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Rabat Asks UN to Put End to Polisario ‘Provocations’

Rabat Asks UN to Put End to Polisario ‘Provocations’

Saturday, 12 January, 2019 - 10:30
UN Security Council. Reuters file photo
New York - Ali Barada
Morocco has asked the United Nations and the Security Council to put an end to the “violations and provocations” of the Polisario Front in the Guerguerat buffer zone.

In a letter seen by Asharq Al-Awsat on Friday, Morocco's UN Ambassador Omar Hilale cited three incidents from January 6 to 8 in which the Polisario staged drills, drove military vehicles in the buffer zone and opened up a new facility.

Morocco "strongly condemns these destabilizing actions" that violate a military agreement and "dangerously threaten the ceasefire," wrote Hilale.

He described the movements as "provocations" that could jeopardize UN-brokered talks on ending the Western Sahara conflict, and urged the Security Council and Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to condemn the Polisario.

Asked by Asharq Al-Awsat about the Moroccan letter, Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General Stephane Dujarric said: “I can confirm that we've received the letter from Morocco alleging violations of the ceasefire and related agreements in Western Sahara.”

“There is an established procedure for assessing such allegations by either party undertaken by the UN Mission on the ground, based on the impartial monitoring and observation functions of our colleagues in Western Sahara,” Dujarric told a daily press briefing in New York.

“MINURSO was present at both of these alleged incidents and did not observe anything amounting to a violation under the terms of the applicable agreements.”

However, he stressed that “incidents or issues which are identified as being violations of the applicable agreements are shared with the parties for their immediate action, a process which has been effective in preventing conflict and maintaining the ceasefire since its inception.”

“Such violations are also reported to the Security Council as part of the mission's normal reporting procedures,” he added.

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