Morocco has announced on Friday that it has launched a military operation in the Guerguerat buffer zone, on the border of the Western Sahara and Mauritania, in order to secure the flow of goods and people through the road.
In a statement, Morocco also condemned the “provocations” of the independence movement known as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Río de Oro, also known as the Polisario Front.
According to the Statement, the operation came after road was being blockaded for weeks by supporters of the pro-independence Polisario Front.
The Kingdom of Morocco has regularly informed the Secretary-General of the United Nations and senior officials of these very serious developments.
There was no immediate comment from the Polisario or the UN.
Morocco annexed Western Sahara in 1975, immediately after the Spanish colonists left.
The Polisario Front, supported by Algeria and many other African states, has fought for Sahrawi independence until the UN brokered a cease-fire in 1991.
The United Nations officially recognises the Western Sahara as a non-decolonised territory, and has repeatedly called for the organisation of a free and fair referendum on independence. This has so far not yet taken place, resulting in continuous violence and de facto Moroccan colonisation of much of the country.
The Western Sahara is recognised as an independent state by the African Union, which has created significant strain between Morocco and other African states.