Senior analyst of the Global Initiative, Raouf Farah, confirmed that Morocco uses Western Sahara as a passage to supply drug markets in the Sahel region, such as Mauritania and northern Mali, with cannabis.
Mr. Raouf Farah explained – during a recent interview with the investigative website “OCCRP” (Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project), “The intensive cultivation of Cannabis in the Rif Mountains makes Morocco one of the largest drug exporters (to the world) and although the top quality product is primarily destined for Europe, the majority of quality hashish lower crosses southern Morocco and Western Sahara to supply markets in Mauritania and northern Mali “.
The analyst pointed out that while hashish trafficking was previously monopolized by a few communities in northern Mali with links to Moroccan and Mauritanian traffickers, “Today, a growing number of traffickers in the Sahel have sought new partnerships with Moroccan networks holding companies, who export agri-food products from Morocco to West Africa “
In the same context, he affirmed that ” Polisario Front, as an organization, is not involved in drug smuggling.”
Last February, the representative of Polisario Front at the UN, Sidi Mohamed Omar, called on Security Council to hold Morocco accountable for its role in drug and human trafficking in occupied Western Sahara, and warned that peace and security “are increasingly threatened” in the region as a result of these practices.
The Sahrawi diplomat warned that, despite the state of open war caused by the Moroccan occupation forces on November 13, “drug smuggling and human trafficking through the illegal Moroccan military wall in Western Sahara continues unabated.”
He also confirmed the existence of “well-documented collusion between the Moroccan military, drug lords and the mafia,” which explains – says Mohamed Omar – “how tons of Moroccan cannabis can pass unrestrained through the occupied desert areas surrounded by one of the most militarized walls in the world.”
At the same time, Sidi Omar recalled the international reports confirming that “Morocco is still the largest producer and exporter of cannabis in the world,” including the International Drug Control Strategy Report for 2020 issued by the US State Department, and the World Drug Report 2020 issued by the Office of United Nations on Drugs and Crime.
United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime says that Morocco is among the most important producers and exporters of cannabis resin in the world (hashish), and it is one of the regions with the largest quantities of drugs produced and consumed at the international level.