The latest development on the Sahara file between the kingdom of Morocco as defender of its territorial integrity and the Polisario separatist as war caller in the region turned its page to six months of MINURSO mandate. The Security Council voted on the end of last April for the renewal of MINURSO for only six months, encoring the parties to find last and mutually accepted solutions for the conflicts. Meanwhile, Morocco has cut ties with Iran because of relations between its allies Hezbollah and Polisario; while the latter is doing provocative actions in the buffer zone.
The six month renewal is voted for the first time and it will press the parties to get into dialogue and avoid misunderstanding by agreeing on a solution that will serve the people of Tindouf as well as the people living in Morocco Sahara. Polisario is asking for self-determination, but can this be done since there are people who have a long history living on their land in Sahara to be taken by others who had left from internal cities of Morocco to camps for less than 45 years and asking for the whole lands; as United States reaffirmed at the UN Security Council, the Moroccan autonomy plan remains "serious, credible and realistic" and represents a "potential approach" for the final settlement of the Sahara issue.
Another factor is the huge development taking place on the region; Morocco is executing its development policy in the region to fulfill the desires of the population, and the advanced regional projects that let the local electors manage the region. On the other hand, it will be hard to convince them as inhabitants to accept someone else to lead the region, in case of self-determination which may lead to civil war.
UN Chief & Morocco Condemns Polisario military exercises in Tifariti
The Polisario front has recently carried out provocative actions in the locality of Tifariti, East of Morocco's defense system in the Moroccan Sahara. The Polisario had held military exercises in the region on the 45th occasion of its creation. The Kingdom of Morocco condemns these fire actions and considers that this is a new and serious violation of the ceasefire and a flagrant challenge to the authority of the UN Security Council," the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation said in a communiqué. Cornered by the latest UN Security Council resolution on the Moroccan Sahara, and visibly embarrassed by the confirmation of links with the terrorist group of Hezbollah, Algeria.
The Kingdom, which has officially informed the President of the Security Council and its members, the Secretary General of the United Nations and the Minurso, is asking them to shoulder their responsibilities and to take the necessary measures in response to these unacceptable actions. The Kingdom of Morocco reiterates its firm determination to defend its territorial integrity and its national unity throughout the Moroccan Sahara, and asks the United Nations, and more particularly the Minurso, to fulfill its mandate in addressing the repeated violations of the ceasefire. United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, said that no action should be taken which "may constitute a change to the status quo" regarding the Sahara issue, "The Secretary-General is closely following the developments in the Sahara," according to a statement issued by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the UN Chief. "In accordance with Security Council Resolution 2414 (2018) adopted on 27 April 2018, and in order to maintain a conducive environment to the resumption of dialogue under the auspices of his Personal Envoy Horst Köhler, the Secretary-General calls for maximum restraint,".
Hezbollah Support Polisario & Morocco Cut Ties with Its Ally Iran
After its intervention in Syria and Yemen, the Iran military group in Lebanon Hezbollah is increasing its activity around the Islamic world, the foreign ministry of Morocco confirmed involvement of Iran through Hezbollah, in an alliance with the Polisario against Morocco national security and its higher interests, through the follows and screening of military activities between the two militias. Therefore, the Kingdom of Morocco has decided to break off its relations with Iran.
Morocco foreign ministry clarify that this decision is taken for "purely bilateral considerations and has no link with regional or international developments”. This can be proven by Morocco relations resumption with Iran in 2014, while this country was in crisis with countries friendly to Morocco.
According to Morocco the collaboration between the Polisario separatist movement and Hezbollah gained in scope and visibility from March 2017, a relationship between the two movements was built well before, already in 2016, when a "committee of support for the Sahrawi people" was set up for the first time in Lebanon, thanks to a benevolent protection of Hezbollah. In 2016, Hezbollah senior leaders visited the Tindouf camps to meet with Polisario military officials, the most important element that changed the nature of relationship between Polisario and Hezbollah was the arrest at Casablanca's Mohammed V international airport on 12 March 2017 of Kacem Mohamed Tajeddine, one of Hezbollah's major financiers operating in Africa. The latter was arrested on the basis of an international arrest warrant issued by the United States of America for money laundering and membership of a terrorist organization.
From that moment on, Hezbollah threatened revenge and began to strengthen its relationship with the Polisario against Morocco, adding that bombers and military cadres were sent to Tindouf to train elements of the Polisario on urban guerrilla warfare and to train commandos in order to carry out actions against Morocco. More recently, during last April, a first delivery of weapons was provided to Polisario armed militias by Hezbollah leaders, notably Sam 9, Sam 11 and strellas, according to Morocco foreign ministry.
UN Security Council Extended MINURSO mission for six months
The UN Security Council resolution 2414, adopted by 12 votes in favor, 0 against and 3 abstentions, praises the measures and initiatives taken by Morocco, and the role played by the National Human Rights Council Commissions operating in Dakhla and Laayoune, as well as Morocco's interaction with the Special Procedures of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
The Security Council resolution expresses its "deep concern" about the "ongoing suffering" of the populations of the Tindouf camps, in Algeria, and their dependence on external humanitarian aid. The resolution reiterated the Security Council's request for the registration and census of the Tindouf camps populations, insisting that "efforts should be made in this direction".
The UN executive body also stressed the importance of a commitment by the parties to continue the process of negotiations on the Moroccan Sahara under the aegis of the United Nations. The text calls on neighboring States to make important contributions to the political process and to increase their participation in the negotiation process.
These negotiations, the resolution points out, must take place "under the auspices of the Secretary-General, without preconditions and in good faith, taking into account efforts made since 2006 and developments since then, with a view to reaching a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution".
The UN resolution renew the MINURSO mandate for only six months until 31 October 2018 in order to maintain the mobilization of the Council in support of the political process.