RABAT Morocco on Sunday announced the withdrawal of its forces from a U.N. buffer zone in the disputed Western Sahara territory, wherever for months they experienced been in a standoff with troops from the Polisario independence movement.
The transfer took position days right after a mobile phone phone among Morocco’s King Mohammed VI and U.N. Secretary Basic Antonio Guterres, and will cut down armed forces tensions in Guerguerat, a remote spot in Western Sahara in close proximity to Mauritania.
The armed forces moves very last yr were a person of the most tense in current many years among Morocco and Polisario, which declared an unbiased republic in the disputed desert land in the seventies and fought a guerrilla war with Morocco until eventually a 1991 ceasefire.
The standoff in Guerguerat began very last yr when U.N. troops stepped in right after Moroccan gendarmerie crossed further than Moroccan-managed regions in what they stated was a highway clearing procedure, prompting the mobilization of Polisario forces.
The Moroccan International Ministry stated in a statement on Sunday, that King Mohammed experienced purchased “a unilateral withdrawal from the zone” in conformation with the U.N. Secretary General’s recommendations.
Polisario forces were not immediately readily available for a response.
The spokesman for the U.N. Secretary Basic experienced introduced a statement on Saturday calling on all get-togethers to “unconditionally withdraw all armed elements from the Buffer Strip as quickly as attainable”.
Polisario accused Rabat of breaking the phrases of the ceasefire very last yr by striving to develop a highway in the U.N. buffer zone. Morocco states it was just a clearing procedure that broke no phrases of the ceasefire.
U.N. peacekeepers experienced been stationed among Moroccan forces and a brigade of Polisario troops who were just two hundred meters aside in an spot among a Moroccan-developed earth wall marking Moroccan managed territory and the Mauritania frontier.
(Reporting by Samia Errazzouki enhancing by Patrick Markey)