United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has slammed in his latest annual report to the Security Council on the Sahara, the repeated violations and constraints by the “polisario” to freedom of movement and the operational and logistical activities of MINURSO.
Mr. Guterres denounced the “polisario” restrictions which prevent the UN mission from maintaining logistical supply and maintenance chain to team sites, warning that these constraints pose increasingly serious challenges for the Mission’s ability to sustain its field presence.
The report was particularly concerned about an incident that occurred in March 2023, during which around twenty armed elements of the “Polisario” militias blocked the track and stopped the logistical resupply convoy of MINURSO.
This incident demonstrates the criminal and terrorist practices of this separatist armed group, in violation of international law and Security Council resolutions.
The UN chief also deplored that the “polisario” continues to restrict the movements of MINURSO ground patrols, preventing it from safely accessing some of its deployment areas, in order to carry out the necessary operations to verify specific reported incidents and thereby implementing its ceasefire monitoring mandate.
Mr. Guterres called on the “polisario” to lift all restrictions on the free movement of MINURSO, recalling the role of the latter as the main source of information and impartial advice for the Secretary-General, the Security Council, States members and the Secretariat regarding developments on the ground.
He also insisted on the importance of its stabilizing presence to create an environment conducive to the advancement of the political process led by the Personal Envoy, Staffan de Mistura.
The UN Secretary General also urged the “polisario” to resume regular, in-person contacts with MINURSO leadership, both civilian and military, while denouncing communication blockade between MINURSO and the “polisario” and the latter’s persistent refusal to meet the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and the MINURSO Force Commander in Rabouni, in the Tindouf camps in Algeria, in line with the practice adopted since the establishment of MINURSO.
This new call from the Secretary General to the “Polisario” to meet MINURSO officials in the Tindouf camps, as is the practice, denies the fallacious and unfounded allegations of Algeria and the “Polisario” regarding the existence of so-called “liberated territories” to the east of the defense system in the Moroccan Sahara.