Morocco’s Drone Strikes and Ex-Minister’s Caution


Tensions are building up between Morocco and its southern neighbour Mauritania over the number of civilians the Moroccan army kill accidentely with drones in the conflict Rabat has with the Algerian-backed Polisario in Western Sahara.

The former Mauritanian Minister of Culture and Information and head of the ruling Union for the Republic Party, Sidi Mohamed Ould Maham, warned Morocco on December 2nd of what he called: “The deliberate killing of defenceless Mauritanian civilians with drones and the failure to confront the Polisario forces.”, according to the London based Middle East Monitor

“The repeated targeting by Moroccan drones, who come from behind the separation wall in Western Sahara, of defenceless Mauritanian civilians on desert lands is a matter that requires warning that it is difficult to curb the population on both sides of the Mauritanian-Saharan borderline and oblige them to borders that have no landmarks or signs that define it,” wrote Ould Maham on his Facebook account.

Yet the former minister went beyond simply complaining about the loss of Mauritanian lives and accused Rabat of shying away from fighting the Polisario in their own back yard.

“We are surprised that these drones mercilessly target Mauritanian civilians without warning. We do not see them confronting the bases of the Polisario Front and its military units, which are immensely spread throughout the region, and carry out qualitative and almost daily operations along the wall. Most of these operations caused great losses for the Moroccan army in Western Sahara.”

“We are aware of the Moroccan army’s logistical ability to distinguish between civilian and military targets, therefore, when it uses force against peaceful civilians, it must justify that in its statements and publicly clarify its motives and reasons. At least, it must apologise, although this will not return the dead and will not console the wounded, especially since the matter is related to repeated operations that are about to become normal behaviour by the Moroccan forces present in Western Sahara,” Ould Maham added.

He emphasised: “The disregard of Mauritanian blood is a matter that cannot be tolerated. Our country is capable of protecting its sons in every way, and the bloodshed will not be the best way to impose de facto policies.”

Drones have killed dozens of Mauritanian civilians, among gold miners and livestock owners, in the northern border area of Mauritania. The same was repeated last week with the killing of seven Mauritanian civilians. The Mauritanian government has not yet issued any comment on this, nor has Morocco.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

[mc4wp_form id="206"]