Amar Belani, special envoy for the Maghreb and the Sahara, warns that “the risks of escalation” between Morocco and the Polisario, protected from Algeria “are serious”. He therefore calls on the UN Security Council to treat the Sahara issue with “lucidity and responsibility”.
“With the sudden breaking of the ceasefire by the […] Moroccan forces and the annexation […] of the buffer zone at Guerguerat in flagrant violation of military agreements, we are facing a situation of war and we must recognize that the risks of escalation are serious, ”declared Amar Belani, the day after the opening of a meeting of the UN Security Council devoted to the Sahara issue in an interview with APS.
Based on this observation, he asks the Security Council to “treat the question of Western Sahara with lucidity and responsibility, because it is at stake for peace and stability in the sub-region”. “It would be quite legitimate to question the relevance, even the usefulness, of relaunching a disembodied political process which is not in phase with the new realities on the ground and which would legitimize the colonial fait accompli,” including in a buffer zone supposed to be demilitarized in accordance with the binding agreements signed by the two parties and endorsed by the Security Council, ”said the Algerian diplomat.
According to him, it is now legitimate to wonder about the execution of the MINURSO mandate in this new context, “since there has been no ceasefire to observe since November 13, 2020, given the refusal […] of Morocco to return to the status quo ante despite the exhortations of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and that the holding of the self-determination referendum, which is the raison d’être of the Mission, has been pending for some thirty years ”.
“For all these objective reasons linked to a considerably deteriorated situation, the Security Council is expected to adopt a balanced, transparent and impartial approach which takes charge of the new realities on the ground and the legitimate expectations of the Saharawi people in accordance with the parameters of the plan. settlement, ”added Amar Belani.