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Guerguerate : Monitoring ceasefire violations is the exclusive responsibility of MINURSO, Spanish FM says

Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzales. / DR
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Spanish Foreign Minister had to answer, Tuesday, a question from an MP on the Guerguerate crisis and Madrid’s responsibility regarding the Sahara issue.

Arancha Gonzalez recalled the strategic importance of the border crossing to her country, as it «connects Europe and Africa».

Indeed, the catches of fish by Spanish trawlers, in particular from the region of Galicia, in Mauritanian waters go through the Guerguerate border crossing on their way to Spain. She also indicated that her department has been monitoring the situation «since October 20», when the post was blocked by the Polisario.

The Linister stressed on «the central role of the United Nations» in the settlement of the territorial conflict and limiting the mission of MINURSO only to «monitoring the ceasefire».

Moreover, Gonzalez said that it is up to «MINURSO» to assess compliance with the ceasefire. «This function is neither the responsibility of the parties nor of third parties», she said. 

Since the operation of the Royal Armed Forces of November 13 in Guerguerate, the Polisario and its supporters in Spain have continued to accuse Morocco of «violating» the agreements of September 26, 1991.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs also reiterated her country's position in favor of a «political solution mutually accepted by the parties», without mentioning the right to self-determination of the Saharawi people.

Despite these remarks, Gonzalez tried to reassure the Polisario leadership on the humanitarian side. She announced an increase of more than 43% in 2021, in humanitarian aid intended for «Sahrawi refugees» installed on Algerian territory to face the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

In 2020, Spain devoted 10 million euros to assistance programs for the benefit of the population of the Tindouf camps, she said.

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