The Polisario Front, the anti-colonial organization of the Sahrawi people in Western Sahara, declared war on the Kingdom of Morocco in response to an attack by the Moroccan army on Sahrawi demonstrators in the Guerguerat gap, south of Western Sahara.
Morocco has occupied Western Sahara since 1975 when Spain, which had colonized the region for nearly a hundred years, withdrew its forces and settlers. Polisario guerrillas fought the Moroccan state in a war for anti-colonial liberation from 1975 until 1991 when a ceasefire was declared.
On Friday morning, Morocco sent a military offensive to the Guerguerat area to put an end to the demonstration of Sahrawi people who have been blocking the border crossing since last October 21.
So far, no official casualties have been reported, but the protest camp was set on fire and almost destroyed by the Moroccan colonial forces.
The Polisario Front accuses Morocco of “flagrantly” violating the ceasefire after entering the territory and attacking Sahrawi people.
Crossfire between the Saharawi Army and Morocco at the Guerguerat Gap, in southern Western Sahara
In the Sahrawi refugee camps in the Algerian city of Tindouf, the protests have been repeated by young Sahrawis who demand the Polisario to “respond” to the events that took place on Friday morning between the two armies in southern Western Sahara.
On November 13, the National Secretariat of the Polisario Front held an emergency meeting after “the Moroccan army broke the ceasefire in El Guerguerat. “We will respond adequately and as promised,” the Front stated, declaring war on Morocco.
A Polisario representative said there had been military confrontations with the exchange of fire on Friday, adding, “we have declared a return to the armed struggle.”
Mobilizations in the Sahrawi refugee camps to enter the ranks of the Polisario Popular Liberation Army and respond to the Moroccan army after its incursion into southern Western Sahara
The Polisario announced that “the great battle began and with it, the Great War of the liberation of all the people.”
The Polisario called “all the people to prepare themselves in response to the brutal aggression and for the new and decisive stage in the struggle for freedom, dignity, and sovereignty.”