Press "Enter" to skip to content

Western Sahara: Who will be the Polisario Front and exactly what exactly do they need?

Regardless of peace, Gailani has grown an exile.

Now, with all the rebels and the Morrocan army poised to restart the battle, Gailani states now is the time to go house – and – struggle.

“War means death, pain – it signifies many things that harm. But we feel that 30 years is more than sufficient. We’ve exhausted peaceful means,” he informed Euronews.

In reaction, the Polisario Front announced a”state of war” and warned that tens of thousands of volunteers at the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) were prepared to fight. From the days since the UN – that has advocated both Rabat and the PF to honor the ceasefire – has received reports of many”shooting episodes” made by both sides, a spokesperson informed Euronews.

Western Sahara was described as Africa’s last colony, together with two-thirds of its land occupied by Morocco since 1975. Morocco believes the swathes of this former Spanish colony to be its sovereign territory, such as its phosphate-rich northwest. Included in the 1991 peace agreement, Morocco agreed to maintain an independence referendum, which it has up to now failed to perform.

Phosphate reservations
It’s a vote which, regardless of the emigration of tens of thousands of Moroccans since the 1970s, Rabat will almost surely lose. Its job is endorsed by a range of its prominent Arab allies, such as Saudi Arabia and Jordan. Additionally, it is not about precious phosphate reserves, stated Jacob Mundy, Associate Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies, at Colgate University.

Since Morocco gained independence in 1956, there was a story that the nation was assaulted by France and Spain of land that could have made a Greater Morocco, such as Western Sahara and parts of Mauritania, Mali, and Algeria as well as French colonies. Back in 1963, Morocco invaded Algeria over a boundary issue and endured a humiliating defeat

Nasser had expired in 1970 but his pan-African socialism continued to propel anti-monarchist moves throughout Africa and the broader world.

From”regaining” Western Sahara, the king managed to get momentum and stave off opposition from inside. For this day, stated Mundy, the restoration of Western Sahara is the cornerstone of Rabat’s legitimacy.

“It is a post of the national religion and Moroccan children are educated it from day one. I guess that many Moroccans would observe the monarchy finish before they gave Western Sahara,” he explained.

The warfare against Polisario, nevertheless, was a pricey one, not least because of the militarization of their 2,700kilometers”berm” – or – reinforced wall – which Morocco has erected on the side of this UN-controlled buffer zone. Even since 1991, the battle with Polisario has severely disrupted commerce, with protesters from the free zone-blocking streets that link Morocco to Mauritania.

Guerguerat
It had been one such demonstration that resulted in the recent episode near Guerguerat, where on October 20 Sahrawi demonstrators prevented trucks from driving from Morocco into Western Sahara and onwards to Mauritania. In reaction, Morocco threatened to eliminate the protesters by force, which is just what it seems to have done on November 13.

However, for the Polisario Front, the spat is not anymore about protests, it’s all about an entire Morrocan withdrawal from Western Sahara.

Gailani, the exile, stated there’s not any way back today but for an all-out battle: “We’re ready for this for over 30 years […]. We’ve not lowered our guard,” he explained.

He said the global community required to bear in mind that the Polisario Front was willing to come back to armed forces, which the current episode in Guerguerat was”the straw that broke the camel’s back”

Gailani blames the U.N. for the simple fact that for 30 years Western Sahara was a frozen battle, together with all the Sahrawi people promised a referendum from Morocco that never arrived. “30 years is long enough to put ballot boxes,” he explained.