Statements of the Moroccan Prime Minister, Saad Dine El Otmani, confirmed that the military operation that was carried out by the Moroccan army in the demilitarized zone of Guerguerat in Western Sahara is nothing but a prelude to future steps that aimed at Makhzen’s retreating from the facts approved by the UN body regarding the conflict in Western Sahara.
The Moroccan Prime Minister said that the military operation at Guerguerat Crossing “will have its aftermath,” and he considered it a strategic shift that would bring down what he called the “illusion of liberated lands,” as he put it, which means that the Guerguerat operation’s aim, as the Makhzen claimed at the time, is not the liberalization of commercial traffic between Morocco and Mauritania.
The Moroccan official’s statement revealed, beyond any doubt, that the Makhzen was preparing for other steps to take outside the United Nations resolutions, which recognized decades ago that the Saharan regions are areas of international conflict and do not fall under Moroccan sovereignty.
Saad Dine El Othmani’s use of the phrase “it will have what comes after” means, among other things, that what the Makhzen army did in the Guerguerat area was only a first step, targeting the lands placed under the protection of UN peacekeepers, and the second step was targeting the lands that were liberated by the Sahrawi army, and that is subordinated to the Sahrawi government.
The validity of the aforementioned reading is indicated by El Othmani’s deployment, who is considered the second figure in the hierarchy of power in the Kingdom of Morocco, for another more dangerous phrase, which is what he called “the illusion of liberated lands,” which also means that Rabat does not recognize the existence of liberated lands that are recognized by the United Nations, located behind the wall that the Makhzen Army built to keep the rest of the other desert lands away from the line of fire.
These exciting statements prompt the question about whether the next step for the Makhzan Army is to target the liberated lands, which are considered “an illusion” in the eyes of the politicians in the Moroccan regime. This approach remains in place as long as the cease-fire decision has become a thing of the past, according to the decree signed by the Sahrawi President, in response to the Makhzen attack on the Guerguerat crossing.
These statements place the United Nations and the entire international community in front of its responsibility to confront the expansionist tendency of the Moroccan regime, which seems to have benefited from the silence of the international community to revive its old, renewed ambitions, which have been limited since more than a decade of destructive war, which prompted Makhzen to recognize the right of the Sahrawi people to self-determination in the early 1990s through a referendum, as recorded in the United Nations’ regulations.
Makhzen regime retreated, by unilateral decision in 2007, from the referendum demand and replaced it with the autonomy project, and today it is beating the drums of war by not recognizing the borders drawn by the ceasefire resolution in the early nineties of the last century, considering the liberated lands as a mere “illusion”, as expressed by the Moroccan Prime Minister.