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Rabat – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterress expressed concerns on Wednesday regarding the situation in Guerguerat, a town near the Moroccan-Mauritanian border.
Guterres held a phone conversation with Mauritanian Foreign Minister Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed on November 11 regarding the tense conditions in Guerguerat.
“The two sides talked about the seriousness of the current situation and the fear that it could lead to unforeseen acts of violence,” the Mauritanian news agency AMI reported.
During the call, the Mauritanian official also recalled the “pioneering role” all parties to Western Sahara expects from the UN to reach a solution to the situation as soon as possible.”
The UN official told Ould Cheikh Ahmed that the UN made contacts in the last two days to “avoid aggravation of the situation on the field, but he did not hide his concerns about the danger” of the situation, AMI reported.
Polisario dispatched civilians and executives from its “administrations” in Guerguerat, who have staged protests aimed at stirring tension in the region since September.
The protesters have repeatedly blocked civilian and commercial traffic in the region, which continues to exacerbate tensions.
Polisario’s maneuvers and threats continue despite the UN’s firm responses against the provocations in Guerguerat.
In October, Guterres urged Polisario to leave the town and avoid an escalation in the region.
“Our colleagues in the UN Mission in Western Sahara (MINURSO) reports that, as of this morning, it observed some 50 people, including men, women and children, present in the buffer strip at Guerguerat. They were blocking the traffic that passes through the area,” the UN warned in response to one of Polisario’s violations.
A source familiar with the Western Sahara dossier told Morocco’s state media that such maneuvers in the region reflect Polisario’s failures.
Polisario “played the card of provocation and escalation in a manifest challenge to the international community.”
The maneuvers Polisario has carried out since September intensified after the adoption of Resolution 2548 by the Security Council on October 30. The resolution angered Polisario for supporting the UN Secretary General’s firm warnings against the separatist front’s maneuvers in the region.
The recent opening of consulates in Morocco’s southern provinces also fueled Polisario and Algeria’s frustration.
With the openings, Laayoune and Dakhla now collectively host 16 diplomatic representations.