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(New York, 2 March 2021) The Frente POLISARIO has taken note of the recent statements made by the Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General during his daily press briefings regarding the current situation in Western Sahara resulting from Morocco’s serious breach of the 1991 ceasefire and related military agreements.

Despite the claim that the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) “continues to monitor the situation throughout the Territory, including in Guerguerat”, the ambiguous and inconsistent way in which the general situation in the Territory is described shows once again the Mission’s attempt to give the impression that “overall calm” is still prevailing in Western Sahara.

The Frente POLISARIO deplores this reductive way of describing the current situation in Western Sahara, which does not only echo some aspects of the official narrative of the Moroccan occupying state in this regard, but it is also irresponsible and unhelpful. It further undermines the already eroded credibility of the Mission and misinforms the Secretariat, the Security Council and the international community about the reality of the current situation in Western Sahara.

There is no denying the fact that currently Western Sahara is in a state of open war as a result of the serious breach of the ceasefire by the Moroccan occupying state and its subsequent act of aggression on the Sahrawi Liberated Territory on 13 November 2020, which triggered a new war that could lead to the most serious consequences for peace, security, and stability in the region as a whole.

The 1991 ceasefire and related military agreements have ended, and they are no longer effective as military confrontations continue and intensify along the Moroccan illegal military wall in Western Sahara. This is the undeniable reality that MINURSO and the UN Secretariat should not mince their words when describing and reporting it.

As expected, the Moroccan occupying state remains in a state of denial and is desperately attempting to underplay the impact of the heavy losses suffered by its forces over the past months. It has even issued strict orders preventing any public manifestations of mourning of the Moroccan soldiers that have fallen victims in the new war, among other things.

As outlined in UN Secretary-General’s reports, MINURSO is expected to keep the UN Secretariat and the Security Council informed of developments in and related to Western Sahara and support regional stability. It is therefore imperative that the Mission maintain its neutrality, impartiality, and independence when reporting on the events in and related to Western Sahara.

The Sahrawi people have recently celebrated the 45th anniversary of the proclamation of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), a full and founding member of the African Union. Over four decades of state-building and liberation struggle on all fronts bears an eloquent testimony to the resilience, perseverance, and unwavering determination of the Sahrawi people, under the leadership of the Frente POLISARIO, to realise their legitimate national aspirations despite all adversities and challenges.

The Sahrawi people have committed to the peaceful solution for nearly three decades at a time when the United Nations remained completely silent in the face of the Moroccan occupying state’s attempts to impose a fait accompli by force in occupied Western Sahara together with its obstruction of the self-determination referendum and its recent torpedoing of the ceasefire on 13 November 2020.

Faced with this situation, the Sahrawi people have no other option but to continue their resistance and national liberation struggle using all legitimate means including the armed struggle as a means to defend their sacred and non-negotiable right to self-determination and independence.

The United Nations in general and MINURSO in particular should understand that “business as usual” attitude regarding Western Sahara is a recipe for disaster in view of the current situation in the Territory resulting from Morocco’s serious breach of the 1991 ceasefire and related military agreements. It is also imperative that they realise the gravity of the situation and act accordingly because it is not only the UN credibility which is at stake but also peace, stability, and security in the whole region.

Dr Sidi M. Omar
Representative of the Frente POLISARIO at the United Nations