Sahara: New setback for Polisario, Algeria in Addis Ababa

The Polisario and Algeria suffered another setback in Addis Ababa, where an “ad hoc” meeting on the Sahara, convened on Monday (March 20) by the African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security, the Algerian Ismaël Chergui, turned ludicrous as the overwhelming majority of African delegations did not show up.

In spite of the wide media coverage that preceded it, the meeting was held in a practically empty room, apart from two so-called Ministers of the Polisario, the delegates of Kenya and Niger and the alleged AU special envoy for Western Sahara, the Mozambican Joaquim Alberto Chissano. By the way, Morocco has never recognized this special envoy.

By sending an invitation to the Moroccans to attend his meeting, the Algerian Commissioner finally realized that he had made a mistake as to the addressee.

In the end, this new setback was a blow not only to the Algerian AU commissioner, but to all the Algerian diplomacy in its lost war against the Moroccan neighbor’s sovereignty.

Actually, following the latest developments on the African scene and Morocco’s triumphant return to the AU, Algeria and the Polisario have hardly some 15 supporters across Africa.

Before the readmission of Morocco to the AU, 28 member countries sent a motion last July to the presidency of the Pan-African organization, asking for freezing the activities of the so-called Sahrawi republic “RASD” in all the bodies of the AU. Also, some forty AU members backed Morocco’s return to the continental organization during the AU summit last Januray.

Another evidence of the failure of the Algerian diplomatic machine is embodied in the recent election of the President of the FRMF, the Moroccan football governing body, Faouzi Lekjaa, to the CAF Executive Committee for the Northern Zone. Lekjaa was elected by 41 votes, crushing one challenger, the outgoing Algerian Mohamed Raouraoua, who got only 7 votes.

In view of these developments, the big question raised by analysts is when the Algerian leaders will finally admit they committed a historical mistake when they hosted in the mid-1970s the Sahrawi renegades, in order to use them as means of blackmail against the Moroccan neighbor. The maneuver failed. The manoeuver cost the Algerian tax payer millions of petrodollars.

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