Mauritanian markets face fresh produce shortages due to banditry

The Polisario Frontis is a rebel national liberation movement, aiming to end Moroccan presence in the Western Sahara. Currently, Polisario militias continue to block the free flow of commercial traffic on the Guerguarat border crossing between Morocco and Mauritania. This means that food markets in Nouakchott are suffering from an acute shortage in vegetables and fruits.

Morocco is Mauritania’s main supplier of fresh produce and the provocations of the Polisario caused many trucks to return to the cities of Morocco’s southern provinces instead of continuing their way to Mauritanian market and beyond.

Morocco and the UN have denounced the hindrance of commercial traffic in the strongest terms but the Polisario seems intent on breaching the 1991 UN-brokered ceasefire which provides for maintaining the border strip between Morocco and Mauritania as a demilitarized area.

Tomato prices increased five-fold and the cost of carrots doubled while merchants hope for a reopening of the road to avert a further inflation of prices. Morocco tops African exporters with 44.3% of total supplies to Mauritania in the first half this year.


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