New York

28 August 2016

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Western Sahara

The Secretary-General is deeply concerned over the tense situation that has developed in the narrow Buffer Strip in southwestern Western Sahara between the Moroccan berm and the Mauritanian border as a result of changes in the status quo and the introduction of armed units from Morocco and the Polisario in close proximity to each other.

The Secretary-General calls on both parties to suspend any action that alters that status quo and to withdraw all armed elements so as to prevent any further escalation and permit MINURSO to hold discussions with both parties on the situation. The Secretary-General stresses the importance for both parties to adhere to their obligations as per the Military Agreement number 1, and the need to respect the letter and the spirit of the ceasefire agreement.