Rabat – A source at Morocco’s Ministry of the Interior said Monday that the government did not grant authorization to activists to organize a “peace march” from Rabat to Guerguerat, a town near the Moroccan-Mauritanian border.
Several activists shared publications on social networks about an alleged peace march that will take place on October 16 in response to the hostile maneuvers by the Polisario Front in Guerguerat.
In response to the rumors, a source at the interior ministry said no one is authorized to conduct a march from Rabat and Guerguarat, Morocco’s state media reported.
The source stressed that any such activity will be prohibited.
Polisario members have been breaching the UN resolutions through recent anti-status quo moves in Guerguerat.
Mauritanian press reported on “unprecedented” actions by Polisario in several areas in the buffer zone, saying Polisario elements have caused disturbances in commercial and civil traffic at the border.
Reports also cited Polisario’s plans to organize a sit-in in Guerguerat, which prompted the UN to intervene.
Last month, Morocco’s state media quoted Farhan Haq, the deputy spokesperson of the UN chief, who advised Polisario against any obstruction aimed at hindering commercial and regular traffic in the region.
Speaking on behalf of the UN chief, Antonio Guterres, Haq stressed that “no action shall be taken that might constitute an alteration of the status quo in the buffer zone.”
The UN deputy spokesperson recalled that such maneuvers escalate tension in Guerguerat and elsewhere in the buffer strip.
The buffer zone is under the mandate of MINURSO, the UN peacekeeping mission in Western Sahara, and is therefore subject to strict surveillance.
The UN spokesperson urged the Polisario Front to immediately leave the zone.
Polisario’s illegal actions in the region came just weeks before the UN is set to issue its annual report regarding the situation on Western Sahara.
The UN chief has previously condemned illegal actions in the region that would hinder the development of the UN-led political solution to find a mutually acceptable solution to the conflict.
In January, Guterres issued a statement to denounce Polisario’s threats against the Monaco Dakar Rally.
Polisario launched several threatening campaigns, warning participants in the Africa Eco Race against crossing the Guerguerat buffer zone.
In response, the secretary-general expressed concern about increased tensions in Western Sahara.
On behalf of Guterres, a spokesperson called on all parties to the conflict to exercise maximum restraint and defuse any tensions.
For Guterres, it is necessary to allow “regular civilian and commercial traffic to proceed” in the buffer zone.
Because Polisario’s provocations are not the first of their kind in the region, observers expect the UN chief to renew his warnings against any illegal moves that breach UN resolutions in Western Sahara in his new report on the situation.