Africa

UN accuses Morocco over actions on Western Sahara mission

The United Nations is accusing Morocco of violating the U.N. Charter in ordering the withdrawal of U.N. civilians from the peacekeeping mission in the disputed Western Sahara and says the Security Council must take action.

U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq warned Monday that without an effective peacekeeping force, there is a risk of a return to heightened tensions "and even conflict."

Morocco has ordered 84 civilians in the U.N. mission to leave. Haq says 11 of those people were no longer with the mission. Of the remaining 73, 72 have left and one remains for medical reasons.

Haq says Morocco has also ordered the U.N. to close its military office in Dakhla.

Morocco is angered by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's recent comment about "occupation" of the territory, which Morocco claims.