Morocco asks UN to remove 84 staffers from West Sahara mission

March 17, 2016 14:50

RABAT - Morocco has asked the United Nations to remove 84 staff members in the coming days from its Western Sahara mission after UN chief Ban Ki-moon made what it called unacceptable remarks about the territory in a visit to North Africa, a Moroccan official source said on Thursday.

The source said the military and peacekeeping part of the mission would not be affected. A visit by Ban to Morocco is not on the agenda, the source said.

Ban said he wanted Morocco and the Polisario Front, which waged a guerrilla war over the Western Sahara after Morocco took control over most of the region in 1975, to restart negotiations. A ceasefire ended fighting in 1991, but the two sides have been unable to reach an agreement since then.

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