How Morocco’s Guergarat Operation Foiled Algeria’s Plot to Create Refugee Camp in Lagouira

The anti-smuggling operation that Morocco launched to clear the southernmost tip of the Saharan provinces of all sorts of illegal commercial activities had a geopolitical impact in terms of barring the road for Algeria and its allies in Nouakchott from creating a camp where they intended to dislocate some of the population held against their will in Tindouf camps, said le360.ma in an editorial.

The failed Algerian plot to establish a camp in Lagouira near the Mauritanian borders was intended to give the polisario separatists a boost as they struggle desperately to portray the area beyond the Moroccan Royal Armed forces security wall as a “liberated area.”

Yet, the intervention of the Moroccan security forces in the area to crackdown on the criminal networks confirms that Morocco reigns supreme in the southern provinces and that the area beyond the berm is not an exception.

The editorial goes on to say that the calls made by the UN security council for all parties to abide by the 1991 cease-fire agreement are in Morocco’s interest as they represent a straightforward condemnation of the violations by the Polisario separatists who sent armed men to the area in a clear breach of military agreement number 1.

The Moroccan intervention also shows that the Kingdom has never abandoned the demilitarized area and that its security operation was dictated by actual concerns of a growing criminal network turning the Guergarat area into a venue for engaging in all sorts of smuggling and trafficking.

The operation was security and customs in nature, as Morocco informed the UN and Nouakchott of the nature and purpose of the operation, which was followed by the pavement of the 3-km Guergarat road towards the Mauritanian borders with a view to better monitoring the area.

Morocco’s concerns were also vindicated by the busting earlier this month of an international drug trafficking network comprising 4 Polisario members.

The investigations undertaken by the judicial police show the connivance of the Polisario with terrorist groups operating in northern Mali as well as the involvement of high ranking Polisario officials in drug trafficking.

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