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Why did Morocco harshly protest against UN chief?

Published: Updated:

Morocco on Thursday ordered 84 international staffers of the UN peacekeeping mission in a disputed territory to leave following a spiraling diplomatic spat over UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s comments.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Morocco’s order was “in clear contradiction” of its international obligations and a challenge to the UN Security Council, which authorized the mission. The mission is meant to monitor a ceasefire and help organize a long-delayed referendum.