Western Sahara separatists launch attacks on Moroccan army

Western Sahara separatists launch attacks on Moroccan army
1 min read
16 January, 2022
The Western Sahara's military separatist movement said it launched attacks against Moroccan forces on Saturday and Friday
The Polisario Front wants Western Sahara independence, something Morocco has refused [AFP/Getty- archive]

Western Sahara separatists announced on Sunday fresh attacks against Moroccan forces a day earlier in the disputed territory.

The Sahrawi People's Liberation Army, affiliated to the pro-independence Polisario Front, said it launched attacks against Moroccan soldiers near Awsard, in the south of the desert territory.

On Friday, the separatist movement said its detachments targeted Moroccan army forces in several other towns in Al Mahbes sector.

Analysis
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The violence has continued since November 2020, when Rabat said it launched an operation in no man's land on the southern border of the Western Sahara to end "provocations" by the pro-independence Polisario Front.

It was the worst escalation in many years, breaking off a UN-backed ceasefire which lasted for three decades.

Morocco controls some 80 percent of the territory, including its phosphate deposits and its lucrative ocean fisheries. It claims sovereignty over it and has repeatedly refused to negotiate its independence.

The Polisario Front forces are largely confined to the sparsely populated desert interior and refugee camps in neighbouring Algeria, the group's main foreign backer.