Moroccan politicians will rally in the North African nation’s capital Rabat on Sunday afternoon to protest against what they perceive as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s bias toward separatists in the contested Western Sahara.
The sparsely-populated area on the Atlantic coast has been the subject of a long dispute between its indigenous Sahrawi people, led by the Polisario Front, and Moroccan authorities.
Morocco’s government lashed out at the UN chief for describing its relation to the Western Sahara as “occupation.”
Ban said last week he would restart UN efforts to reach a solution after visiting camps in southern Algeria for the Polisario Front leadership and refugees who fled the conflict.
Moroccan authorities subsequently criticized Ban for “departing from his impartiality and neutrality” and making statements that ran counter to UN Security Council resolutions.
The UN has been trying to negotiate a lasting political solution for the Western Sahara crisis that would provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara, after Morocco claimed control of the former Spanish colony in 1975.