exchanges of fire between Morocco and the Polisario Front, according to the UN

The Minurso peace mission in Western Sahara, responsible for preventing any relaunch of a conflict between the two parties, “continues to receive reports of shots fired during the night in various places of the sand wall” separating the belligerents, said United Nations spokesman Stéphane Dujarric. “Last night shooting was reported in areas in the north and south of the territory”, he said.

Asked if the UN had any information on possible injuries or deaths, the spokesperson replied that he did not have any. In its daily press release published Tuesday evening, the Saharawi Defense Ministry affirmed that “(Polisario) combatants continued their strikes against the enemy’s lairs” since Tuesday morning.

The independence movement claimed to have inflicted “human and material losses”, without further details. He reported “shelling” targeting the sectors of Mahbès, Haouza and Amgala, along the Moroccan defense wall which divides the disputed desert territory over 2,700 km.

These claims could not be verified by independent sources.

The UN continues “to urge the parties to take all necessary measures to lower the tension”. “The secretary general not only spoke with the King of Morocco” on Monday, “but he also spoke to several other stakeholders”, said the spokesperson, without further clarification.

The situation continues to be very tense in Western Sahara after the announcement on Friday of a break in the 1991 ceasefire by the Sahrawi separatists in response to a Moroccan military operation in a buffer zone in the far south of Western Sahara, at the Guerguerat border post.

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