Moroccan Army involvement in smuggling drugs and humans represents direct threat to regional and international peace and security (Full text letter)

New York (United Nations), July 16, 2019 (SPS) - The Polisario Front has asserted that the involvement of the Moroccan army in drug and human trafficking poses a direct threat to regional and international peace and security, in a letter addressed by Representative of the Frente POLISARIO to the United Nations, Dr. Sidi-Mohamed Omar, to H.E. Mr. Gustavo Meza-Cuadra, Permanent Representative of Peru to the United Nations, President of the Security Council.

The letter follows the recent operation carried out by units of the Sahrawi People's Liberation Army (SPLA) as part of its fight against drug trafficking and organized crime, under which Moroccan drugs and weapons were seized, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of National Defense.

Below is a full read of the letter:

“H.E. Mr Gustavo Meza-Cuadra

Permanent Representative of Peru to the United Nations

President of the Security Council

New York, 16 July 2019

Your Excellency,

On 10 and 12 July 2019, the Sahrawi Army conducted an anti-drug operation in the regions of Ross Tameluza and Gleibat Alaghaya in Western Sahara, which exposed major drug trafficking operations originating on the Moroccan side of the illegal military wall dividing the Territory. In total, 1,625 kilograms of Moroccan cannabis, a PKT machine gun with 1,100 rounds of ammunition as well as two Kalashnikov rifles with 200 rounds of ammunition, were seized during the anti-drug raids, resulting in the arrest of 9 drug traffickers and the seizure of a 4WD vehicle. All those detained are members of an illicit drug trafficking group that operates across Morocco’s illegal military wall.

Morocco is the world’s largest producer and exporter of cannabis, as confirmed by many international reports including the 2018 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report of the US Department of State and the World Drug Report 2019 of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Tons of Moroccan-produced cannabis and other illegal drugs are smuggled every year across the Moroccan military wall despite its being one of the most heavily manned and militarised walls in the world and infested with millions of anti-personnel and anti-tank mines.

The Moroccan military’s involvement in drug and human trafficking, involving fellow Africans, represents a direct threat to regional and international peace and security. Over the past decade, the illegal trafficking of Moroccan drugs has also become a primary source of funding for transnational terrorist and organised crime groups operating in the Sahel-Sahara region.

Of particular concern is Morocco’s ongoing, illegal breach in the Guerguerat in southern Western Sahara, which serves as a point of passage for illicit goods, including drugs. Every day, hundreds of trucks and vehicles cross the illegal breach into the Buffer Strip towards the Mauritanian border and beyond, in direct violation of the ceasefire and Military Agreement No. 1.

In conformity with our obligations as an AU Member State, our enhanced anti-drug-trafficking operations throughout the Sahrawi Liberated Territories, along with our growing cooperation with our neighbours, are curbing the illicit flow of drugs into and within our region. We strongly encourage the Security Council to compel Morocco to uphold its regional and international responsibilities and to desist from its destabilising actions that are threatening security and stability of its neighbours and the whole region.

I would be most grateful if you would bring the present letter to the attention of the members of the Security Council.

Please accept, Your Excellency, the assurance of my highest consideration.

Dr Sidi M. Omar

Representative of the Frente POLISARIO at the United Nations” (SPS)

062/SPS