Conflicts & War

Polisario Front says Western Sahara ceasefire with Morocco is over

Rabuni, (Sahrawi refugee camp in Algeria), Nov 14 (efe-epa).- The secretary-general of the Polisario Front and president of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), Brahim Ghali, on Saturday declared the 1991 ceasefire with Morocco over the disputed Western Sahara territory to be over.

The announcement comes after to a Moroccan military operation to remove a roadblock at the Guerguerat border crossing with Mauritania.

In a statement, Ghali also decreed a state of war throughout the territory, imposed a curfew and said the Sahrawi Armed Forces would assume full control of national security.

Among the measures is a curfew that has been imposed in the so-called liberated zones, the sliver of land controlled by the pro-Sahrawi independence Polisario Front, as well the refugee camps set up 45 years ago in the southern Algerian region of Tindouf, which are home to more than 250,000 people.

Tensions between Rabat and the Polisario Front escalated on 21 October, when a group of Sahrawi activists blocked the Guerguerat border crossing linking Mauritania with Moroccan occupied territories in the former Spanish colony of Western Sahara.

The border crossing, which overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, has become an important trade route in recent years.

Moroccan military units entered the buffer zone to break the blockade on Friday, triggering an exchange of fire between the Moroccan armed forces and Polisario soldiers stationed in the area.

Hours later, Sahrawi units bombed four military bases and two Moroccan checkpoints located along the security wall in the desert.

Known as the berm, it is the longest of its kind in the world, stretching more than 2,500 kilometers in length.

The Polisario Front claimed there were casualties among the Moroccan ranks, although Rabat has yet to confirm this.

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