Morocco asks UN to shut military office in Western Sahara

March 21, 2016 22:09

Morocco has asked the United Nations to close a military liaison office in the disputed territory of Western Sahara as a spat between Rabat and the UN chief over his recent remarks escalates, a UN spokesman said on Monday.

Dozens of UN international staffers pulled out of the Western Sahara mission, known as MINURSO, on Sunday after Morocco demanded they leave because UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon used the term "occupation" during a recent visit to the region.

"MINURSO has ... received a request to close its military liaison office in Dakhla in the coming days, which would be the first request directly targeting the military component," UN spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters.

"There is no reason, none, for this escalation," he said.

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