Experts weigh in on implications of Polisario Front attacks in Samara

Experts weigh in on implications of Polisario Front attacks in Samara

The Polisario Front claimed responsibility for recent attacks in Samara, claiming the life of one individual and causing injuries to three others, two of whom sustained severe injuries, according to a release from the Front’s “Ministry of Defense.”

The same source confirmed on Sunday that the Polisario Front conducted a “concentrated and intense bombardment in Samara.”

The four explosive incidents occurred in various areas, including the ZAP neighborhoods, Hay Essalam, and the industrial district, with two explosions happening in the latter.

Political and Military analystt, Mohamed Chiker raised the importance of considering the timing of the attack and its strong implications. He pointed out that the incident occurred just a few days before the release of the annual report for the Security Council regarding the Moroccan Sahara.

“The purpose is to influence the public and international opinion. Firstly, it aims to demonstrate the political presence of the Front, and at the same time, serve as a response to the upcoming Security Council decision that appears to be in favor of the Kingdom of Morocco,” explained Chiker to MoroccoLatestNews.

He highlighted that “This preemptive response to the Security Council’s decision is seen as disadvantageous to the Polisario Front, especially considering Morocco’s diplomatic achievements, such as the United States’ recognition of the Moroccan Sahara and the opening of consulates in Laâyoune and Dakhla.”

He further stressed that “The fact that the Polisario Front claimed responsibility for this operation is part of an attempt to influence a UN decision and to reject the content of the forthcoming resolution.”

Chiker excluded the idea that the Polisario Front possesses missiles with the range required to target residential neighborhoods in Samara. He questioned the feasibility of the Front’s capabilities to carry out such an attack from the distant buffer zone.

Waiting for the results of the judicial investigations launched by the Moroccan authorities, the expert highlighted, “Once the responsible party for this attack is identified, the Moroccan authorities will respond primarily by either pursuing the perpetrators if he is inside or considering the annexation of the buffer zone, as it has become an area of provocations and exploitation by the opponents.”

“This area was originally designated as a buffer zone between Moroccan territories and the Algerian borders, and the security of this area, from which shelling and missiles may originate, is of utmost importance. The Moroccan authorities are likely to proceed with the annexation of this area, similar to what was done with the Guerguerat,” further explained the Political expert to MoroccoLatestNews.

He emphasized that it is too early and difficult to determine whether this is a terrorist act or a military operation. However, if the responsibility of the Polisario Front is proven, “It would justify for Morocco to carry out a military operation to annex this buffer zone, as it has become a threat to Morocco, particularly in terms of targeting and hitting civilians.”

“The Moroccan authorities will exploit this situation to undertake effective measures to prevent any future movements that may disturb public security within the region, especially if it involves targeting civilians,” stressing that “targeting civilians is a terrorist act, and the response would involve operations to eliminate this threat,” concluded Chiker in the interview with MoroccoLatestNews.

In response to the incident, Moustapha Salma Ould Sidi Mouloud, a former activist and leader in the separatist Polisario Front, took to Facebook to express his concerns regarding the attacks in Samara, stating, “If the responsibility of the Polisario is proven, it will have committed a deadly mistake number 2,” stressing that “The action is bad and the timing is even worse.”

On his part, Mohammed Salem Abdel Fattah, the Head of the Sahrawi Center for Media and Human Rights told MoroccoLatestNews that “The shelling of innocent Sahrawi civilians can be considered another crime added to the criminal record of the Polisario.”

Salem Abdel Fattah emphasized that “The Polisario always sacrifices the interests of the Sahrawi people in order to achieve its self-serving project, primarily serving regional and international agendas,” adding that “It is not surprising for them to target innocent civilians as they have consistently done, after failing to confront the Moroccan armed forces, which have now established their aerial control over the entire buffer zone and respond to any attacks targeting the defensive wall or Moroccan military facilities,” according to MoroccoLatestNews.

“If the involvement of the Polisario in targeting innocent civilians through these attacks is proven or if it is proven that the source of these attacks is from the eastern buffer zone, then this cowardly operation will have a negative impact on the image of the front, reinforcing previous accusations of its association with terrorism. It will also raise the question of the need for Morocco to secure all buffer zones, with the possibility of changing the rules of engagement to serve the state of security and stability in the region,” said Salem Abdel Fattah to MoroccoLatestNews.

He emphasized “the random, treacherous, ineffective, and inaccurate attacks are well-known characteristics of the Polisario. They cannot focus on any military target due to weak armaments and the inability to penetrate the buffer zone.”

“Since the Polisario lacks the capability for military monitoring within the Moroccan southern regions, it adopts a strategy of indiscriminate shelling, which rarely hits a target or causes damage. If any damage is caused, it is unlikely to be a military target, but rather mostly uninhabited areas or civilian targets,” explained the same person to MoroccoLatestNews.

The two seriously injured victims from this Samara incident were given immediate medical attention before being taken to Laâyoune Hospital for further treatment.

After receiving on-site first aid, the third person, who had minor injuries, was able to return home. Furthermore, the report states that the explosions caused material damage to two residences.

Local authorities, security services, and civil protection teams responded quickly to these incidents.

The King’s Public Prosecutor at Laâyoune Court of Appeal opened on Sunday a judicial investigation into a blast that killed one individual and injured three others.

According to the press release of MAP, the investigation team will conduct technical and ballistic analyses to determine the origin and type of projectiles responsible for the casualties.

“King’s Public Prosecutor at the Laâyoune Court of Appeal is committed to taking appropriate legal action based on the findings of the investigation,” stressed the statement.


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