Morocco Will Never Accept Altering Status of Sahara Buffer Zone- Government Chief Says
Morocco will never let the Polisario separatists alter the status of the Sahara buffer zone said Morocco’s government chief, Saad Eddine El Otmani in a reaction to the maneuvers by the Algerian-backed separatists to set up posts in the demilitarized area.
The buffer zone east of Morocco’s security wall is a demilitarized area under the UN-brokered ceasefire agreement of 1991. The Polisario militias have on multiple occasions conducted incursions into the area, which was handed by Morocco to the UN mission, MINURSO, to administer the ceasefire agreement.
“King Mohammed VI has expressed concerns to the UN Secretary General regarding the separatists’ provocations,” El Otmani said at separate meetings with leaders of political parties and trade Unions.
In this respect, El Otmani urged Moroccan political parties and civil society stakeholder to be ready to defend Morocco’s national interests.
The meetings were held after a briefing at the Parliament’s foreign and defense committees during which Ministers of Foreign Affairs and of the Interior, Nasser Bourita and Abdelouafi Laftit, surveyed the latest development of the Sahara issue.
The Moroccan officials drew the attention of the committees members to the unsustainable conditions in the buffer zone where repetitive violations of the ceasefire and military agreements with the UN by Polisario militias are jeopardizing regional peace and stability.
Bourita will fly shortly to Paris to inform his French peer of the latest developments in the region before visiting Washington.
Polisario elements, emboldened by UN laxity, have vowed to move their armed forces headquarters to the locality of Bir Lahlou in the buffer zone.
Such a move would represent a casus belli against Morocco, said the Kingdom’s representative to the UN, Omar Hilale, in a letter to the UN Security Council.