The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:

In recent days, the United Nations, including the Secretary-General, has been involved in multiple initiatives to avoid an escalation of the situation in the Buffer Strip in the Guerguerat area and to warn against violations of the ceasefire and the serious consequences of any changes to the status quo.

The Secretary-General regrets that these efforts have proved unsuccessful and expresses grave concern regarding the possible consequences of the latest developments.

The Secretary-General remains committed to doing his utmost to avoid the collapse of the ceasefire that has been in place since 6 September 1991 and he is determined to do everything possible to remove all obstacles to the resumption of the political process.

The United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) is committed to continue implementing its mandate and the Secretary-General calls on the parties to provide full freedom of movement for the Mission in accordance with its mandate.

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