Washington Hails Morocco’s Unilateral Withdrawal from Guergarate Region

The United States hailed on Sunday Morocco’s announcement of a unilateral withdrawal from the Guergarate region in the Moroccan Sahara.

“We welcome the Moroccan decision of a unilateral withdrawal of its personnel from the buffer zone of the region of Guerguarate in support of the request of the UN Secretary General,” said the U.S. embassy in Rabat in a press release.

The embassy also said that it took note of the statement issued on Saturday by the spokesman of the UN Secretary General concerning the situation in the Guerguarate region.

The United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, issued on Saturday evening a communique in which he expressed his “deep concern” about the situation in the region and called on Morocco and the Polisario, to exercise maximum restraint to avoid an escalation of the situation.

In a tacit reference to Polisario armed elements’ obstruction of Moroccan commercial truck crossing the Moroccan border to Mauritania, the UN chief stressed that “regular commercial traffic should not be obstructed and that no action should be taken, which may constitute a change to the status quo of the Buffer Strip.”

He, therefore, strongly urged “the parties to unconditionally withdraw all armed elements from the Buffer Strip as soon as possible, to create an environment conducive to a resumption of the dialogue in the context of the political process led by the United Nations.”

Immediately after the publication on the statement, Morocco decided to withdraw from the Guerguerat region. Meanwhile, the Algeria-backed Polisario has refused to abide by the call of the UN chief and decided to keep its armed forces in the buffer zone.