against insults to the country’s sovereignty but against the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis, as well. Morocco is also engaged in an ongoing battle against territorial disparity.
The government is committed “to develop[ing] the living conditions of citizens in the southern provinces, and all regions of the Kingdom,” El Othmani said after Thursday’s Government Council meeting.
On Monday, the head of government announced that Morocco’s 2016-2021 development program in the southern provinces has reached a completion rate of 70%.
Morocco’s southern provinces have welcomed 179 development projects worth MAD 13.2 billion ($1.45 billion) since 2016. Another 336 projects are ongoing while 236 are in the planning phase, with a budget of MAD 25 billion ($2.75 billion).
El Othmani said confidently that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2016-2021 program is proceeding according to schedule. Regional authorities continue to see improvements in terms of investment, public enterprises, education, electricity and drinking water access, income, and infrastructure.
Major projects set for 2021 include the new Dakhla Atlantic Port, a seawater desalination plant to the north of Dakhla, and several wind farms across Western Sahara.