Continued Polisario offensives have prompted the Kingdom to adopt a tougher stance on what it considers "terrorism"

Morocco focuses on strengthening its stance against Polisario attacks

PHOTO/ONU - El jefe de Gobierno del Reino de Marruecos, Aziz Akhannouch, en la Asamblea General de la ONU
photo_camera PHOTO/UN - The head of the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco, Aziz Akhannouch, at the UN General Assembly

Morocco will not stand idly by in the face of the Polisario Front's increasingly frequent attacks against civilian targets. In addition to the offensives carried out on the town of Smara, the Polisario attempted to hit new targets last weekend, although on that occasion, Moroccan drones managed to thwart the incursion of three Polisario vehicles that had crossed the Mauritanian border clandestinely. Now, the Moroccan government has decided to strengthen its position on what it describes as a "criminal and terrorist organisation".
 
Following the latest meeting of the coalition parties led by President Aziz Akhannouch, a communiqué was issued in which they called for a response to attacks by the Polisario Front. Attacks which, they say, "targeted a residential neighbourhood in the town of Smara with explosive projects, which caused the death of a Moroccan citizen". The executive denounces these attempts to undermine the tranquillity and security of Morocco and has launched a judicial investigation into them.

PHOTO/FILE - Aziz Akhannouch
PHOTO/FILE - Aziz Akhannouch

The Alawi kingdom prefers to maintain its composure and demonstrate solidity from a state perspective. Responding with violence is understood to be part of the Polisario's terrorist agenda, not that of the regional leadership. Hence, Rabat seeks to gather evidence through its investigation and present the results to the Security Council and the UN Assembly.

Despite being a 'red line', as described by Morocco's Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Living Abroad, Nasser Bourita, Morocco wants to proceed with caution at a delicate moment. With so much instability in the international community, the Kingdom wants to maintain a peaceful stance and continue to win partners for its autonomy plan under Moroccan sovereignty. To achieve this, fanning the flames of conflict with the Polisario Front does not seem to be the best way to do so.

Twitter @ElMachij - Protestas en El Aiún contra los ataques del Frente Polisario
Twitter @ElMachij - Protests in El Ayoun against Polisario Front attacks

Morocco intends to follow the path of transparency in the face of its conviction to bring this historic situation to a successful conclusion. And society is responding in unison on the streets. First there were the protests in Laayoune and more recently at the Guerguerat crossing. Ali Beida, head of the regional section of the International Centre for the Defence of Autonomy in the Laayoune-Saguia El Hamra region, affirms that these mobilisations represent the "collective condemnation of terrorist acts".
 
However, it seems that neither the Polisario nor its Algerian partners are willing to relent in their efforts to stir up the hornet's nest they have been turning Western Sahara into for years. Even despite the UN's praise for Morocco in its resolution 2703, in which it also draws the Polisario Front's attention to restrictions on MINURSO's freedom of movement. The same applies to Algeria for not allowing the registration of the population in the Tindouf camps.
 
Thus, Morocco wants to choose to defend a proposal with more and more supporters, even at a time when the Polisario has intensified violence. Rabat wants to show strength in the face of the threat it poses to the territorial integrity of its country and the security of its citizens, but always in the knowledge that the political solution on the table is the only way to achieve peace.

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