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Rabat – Morocco’s government has announced it is mobilizing the army to secure the flow of commercial and civil traffic in Guerguerat, a town near the Mauritanian-Moroccan border.
The decision comes after Polisario‘s repeated violations in the region despite warnings from UN bodies and countries following the situation.
In response to Polisario’s disruptive acts in the area, Morocco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that the Royal Armed Forces (FAR) set up on the night of Thursday to Friday a security cordon to secure the flow of goods and people in the region.
“The Royal Armed Forces (FAR) set up, on the night of Thursday to Friday, a security cordon in order to secure the flow of goods and people across the Guerguarate buffer zone, linking Morocco to Mauritania,” a statement from the General Staff of the Royal Armed Forces said on Friday.
It added that Morocco’s decision is a response to Polisario’s continued blocking of the road axis crossing the buffer zone of Guerguerate and connecting Morocco and Mauritania.
“The Royal Armed Forces are setting up a security cordon in order to secure the flow of goods and people through this axis,” FAR said.
FAR insisted,however, that the move is a “non-offensive operation without any bellicose intent.”
Morocco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also issued a press release denouncing the presence of armed Polisario elements in the buffer zone.
The ministry also renewed Morocco’s commitment to the ongoing, UN-led political process, saying that the security cordon will operate in compliance with international legality.
The foreign ministry recalled that Morocco has until now committed itself to restraint and appeasement despite Polisaio’s provocations in the region.
Some of the Polisario supporters also taunted Moroccan military personnel in the region, but the Moroccan officers ignored their provocations and refrained from engaging them.
The statement also pointed out that Morocco had no other choice but to “assume its responsibilities” in order to put an end to the deadlock resulting from Polisaio’s actions.
“These acts undermine the chances of any relaunch of the political process sought by the international community. Since 2016, the ‘polisario’ has multiplied these dangerous and intolerable acts in this buffer zone, in violation of military agreements,” the ministry argued.
The provocations also defied repeated calls from the UN Secretary-General and in violation of all recent resolutions calling on Polisario to refrain from sabotaging the status quo in Guerguerat and other UN-restricted areas.
The ministry of foreign affairs recalled that it has given all the time necessary to the MINURSO, the UN peacekeeping operation in Western Sahara, to urge Polisario to stop its illegal actions and leave the region.
“However, appeals from Minurso and the UN Secretary-General, as well as the intervention of several members of the Security Council, have unfortunately been unsuccessful.”
According to the government, the time has come to deter further provocations from Polisario while acting in accordance with all international norms.
“The ‘Polisario’ alone assumes full responsibility and the full consequences of these acts,” the ministry concluded.