Bernard Miyet, former UN Under Secretary General in charge of peacekeeping operations under which Minurso falls, warned, in an interview with MAP, against attempts by the “Polisario” to violate the cease-fire by moving its militiamen to the buffer zone of El Guerguarat, which links Morocco and Mauritania.
“Anything that contributes to questioning the ceasefire, directly or indirectly, is unwelcome and contrary to the made commitments,” said Miyet in reaction to the polisario’s attempts to hamper civil and commercial movement at the level of this vital road axis connecting Europe and West Africa via Morocco and Mauritania.
Miyet, who held the position of UN Under-Secretary-General in charge of peacekeeping operations between 1997 and 2000, stressed that the actions of the “Polisario” would logically and inevitably lead to condemnation by the Security Council as was already the case in 2018 with regard to this same area of El Guerguarat.
The former UN official regretted the lack of political progress, underlining that such a situation represents “a tragedy for refugees without prospects” in the region of Tindouf (southwestern Algeria).
It is also “a major obstacle to the establishment of mutually enriching and beneficial relations between the countries of the Maghreb”, according to Miyet.
The former UN official noted that the Organization has never stopped calling, in its various resolutions, for a political settlement, which may pave the way for the search for an alternative formula, such as a significant autonomy in order to overcome the blockages.
Recalling the calls, contained in the UN resolutions to all parties to this regional conflict to show realism and a spirit of compromise in order to move forward, Miyet noted that the latest Security Council resolution 2548 of October 30, 2020 follows the same logic with a call for a realistic, pragmatic and lasting political solution.
This resolution seems to mark the wish of the majority of the members of the UN decision-making body to get out of the traditional patterns which might constitute an impasse while wanting to maintain peace in the region, said Miyet, wondering whether the “polisario” seeks, by moving its militiamen in the buffer zone of El Guerguarat, to express its disappointment and its anger in the face of this evolution of the issue of the territorial integrity of Morocco within the UN bodies.
The former UN official also warned against the consequences of an armed conflict on the entire Sahel-Saharan region, already under the threat of terrorism and cross-border organized crime.
“It is obvious that no one has an interest in igniting the Sahel-Saharan region which is already sufficiently dangerous and even explosive”, he said, warning that the destabilization of this region will not be without consequences including in the European neighborhood.
It is therefore important that the countries of the region work resolutely to reduce tensions and oppose any attempt at destabilization, he added, noting that the Security Council will be very attentive to any possible deterioration of the situation.