Ban Ki-moon ‘‘deeply’’ concerned over tense situation developed in Alguergarat, south-western Western Sahara

New York, 29 August 2016 (SPS) - The United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, has expressed his ‘‘deep’’ concern over the tense situation that has developed in Alguergarat, a narrow buffer strip in south-western Western Sahara.

‘‘United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is deeply concerned over the tense situation that has developed in the narrow buffer strip in south-western Western Sahara between the Moroccan berm and the Mauritanian border as a result of changes in the status quo and the introduction of armed units from Morocco and the Polisario Front in close proximity to each other,’’ said a statement issued this Sunday evening by the spokesperson of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

‘‘Mr. Ban called on both parties to suspend any action that alters that status quo and to withdraw all armed elements so as to prevent any further escalation and permit the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) to hold discussions with both parties on the situation,’’ the statement added.

‘‘The Secretary-General stresses the importance for both parties to adhere to their obligations as per the Military Agreement number 1, and the need to respect the letter and the spirit of the ceasefire agreement,’’ the statement concluded.

In a letter on August 15, to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the Polisario Front informed the United Nations that "as of August 11, the Moroccan forces in Western Sahara crossed repeatedly the Moroccan military wall to the buffer zone of Alguergarat, located in the sector of the first the Sahrawi military region. "

"Moroccan forces mobilized military units, in violation of the area in question, supported by mobile units of transport and military engineering, and aerial reconnaissance," the president of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Brahim Ghali, added in his letter to Ban ki-moon.

This Moroccan dangerous behavior represents a flagrant challenge to international legitimacy by a force of brutal occupation that does not take into account its impact on peace and stability in the region,"said Saturday, a statement sanctioning the work the Office of the National Secretariat of the Polisario Front, met under the chairmanship of President of the Republic, Secretary-General of the Polisario front, Brahim Ghali.

Expressing its deep concern at this "dangerous development", the Office of the National Secretariat of the Polisario Front called on the United Nations and MINURSO to assume their responsibilities, in order to take the appropriate measures to ensure the strict application of the cease fire in force and the immediate withdrawal of the Moroccan presence in this area, under the responsibility of the United Nations pending its decolonization. (SPS)