Crisis of Guerguerat: world reactions call for de-escalation

Since Friday, international reactions poured in calling for” calm” in the zone of Guerguerat near the Mauritanian-Moroccan border. Such reactions came in the light of frictions between the Moroccan Army and fighters from the Polisario front, after which Polisario withdraw from the border crossing that was closed for more than three weeks.

The United Nations, through its Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said that it had been involved in the last days in initiatives” to avoid the escalation in the buffer zone of Guerguerat and to warn against the violations of the ceasefire agreement and the dire consequences of any change to the status quo.”

Guterres added that he “remains committed to exert all possible efforts to avoid the collapse of the standing ceasefire agreement of September 06, 1991, and determined to do everything possible to remove all obstacles to the resumption of the political process”.

Calls for calm

France called for” making all efforts to avoid escalation” in Sahara. It requested the return to the search for” a political solution as soon as possible,” suggesting that the appointment of a new personal envoy of the UN secretary-general is necessary.

For its part, Russia said it follows Sahara’s situation and called for” exercising the utmost restraint and to avoid any steps that could exacerbate the problem.”

Moscow stressed the necessity for” a rapid resumption of negotiations,” as well as the appointment of a new envoy of UN Secretary-General in charge of Sahara’s file.

Switzerland, which hosted the negotiations secessions in the Sahara file, renewed its support for pursuing” a consensual political solution.” It also expressed its support for the UN efforts and the vital role it plays regarding Sahara.

Arab Reactions

Several Arab countries reacted to the developments in Guerguerat, foremost of which the United Arab Emirates, which confirmed its support and solidarity with the Moroccan side and condemned” the provocations, the desperate and unacceptable practices that took place since October 21″.

The Emirati Foreign Ministry said that the practices of Polisario” constitute a flagrant violation of the concluded agreements and a real threat to the security and stability in the region.” In this regard, the ministry affirmed its support for Morocco” in all measures it deems necessary to defend the peace and the security of its lands and citizens.”

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia released a statement in which it supported the measures taken by Morocco” to establish the freedom of civil and commercial movements in the buffer zone of Guerguerat in the Moroccan Sahara.”

Saudi Arabia condemned all practices that” threaten traffic in this important crossing that connects Mauritania and Morocco.”

 Qatar announced its support for the Moroccan move. It said in a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that ‘is deeply concerned by the obstruction of civil and commercial movement across border crossing between Morocco and Mauritania.

Qatar stressed the necessity of” the respect of countries’ sovereignty,” praising in the same regard the UN Secretary-general’s efforts that aim at finding a political solution to the existing conflict. 

The Kingdom of Bahrain declared its supports for Morocco in” the defense of its sovereignty and the security of its land and people in the Moroccan Guerguerat crossing zone.”

The Bahraini Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it” strongly condemns the hostile actions and dangerous provocations carried out by the militia of Polisario” it considered” these hostile practices constitute a serious threat to the civil and commercial traffic and represent a violation of the military agreements and an attempt to destabilize the region.”

Neighboring Countries

In the Arab Maghreb region, Mauritania and Algeria commented on the developments in Guerguerat while Tunisia and Libya remained silent.

Mauritania, whose northern border is where tensions occur, has started for days diplomatic efforts to avoid the situation’s worsening. It called on all parties to” exercise restraint and make the logic of wisdom prevails.”

Mauritania also called all actors to work to” maintain the ceasefire agreement and reach an urgent consensual solution to the crisis, in accordance with the UN mechanisms,” according to a statement of the Mauritanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Algeria, which is considered a traditional ally with the Polisario Front, called on the parties to” exercise restraint and assume their responsibilities,” demanding the appointment of a new UN envoy to Sahara soon as possible.




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