Western Sahara: Polisario Opponents Advocate Autonomy

salekThe Sahrawi dissident movement “Khat Achahid,” led by Mahjoub Salek, a founder member of the Polisario currently settled in Spain, has recently called the King of Morocco to speed up the implementation of the proposed broad autonomy plan for Western Sahara.

Actually, several Sahrawi dissidents who challenge the Polisario leadership and the Front’s claims that it represents the Tindouf camps populations are becoming increasingly favorable to the autonomy proposal although these dissident have never openly displayed their support for Morocco’s official position in the Sahara conflict.

The leaders of Khat Achahid had been deeply disappointed by the 14th Polisario Congress which reelected, end of December, Mohamed Abdelaziz leader of the Front and maintained his close aides in their positions. They finally came to the conclusion that the Moroccan autonomy proposal was the solution to “save” the Tindouf camps population and snatch them to the grip of Algeria and the Polisario.

“The Sahrawis’ last hope has evaporated with the results of the scandalous 14th Polisario Congress. That is why we asked the king of Morocco to accelerate the implementation of broad autonomy to save our relatives in the camps from the clutches of Algeria and the Polisario corrupt leadership,” says Khat Achahid in a press release relayed by some Moroccan websites.

Also, in an interview posted Thursday on the Moroccan site www.yabiladi.com the President of Khat Achahid brought up the violations and abuses committed both in the Sahara and in the Tindouf camps. In the course of the interview, he said that “for the sake of history, we laud the courage of King Mohammed VI, who has helped the country put its past of human rights abuses behind it, providing compensations to the victims and allowing families to visit the graves of their loved ones.”

“The Polisario leaders have done nothing similar so far. They neither expressed excuses, offered compensations or allowed families to visit the graves of the victims,” says Mahjoub Salek. Yet, he goes on saying, “their stand is quite logical as the individuals directly responsible for these violations are part of the current leadership.”

Meanwhile, Khat Achahid decided to “boycott definitely” the old-new leadership of the Polisario that it describes as “illegitimate” and as having “no right to negotiate on behalf of the Sahrawi population with the Moroccan government to make decisions on our destiny and our future.”

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