Western Sahara

CrisisWatch Western Sahara

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Reports of Moroccan artillery movement fuelled speculation of possible military operation in Western Sahara; Rabat secured chairmanship of UN Human Rights Council.

Media reports emerged of possible Moroccan military operation in buffer zone. Spanish newspaper La Razón 16 Jan reported movement of heavy artillery in Bir Gandouz area in Morocco-controlled Western Sahara. Local sources indicated Morocco might be preparing limited operation against Polisario Front independence movement inside UN-monitored buffer zone, while Moroccan press speculated Rabat may want to take over buffer zone, which could spark escalation with Algeria. Meanwhile, drone allegedly fired by Moroccan military 31 Dec killed three Mauritanian civilians in Guerguera area, Morocco-controlled Western Sahara. In retaliation, Mauritania early Jan reportedly increased customs duties applied to Moroccan goods entering Mauritania through Guerguera border crossing.

Rabat scored symbolic win at UN Human Rights Council. Morocco 10 Jan secured chairmanship of UN Human Rights Council despite strong opposition from Algeria and South Africa, who argued situation in Western Sahara and Rabat’s human rights record make country unfit to preside over intergovernmental body.

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In The News

6 Sep 2022
We're seeing a diplomatic war [over Western Sahara], where both sides [Algeria and Morocco] are resorting to anything short of open conflict. AFP

Riccardo Fabiani

Project Director, North Africa

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Riccardo Fabiani

Project Director, North Africa
Riccardo Fabiani

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