Polisario militiamen have fired warning shots at members of the UN mission to the Sahara, MINURSO, which was conducting a patrol east of the Moroccan-built security wall in the demilitarized area, said UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric.
Speaking to reporters at the daily briefing, Dujarric said that the MINURSO confirmed that they were fired at and intercepted by the Polisairo armed men in an incident that further vindicates Morocco’s concerns regarding the polisairo’s serious violations of the UN-brokered ceasefire agreement.
He said that the MINURSO members were later allowed to continue their patrol and that Polisario leadership acknowledged the incident and apologized to the UN mission.
Responding Wednesday to questions about the attacks and harassment targeting peacekeeping missions, Dujarric said that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is “more concerned than ever about the growing threat and the deadly attacks against peacekeepers, which we have witnessed in all missions”.
Morocco has threatened to intervene militarily if the UN fails to compel the Polisairo to uphold the ceasefire agreement and the status of the area east of the security wall.
The Polisario had previously announced that it will set up military and civilian facilities in Bir Lahlou in a bid to acquire the attributes of a state, a move that is a casus belli for Morocco which has handed the area to the UN for ceasefire monitoring purposes pending a lasting solution to the conflict.
Morocco has built the wall inside the Sahara territory in order to be able to pursue Polisario militiamen without crossing the Algerian borders.