Brahim Ghali, head of the Polisario Front in the Western Sahara territory, said renewed fighting with Morocco in the decades-long dispute with the Sahrawi people is likely to affect the entire region should it continue.
“There is already war on the ground and to avoid its dire consequences for the region, the UN must resolve this crisis instead of trying to manage it,” Ghali said. His remarks came during National Unity day in Western Sahara.
They also come as a group supporting independence for Western Sahara traveled to New York to participate in UN discussions on decolonization. The UN committee on the issue currently is meeting through November 11.
A report on MINURSO, the UN mission in the region, was released earlier this month ahead of annual review of the MINURSO mandate set for the end of October. The report warns that the “situation in Western Sahara has significantly deteriorated” in the past year, noting provocations at the Guerguerat buffer zone between the parties have escalated.
It also notes the increasing political and military tensions between Morocco and Algeria, which have long been strained over the Western Sahara question. Algeria cut diplomatic ties with Morocco over the issue in August, and called for “a just and final solution to the Western Sahara conflict through holding a free and fair referendum that allows the Sahrawi people to decide their future in full credibility and without any restraints.”
Image: UN file photo