Western Sahara independence group declares war on Morocco
Brahim Ghali, the leader of a pro-independence group in Western Sahara, declared war on Morocco Saturday, breaking a decades-long ceasefire, the New York Times reports.
Why it matters: The declaration could reignite an armed struggle and exacerbate years of animosity between Morocco and its neighbor Algeria, which hosts the independence group, the Polisario Front.
- The ongoing conflict "has left Morocco controlling about 80 percent of the disputed territory, leaving thousands of Sahrawis living in a protracted displacement situation near the Algerian town of Tindouf," the Times writes.
The big picture: The breakdown of the truce comes one day after Morocco conducted a military operation in a UN-patrolled buffer zone in the territory to open a road blocked by Polisario supporters.
- Escalating tensions between the groups have drawn concern from the UN, the African Union and nations in Northern Africa and across the Middle East, according to the Times.
- UN Secretary General António Guterres said in a statement Friday that he is “determined to do everything possible to remove all obstacles to the resumption of the political process.”