Polisario makes terror threat against Africa auto rally
Western Sahara separatist movement the Polisario Front has warned organisers of the Africa Eco Race not to pass through the territory disputed with Morocco, describing it as a “war zone.”
The organisers had announced the October 15-30 auto rally would cross through Moroccan-controlled areas of the North African territory.
A swathe of mineral-rich desert on Africa’s Atlantic coast, the former Spanish colony is disputed between Morocco and the Algeria-backed Polisario, which claims it as the Sahrawi Arab Republic.
In a statement published Sunday by the Sahrawi news agency SPS, the Polisario Front called on the organisers to “refrain” from “violating international legality.”
The group waged an armed struggle before agreeing to a ceasefire in 1991 on the promise of a UN-supervised referendum on self-determination, which was never held.
“The Sahrawi Arab Republic reserves the right to resort to all legal means and to respond firmly to any act aimed at undermining its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the Polisario Front said.
The conflict flared again in November 2020 when the Polisario Front declared the 1991 ceasefire deal null and void after a Moroccan army operation to clear a blockaded highway, the same as the one on the Africa Eco Race’s planned route.
The group said Sunday that it “holds the Moroccan occupation state entirely responsible for the consequences that could arise from its continued provocations.”
It warned against steps that could “jeopardise not only the UN peace process … but also peace and security in the whole region.”
The statement came a week after the UN’s Western Sahara envoy Staffan de Mistura met Polisario chief Brahim Ghali in the group’s headquarters in Tindouf, Algeria as part of a regional tour.
Source: The Arab Weekly