Sahara: UN chief deplores worsened cooperation with the Polisario

Sahara: UN chief deplores worsened cooperation with the Polisario

In the wake of the Polisairo’s ceasefire violations and threats to return to arms, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres deplored a worsened cooperation with the separatist front.

“There was a notable decline in compliance with the terms of military agreement No. 1, particularly east of the berm,” Guterres said in his latest report to the Security Council on the Sahara.

He reiterated that the status of the buffer strip as a demilitarized zone remains a cornerstone of the ceasefire in the Sahara.

His statements come amid a series of provocations and threats by the Polisario to occupy the Guerguarat border crossing in the buffer strip between Morocco and Mauritania.

“I am concerned about the recent incursions into this zone. I call on the parties to discontinue military activity or presence inside this area,” he said.

He cited multiple violations by the Polisario and its threats to sap the UN efforts seeking to reach a realistic political solution based on a spirit of compromise.

“It is essential that continuity in this political process not be lost. I remain committed to appointing a new Personal Envoy to build on the progress achieved,” the UN chief said.

Guterres also recalled Morocco’s willingness to continue to work honestly and in good faith to achieve a political, realistic, practical and consensual solution based on the political approach adopted by the UN and relevant Security Council resolutions.

The report also shed lights on significant developments in the Sahara since December 2019, notably the opening of consulates general in Laayoune or Dakhla by Burundi, the Central African Republic, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Gabon, the Gambia, Guinea, Liberia and São Tomé and Príncipe as well as Morocco’s adoption of two laws updating the limits of its territorial waters and of its exclusive economic zone, which included the waters off the Sahara coast.

The Un Chief, who stressed that the situation in the Moroccan Sahara remains calm, also highlighted Morocco’s investments in its southern provinces, citing, in particular, the construction of a new port about 70 kilometers north of Dakhla.

Actually, the reports of the UN Secretary-General have cited, since 2016, the economic development efforts and infrastructure projects carried out by Morocco in its Sahara. Several of these projects were observed in person by the former Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General, Horst Koehler, during his visit to the region in 2018.

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