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Morocco : What happened two months after the Guerguerate crisis ?

Two months ago, Morocco’s Royal Armed Forces launched an operation in Guerguerate to free the border crossing. No international body, including the Security Council or the African Union, has condemned it. The situation on the ground is calm and the process of opening consulates is continuing.

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On November 13, 2020, and without firing a single shot, Morocco’s Royal Armed Forces cleared the Guerguerate border crossing and restored the flow of goods and people between Morocco and Mauritania. Polisario members were forced to leave the border crossing which they had blocked since October 21, 2020.

The operation was an opportunity for Morocco to further secure its southern borders, initially extending along the security wall to Mauritania. These efforts are still underway in southeastern Morocco, not far from the El Mahbas area. These works will eventually prevent the Polisario supporters from accessing the Guerguerate zone, a well-informed source in Dakhla told Yabiladi.

While Morocco is conducting security efforts in the Sahara, Mauritania is planning to do the same. During a January 6 meeting, attended by Mauritanian ministers and chaired by President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, Mauritania decided to create a «sensitive defense zone» in the north of the country. 

«The project fixes the coordinates of the landmarks marking out the limits of this area, located in the uninhabited and sparsely inhabited North, which may constitute a place of transit for terrorists, drug traffickers, and organized crime groups», a press release read.

FAR drones fly over areas east of the security wall

Securing the borders also involves aerial surveillance to track the movements of Front militias throughout the security wall. The same activity is carried out by the Polisario, which openly tracks FAR drones «flying over the Tifariti area by day and by night».

In the Tindouf camps, Brahim Ghali and his supporters  chose to remain silent, with daily press releases on strikes, human and material damages and captured prisoners.

However, the situation on the military ground is calm, as several sources have confirmed to Yabiladi in recent weeks. The clashes have only had a fleeting existence on social media and on Algerian media.

Meanwhile, Morocco’s diplomatic efforts have continued. During these two months, the inauguration of consulates in the Sahara continued. In November, Jordan announced that it is joining the countries that opened consulates in the Sahara. 

In December, Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita chaired, with his counterparts from Bahrain and Haiti, the opening ceremonies of consular offices, respectively in Laayoune and Dakhla. 

And on January 10, David Schenker launched the process of opening an economic consulate in Dakhla. For its part, the American Development Bank has decided to devote three billion dollars to the financing of projects in the province.

Morocco is also counting on the financial commitment of its other partners in the Sahara, the European Union, the monarchies of the Gulf Cooperation Council, China and Russia as well as some large countries in South America.  

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