Morocco-UN-Sahara: Ban Ki-moon Sent into the Lion’s Den by Close Aides

ban-hilaleMorocco has decried on Thursday another blunder committed at the level of the United Nations secretariat General, a blunder that came to complicate further the already strained relationship between Rabat and the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

There is every indication that the South Korean diplomat will not wrap up in a nice way his term at the head of the UN body, ending in December 2016.

After his provocative remarks and his biased stand in the territorial dispute over the Moroccan Sahara, during his last visit to Algeria, Ban Ki-Moon found himself thrown into a new confrontation with Morocco and this time by his own administrative staff who leaked the contents of a “personal letter” he sent to King Mohammed VI.

At a press conference held Thursday in New York, the Permanent Representative of the Kingdom to the United Nations, Omar Hilale, expressed “Morocco’s dismay and incomprehension” of the incident.

“We received the letter the day before yesterday and twenty-four hours later it was leaked to some stakeholders, which is contrary to the UN ethics and to diplomatic usages,” said the Moroccan diplomat angrily.

The same day, Ban’s spokesman Stephan Dujarric acknowledged the existence of the letter addressed to the King. He said it is “a personal letter” in which Ban Ki-Moon gives to the King of Morocco “direct explanations “on his visit in the Tindouf camps and in Algiers early March.

Dujarric’s statement did not calm down the Moroccan ambassador who said: “Unfortunately, we have noted that the office of the United Nations spokesman is being instrumentalized in a media campaign against Morocco.”

Contrary to the version given by Stephan Dujarric Monday March 29 to clear his boss, Ban Ki-Moon did visit the Bir Lahlou buffer zone in the Moroccan Sahara, where he bowed “in front of a flag of a non-state entity,” Omar Hilale said.

His going to Bir Lahlou was “premeditated,” the Moroccan diplomat argued, adding that Morocco is in possession of “(written) evidence attesting that the whole scenario was accepted before Ban’s helicopter took off.”

He insisted that the crisis with the UN Secretary General does not lie only in the use of the word “occupation” in reference to the Moroccan presence in the Sahara. The crisis was provoked by a series of blunders and misteps made by Ban ki-moon, he said.

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