The UN expressed satisfaction at the peaceful crossing of the Guerguarat border crossing from Morocco to Mauritania despite verbal provocations by the Algerian-backed separatist militia to disrupt the competition.
“We are pleased to see that the Africa Eco Race crossed Guergarat peacefully today,” said Stéphane Dujarric, spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, during his press briefing in New York Monday.
UN chief Antonio Guterres had expressed concern following Polisario threats to block drivers from crossing Guerguarat.
“It is important to allow for regular civilian and commercial traffic to proceed and to refrain from any action that may constitute a change to the status quo of the Buffer Strip,” said Guterress in a rebuke to the Polisario militias.
This is the second edition of the “Africa Eco Race” which links Monaco to Dakar across Morocco, including the Southern Provinces.
The Morocco phase was launched last week at the Tangier Med port with the participation of 688 competitors and 266 vehicles. Racers from 34 nationalities representing the five continents are taking part in the rally.
The Polisario had on multiple occasions attempted to block the flow of commercial traffic in the Guerguarat border post.
The crossing came under spotlight after Morocco started clearing the buffer zone, which was turned by the polisario to a safe haven for trafficking and all sorts of criminal activity.
Morocco warned that Polisairo’s banditry in the buffer zone on the border with Mauritania and the repetitive ceasefire violations in the area amount to a casus belli.