Morocco’s violation of the ceasefire in the El-Guerguerat region in southwestern Western Sahara by assaulting peaceful Sahrawi civilians continued to spark a wide wave of international outrage and condemnation, calling on the Moroccan occupier to cease hostilities and to comply with international law.
Algeria, which respects international law and the right of peoples to self-determination, “strongly” deplored the “serious violations” of the ceasefire recorded on Friday in the El-Guerguerat region, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement, calling for the “immediate cessation” of these military operations.
“Algeria calls on the two parties, the Kingdom of Morocco and the Polisario Front, to show a sense of responsibility and restraint, and to respect, in its entirety, the Military Agreement N1, signed between them and the UN, “the statement added.
The Algerian political class and associations strongly condemned the aggression, calling on the Moroccan occupier to immediately cease its violation and respect the ceasefire.
The UN, for its part, expressed concern about the consequences of the latest developments in Western Sahara following the Moroccan military aggression, affirming that the Mission for the Organization of a Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) is “resolved” to implement its mandate.
“The Secretary-General expresses grave concern about the possible consequences of the latest developments in Western Sahara,” declared Stéphane Dujarric, spokesperson of the UN SG, affirming that the UN chief “remains determined to do everything possible to avoid the collapse of the ceasefire in place since 6 September 1991.
The UN SG is “determined to do everything possible to remove all obstacles to the resumption of the political process.”
For his part, the President of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Moussa Faki Mahamat expressed his “deep concern following the deterioration of the situation in Western Sahara, especially in the region of El-Guerguerat, and serious threats of breaking the ceasefire in force since 1991 “.
Mr. Faki welcomed “the efforts of the Secretary General of the United Nations and the countries of the region to strongly encourage the parties to refrain from any change in the status quo and to return as soon as possible to the negotiating table. “, reaffirming the readiness of the AU to actively support the efforts of the UN for a just political solution acceptable to the parties to this conflict.
The AU Commission Chairman also called on the UN SG to speed up the process of appointing his personal representative for Western Sahara, a post vacant since the resignation of former German President Horst Kohler.
Mauritania, for its part, said it was following the situation with “great concern,” calling for “restraint” and the preservation of the ceasefire that was violated by the Moroccan army. It calls for “restraint and the path of wisdom and reason.
For France, it is necessary “to do everything to avoid the escalation” in Western Sahara following this Moroccan military aggression in El-Guerguerat against Sahrawi civilian protestors, stressing the urgency of the appointment of a new UN Envoy.
“France calls today to do everything to avoid escalation and to return as quickly as possible to a political solution,” the French Foreign Minister told AFP, stressing that “these events demonstrate the importance of a rapid relaunch of the political process, including the appointment as soon as possible of a new Personal Envoy of the Secretary General of the United Nations “.
In addition, 17 members of the European Parliament called to ensure a self-determination referendum in Western Sahara and to assume its legal responsibilities towards the Saharawi people.
“The EU must assume its responsibilities under international law, to guarantee a just and lasting solution to the conflict by holding the long-promised referendum on self-determination,” the group of MEPs indicated on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the so-called Madrid agreements.
For his part, the president of the Belgian Committee for the Support of the Saharawi People, Pierre Galand, condemned the Moroccan military aggression in El-Gueguerat, stressing that Morocco’s act was “a flagrant violation” of the UN sponsored plan to settle the Western Sahara conflict.
“We are following very closely what has just happened in the buffer zone of El-Guerguerat, because, it is a flagrant violation of the peace plan and of everything that the United Nations Mission for the Organization of a self-determination referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) had tried to do, although this is, for the moment, very limited “, declared Pierre Galand, also president of the European Conference of support and solidarity with the Saharawi people (EUCOCO).