Morocco’s threat over UN peacekeepers

Protesters carried photos of King Mohammed VI , who is against full independence for Western Sahara

Protesters carried photos of King Mohammed VI , who is against full independence for Western Sahara

Morocco has threatened to pull its soldiers out of UN global peacekeeping missions in a row over the disputed territory of Western Sahara.

It is furious with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon after he used the term “occupation” about the territory, which was annexed by Morocco in 1975.

The foreign ministry also said it would immediately cut funding and personnel for the UN Mission in Western Sahara.

Up to a million Moroccans protested in the capital Rabat on Sunday.

Mr Ban has criticised Morocco for its angry response to his comments and said that the protests had shown disrespect to both him and the UN.

Morocco currently contributes more than 2,300 soldiers and police to UN peacekeeping missions, mainly in African countries such as Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, the Central African Republic and Burundi.

A statement from the foreign ministry said it was “examining the ways and means of withdrawing Moroccan contingents engaged in peacekeeping operations”.

–BBC

 

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