Western Sahara Tension
By Johan Persson – For the first time since the signing of the ceasefire in 1991, Polisario and Moroccan troops stand less than 200 meters apart. The Polisario soldiers have their orders: “If they take another centimeter, we shoot”.
The current escalation began on the 14th of August, when Morocco started constructing a road in the Guerguerat area, in the buffer zone between occupied Western Sahara and Mauretania. Morocco says the road will facilitate the struggle against illegal trafficking in the area. Polisario considers it a violation of the cease-fire agreement and has mobilized its soldiers.
A note leaked from the UN states that Morocco violated the cease-fire first, followed by the Polisario. The UN calls this the worst escalation of the conflict since 1991. Any minor provocation might have fatal consequences.
Ever since the war between Polisario and Morocco 1975-91, a large group of Sahrawis has been living in camps in the Algerian desert. The refugees have spent the past 25 years waiting for a solution, cursing the cease-fire.
This time it might be over.