Rabat – A video released by an unofficial Moroccan Royal Armed Forces (FAR) YouTube channel shows satellite pictures of a new 50-kilometer wall being built in Touizgui, the Assa-Zag province just north of Western Sahara.
The satellite images show the new Moroccan wall being erected 3 kilometers from the neighboring Algerian wall, not far from the Tindouf camps. In a statement to Telquel, Moroccan defense expert Abdelhamid Harifi explained that the newly erected wall is designed to clamp down on drug trafficking and irregular migration while ensuring security.
The sand wall near the Tindouf camps forms a 50-kilometer segment of the approximately 2,700-kilometer-long structure, stretching from the southern city of Guerguerat, and reaching approximately 200 km into southeastern Morocco.
“In recent years, Morocco has secured its borders east of Saidia, as far as Figuig. There has been a colossal investment to build barbed wire and trenches along the borders, which are equipped with an ultramodern surveillance system,” explained Harifi.
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Despite reported calm in the southern provinces, the Polisario Front has claimed to have carried out attacks in the Assa-Zag region. On January 24, according to a Polisario press statement, the separatist group allegedly launched a series of attacks on Guerguerat, Ourkziz, Baaj, Taref Buhanda, and other Moroccan targets.
“The Polisario leaders know that their militias cannot make a difference on the ground, the rest is pure propaganda for internal use,” explained a source from FAR, quoted by Jeune Afrique.
Despite the separatist claims, amid the spread of fake news on a non-existent war, sources from Guerguerat shared videos of the region showing stability and calm. At the time, Moroccan state media quoted “authorized sources” saying that “road traffic between Morocco and Mauritania and beyond to sub-Saharan Africa has not been disturbed in any way.”
Following the FAR operation on November 13, 2020, which successfully secured the Guerguerat border crossing, the separatist Polisario Front decided to break the ceasefire that has been in place since 1991.
“We hold the ‘Polisario’ fully responsible for what will happen to the situation,” the Association of Elected Officials of Sakia El Hamra and Oued Eddahab (ASESARIO) told Morocco’s press agency, emphasizing the separatist group’s “unpredictable and ill-calculated actions and its persistence in violating the ceasefire agreement.”