Settlement of Sahara Conflict Paralyzed by Spain, Algeria

Spain, as the former colonial power of Western Sahara, and Algeria, as the host country of the separatist Polisario and its main supporter, are the only ones holding the key to the final settlement of the long-lasting conflict over the Moroccan Sahara.

Spain, which knows the Sahara issue very well as it had occupied the Moroccan Southern territory for decades, should stop playing a double game according to its political and economic interests. It should rather show political will and courage to stand openly as an institutional witness and testify that the Sahara is Moroccan and to defend these historical truths before the UN and the international community.

The Spaniards know perfectly well that during the colonization of the Western Sahara, no Sahrawi liberation movement claimed the independence of Western Sahara, and that the Sahrawi tribes had always requested the Moroccan monarchy to provide them with the weapons and ammunition to combat the occupying forces.

Spain, which is also one of the five members of the Group of Friends of Western Sahara alongside the United States, France, Russia and Great Britain, can surely play a decisive role in the rapid settlement of this territorial dispute.

However, unlike their French neighbors who are more frank and transparent in their position on this issue, the Spanish leaders from across the spectrum continue to adopt ambiguous stands that they adapt to their economic and political interests.

The Algerian leaders on their part know that it is on Algerian soil that the notorious Polisario was born and that the Front owes its survival to the political will of Algeria and to its financial, Military and diplomatic support.

Algerians claim their neutrality in the Sahara conflict, but at the same time, they continue to support the Polisario’s independence claims and refuse to admit that this problem is only a remnant of the Cold War and the consequence of Algeria’s old geostrategic rivalries with the Moroccan neighbor.

If the Algerian government really wanted to preserve the peace and stability of the Maghreb region, it should have let the UN settle this dispute between the Moroccan and Sahrawi brothers, instead of continuing to squander the Algerian taxpayer’s money in endless anti-Morocco media and diplomatic campaigns. The Sahrawis of the Tindouf camps would thus be able to return to their motherland and the thorny Sahara issue would be definitively settled.


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