Algeria freaks out as Crans Montana Forum in Dakhla nears

cmmfAlgerian officials are freaking out as the date of the Crans Montana Forum (March 12-14) is nearing. Actually, they fear that the meeting to be held in Dakhla, a Western Sahara city, consecrates the international recognition of Morocco’s success in transforming a desert territory in a prosperous and welcoming area.

The Crans Montana Forum, a meeting point of worldwide reputation, brings together heads of state and government, decision makers, economic operators and international NGOs. And so, Algeria fears that a gathering of such importance might harm its protégé, the Polisario Front, which is claiming the independence of Western Sahara.

Algiers also fears that the holding of the Crans Montana Forum in Dakhla would deal a blow to the Sahrawi republic, self-proclaimed in the 1970s by the Polisario and Algeria, with the support of Gaddafi and some African countries, enticed at the time by Algerian petrodollars.

More than that, for Algerian officials the holding of the forum in the city of Dakhla will undoubtedly enhance the credibility of the Morocco-proposed autonomy plan for Western Sahara, especially that Dakhla, like the other cities of the territory, witnessed a noteworthy development at all levels.

The mere hamlets scattered in the desert in the 70s became in less than 40 years genuine urban, modern cities. The founding president of the Crans Montana Forum, Jean-Paul Carteron, said about the holding the CMF in this city: “Dakhla is in its quintessence a model for the future of Morocco and Africa and enjoys an exceptional strategic position as an economic crossroads.”

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