A group of participants in the rally convened by the Federation of Associations of Solidarity with the Sahrawi People tried to gain access to the mast of the consular building to try to place the flag of the Sahara and replace that of the Kingdom of Morocco.
This incident took place after the secretary general of the Polisario Front and president of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), Brahim Ghali, yesterday declared the ceasefire signed with Morocco in 1991 broken and blamed Rabat for the consequences of his attack on Friday at the Guerguerat border crossing.
The demonstration, called by the Federation of Associations of Solidarity with the Sahrawi People of the Valencian Community, is also a response to the escalation of tension in Western Sahara after Moroccan military forces evicted Sahrawi activists who were cutting off the road to Mauritania in Guerguerat last Friday.
According to reports from the government delegation in the Valencia region, during the authorised rally, a group of people had replaced the Moroccan flag, although it was immediately reinstated by the consulate staff.
The demonstrators were removed from the vicinity of the consular building, located in Calle Jorge Comín, where there were no further incidents or arrests, according to sources at the delegation.
According to Foreign Affairs, the participants accessed the mast of the building in order to try to place the Sahrawi flag, “thus violating the inviolability, integrity and dignity of the consular headquarters”.
This is "a clear breach of current legislation", Foreign Affairs insists, which states that the government is proceeding to clarify the facts and says it will continue to take all appropriate measures to ensure respect for the integrity and inviolability of the diplomatic missions accredited in Spain.
Finally, the Ministry stresses that Spain categorically condemns any action that contravenes the principles and values of the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic and Consular Relations and points out to Foreign Affairs that 'no manifestation of the right of assembly can degenerate into illegal actions', such as the one carried out this Sunday in the Moroccan Consulate.
Morocco's ambassador to Spain, Karima Benyaich, condemned 'in the strongest terms' the 'acts of vandalism' against the Moroccan Consulate in Valencia, referring to the action of the pro-Saharan demonstrators who removed the Moroccan flag from the diplomatic headquarters and hung up the flag of the self-proclaimed Saharan Arab Democratic Republic.
At the same time, she added, the Kingdom of Morocco "takes note of the condemnation of the Spanish authorities who considered these acts illegal and not in conformity with international law and the commitment of the Spanish Government to no longer allow these acts which only confirm the criminal character of these militias", according to statements collected by the MAP agency.
Morocco "also takes note of the measures that will be taken by the Spanish authorities to ensure respect for the integrity and inviolability of our diplomatic and consular missions in Spain," Benyaich pointed out.
Benyaich also wanted to stress that all the officials of the Kingdom's Embassy and the 12 Consulates General, "reiterate our unwavering adherence and unfailing loyalty to the High Instructions of His Majesty the King, may God glorify him, as well as our permanent mobilization for the defense of the sovereignty of the Fatherland and our territorial integrity.