M. Bourita rencontre M. Guterres. Crédits : MAP

Politique

Moroccan Sahara: “It’s Algeria which…”

le 3 mai 2018


Nasser Bourita, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, has made an ‘emergency’ visit to Washington and New York in the past 48 hours. It has also become known that King Mohammed VI has had a telephone interview with UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres.

The visit by the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs had a dual aim. First, to inform the Trump Administration of the seriousness of the current situation in the ‘buffer zone’ in the Moroccan Sahara to the east of the Royal Armed Forces’ defensive wall, that is, in Guerguerate, Mahbès, Bir Lahlou and Tifariti, as a result of the Polisario’s provocations, in blatant violation of the September 1991 ceasefire agreements and their annexes.

Second, to present to the UN Secretary-General and the current Security Council President, tangible evidence of these violations, which had been underplayed, ignored even by Mr. Dujarric, Mr. Guterres’ spokesperson, at the start of this week.

It is worth noting that Mr. Bourita’s brief stay in North America coincided exactly with the publication of Mr. Guterres’ report on the Moroccan Sahara, which contained a number of positive findings as far as the Kingdom was concerned and several blatant and hostile prejudices as to our sacred cause.

It was as though the United Nations Secretary-General had wanted to produce a ‘balanced’ document, with little regard for either the truth or reality, as is so often the case in the corridors of the Glass Palace.

Yet, with Mr. Guterres enjoying his role as Pontius Pilate, the Kingdom’s response has been as lively as it has been swift. Mr. Bourita’s remarks to the UN-accredited press illustrate this perfectly.

It is worth noting, above all, that, the prior meeting between the Moroccan Minister and the acting US Secretary of State had enabled the Kingdom to obtain the support of the United States since, on that occasion, the Kingdom’s “positive and constructive” initiative (proposing greater autonomy for the southern province) had been reiterated by Washington.

This suggests, among other things, that Rabat had already sewn things up well before the Security Council meeting at the end of this month, which was to decide on whether or not to extend the MINURSO mandate.

The anaphora…

But, coming back to what Mr. Bourita said, it is worth noting that there was something new about his remarks, uttered with a new-found sense of determination not witnessed for such a long time.

Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, by royal decision undoubtedly, deliberately chose to put Algeria in a tight corner, face-to-face with its responsibilities, by stating loud and clear what everyone has known since 1975 (at least), but which language and diplomatic protocol have too often avoided recognising.

The Polisario is nothing but a puppet in the hands of Algiers’ leaders who, for several decades, have consistently opposed the Moroccan people’s just and legitimate cause of national unity. Which is what Mr. Bourita expressed perfectly when he uttered the anaphora: “It is Algeria which…”.

And if, until now, Morocco’s official diplomatic approach has more or less been to avoid direct (verbal) confrontation and accusatory allegations against Algiers, the time has now come to call ‘a cat a cat’ and invite the international community to measure the consequences, every possible consequence, of this new approach.

Because Bourita has taken up Ambassador Omar Hilale’s casus belli option, because Morocco has produced tangible evidence of Algiers’ and the Polisario’s intent to undermine the status quo that has existed in the Western Sahara’s No Man’s Land since September 1991, because the Minister of Foreign Affairs has presented other evidence which relates directly to the separatists’ actions, the possibility of war (or at least a robust military response) to clear the ‘buffer zone » of Algiers-backed mercenaries is highly conceivable.

Morocco will not tolerate any fait accompli from Algeria and its minions, whatever the consequences.

Such was the gist of the royal message conveyed to Mr. Guterres by Mr. Bourita, acting as go-between.

And if the powers that be at the United Nations had not until now fully appreciated the dangerousness of the situation and if the UN Secretary-General still intends to twist and turn to keep everyone happy, then Rabat reserves the right to act and react in accordance with the terms of the September 1991 agreements which Mr. Guterres may consult if he wants to.

In this affair, it is no longer a case of ‘being afraid’ to mention the influence of pro-Algerian lobbies, Western or African public opinion or the reaction of the international community.

Any advance made by the Polisario with a view to perpetuating its presence in the buffer zone will inevitably lead to others and will be perceived as a sign of weakness on the part of the Kingdom.

So, since it seems that there are a number of Spanish speakers among the Tindouf separatists, the famous slogan ‘NO PASARAN!’ should give them some food for thought.

Fahd YATA

Original article : https://lnt.ma/sahara-marocain-cest-lalgerie/