A Fourth Estate® Service

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Morocco-Polisario Ceasefire Ends, Troops Sent to Western Sahara

The Moroccan Royal Armed Forces (FAR) has launched a military operation against the Polisario Front independence movement in response to the alleged blockades in the buffer zone of Guerguerat near Mauritania in the West Sahara.

Moroccan Royal Armed Forces (FAR) have launched a military operation against the  Polisario Front independence movement in response to the alleged blockades in the buffer zone of Guerguerat near Mauritania in the West Sahara.

The latest incident ended the 30 years long ceasefire between the two factions and “the beginning of a new war across the region.”

Polisario responded that Morocco had violated the terms of a September 1991 ceasefire agreement by launching the said operation.

“War has started, the Moroccan side has liquidated the ceasefire. Sahrawi troops are engaged in legitimate self-defense and are responding to the Moroccan troops,” said senior Polisario official Mohamed Salem Ould Salek.

Last week, around 200 Moroccan truck drivers asked Moroccan and Mauritanian authorities for help after they were stranded on the Mauritania side of the border near Guerguerat after Polisarian forces allegedly stopped them.

Morocco announced that the goal of their operation is to “put an end to the blockade situation” and “restore free civil and commercial movement” on the road leading to Mauritania.

“The Royal Armed Forces are setting up a security cordon in order to secure the flow of goods and people through this axis,”  said the FAR.

The Moroccan army said it fired anti-tank weaponry against the Polisarian forces and set up checkpoints through supply routes.

The region of Guerguerat has already been at the center of strong tensions between the Polisario and Morocco since 1975.

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