The Polisario Front denounced this Wednesday the death of 12 Sahrawi civilians in two drone attacks, which it attributes to Morocco, which occurred in the so-called “liberated zones” of the former Spanish colony of Western Sahara. He has also denied the fall in a Moroccan attack of a “senior Saharawi military official” reported by some media.
Inside the war for Western Sahara: a discreet contest in the middle of the desert
A Polisario source, who has asked not to be named, says the deadliest attack, in which eleven 11 civilians were reportedly killed, took place on the 15th in the Mijek area, in the Western Sahara strip that remains controlled by the Saharawi side.
The alleged bombings are similar to the attack a week ago in which three Algerian civilians were killed, driving a convoy of three trucks along the route through the desert linking the Algerian border and the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott.
The Algerian government, which broke diplomatic relations with Rabat in August, has denounced the attack to the UN, which is under investigation by the United Nations mission for the referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO).
The situation is of high tension in the area since a year ago Moroccan troops entered the demilitarized zone of Guerguerat, which separated Mauritania from the territories occupied by Morocco in 1975, to dismantle a sit-in by Sahrawi civilians protesting against the commercial use that Rabat and Nouakchott make this area in dispute.
The following day, the Polisario Front considered that the Moroccan war action represented a breach of the ceasefire agreement signed under the auspices of the UN in 1991 and launched military harassment operations against the wall erected by Morocco in Western Sahara.
The Polisario also insists that the only solution is to hold the consultation for self-determination agreed upon by both parties 30 years ago and admits that the agreement signed then must be updated.
Morocco, for its part, refuses to speak of the possibility of the independence of Western Sahara and assures that it is only willing to negotiate “broad autonomy”, as long as Moroccan sovereignty over the territory is first recognized.