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Western Sahara independence leader says fighting will continue along Morocco wall

Brahim Ghali, newly elected Polisario secretary general and president of the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arabic Democratic Republic, delivers a speech during the PF's extraordinary congress on July 9, 2016 [FAROUK BATICHE/AFP via Getty Images]
Brahim Ghali Polisario secretary general and president of the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arabic Democratic Republic, delivers a speech during the PF's extraordinary congress on July 9, 2016 [FAROUK BATICHE/AFP via Getty Images]

The leader of the Western Sahara independence movement, Barhim Ghali, has vowed to continue fighting against Moroccan forces along the wall that separates the disputed desert territory under the control of Rabat and the Algeria-supported Polisario Front, and will do so until the international community delivers an unfulfilled promise of self-determination for the Sahrawi people.

Speaking yesterday during the National Unity Day event at the Djla refugee camp in Algeria's southern Tindouf province, Ghali said, "There will be neither peace nor stability, nor a just and lasting solution to the Moroccan-Saharawi conflict unless the U.N. Security Council assumes its responsibilities in responding, frankly and firmly, to the aggressive and expansionist practices of the Moroccan occupying power."

READ: Top EU court annuls agreements with Morocco over Western Sahara

"The war is already raging on the ground. And its dangers and repercussions on the region cannot be avoided if the United Nations continues to manage the crisis instead of solving it," he warned.

According to the AP, at least eight Polisario Front fighters were killed during combat or while retreating after carrying out offensives against Moroccan forces along the wall.

Ghali also spoke out against "countries, companies or others" doing business with Morocco in the disputed territory of supporting "an illegal, aggressive and expansionist operation, and the theft and looting of the wealth of an oppressed and defenceless people."

Earlier this month, it was reported that Israel and Morocco are to sign an agreement in co-producing kamikaze drones. The Kingdom, which has been discussing plans to develop drones with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) since the start of the year, also signed a cooperation agreement with Israel's National Cyber Directorate which will enable Rabat to purchase "knowledge and technology" from Israeli companies.

According to the UN's official map, the Western Sahara is depicted as a disputed territory. A former Spanish colony, Western Sahara was annexed by Morocco and Mauritania in 1975. A year later, the Polisario Front proclaimed the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, with a government in exile based in Algeria. Although Mauritania withdrew its forces in 1979, Morocco refused to do the same and maintained that the Western Sahara forms an integral part of its Kingdom.

In exchange for resuming full diplomatic ties with Israel, the US Trump administration agreed to recognise Morocco's territorial claims and supported its "Autonomy Plan" over Western Sahara.

READ: Israel secretly sold weapons to Morocco, reports Haaretz

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