The militancy of Polisario Front has a key date to start the year. As of the 13th, this organization brings together its 16th General Congress to analyze the current scenario of conflict with Morocco and, above all, set the foundations for a period in which, according to their representatives, there will be a foreseeable increase in tension with the Moroccan occupation forces.
The congress is named after Mhammed Jadad, in homage to the late Saharawi leader who served as a member of the Polisario Front National Secretariat and coordinator of relations with the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO).
More than 2,000 participants, including delegates and national and foreign guests, will meet in the Saharawi refugee camp in Dakhla. There, strategic issues for the national liberation movement of Western Sahara will be discussed and a new political leadership of the Polisario Front will be elected.
Founded in 1973, the Polisario acts as the political and military organization that directs and manages the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR)recognized by more than 80 countries and member of the african union. The UN – which considers the SADR as a non-self-governing territory – recognizes the right of the Saharawi people to carry out a self-determination referendum.
In November 2020, the Secretary General of the Polisario Front and SADR President, Brahim Galiannounced that it considered the ceasefire signed with Morocco in 1991 to be broken and held that country responsible for the consequences of the attack at the Guerguerat border crossing, where military forces under orders from Rabat fired on civilian protesters.
Since then, the Polisario Front has maintained an active armed resistance against Morocco. “In the congress we are going to analyze the situation experienced since the rupture of the ceasefire and what these two years have meant,” he explained to Public Abdullah ArabiPolisario delegate in Spain.
As he advanced, in that meeting “a strategy and an action will be considered that will surely go in the direction of military escalation.” “Until the UN intervenes, exercises its role and calls on the two parties to negotiate to seek a peaceful solution, we, as Polisario Frontwe have no other option than to seek this military escalation on behalf of the Saharawi people”, he stressed.
The decision to raise the tension will imply “the use of everything available to the Saharawi army to expel the Moroccan occupation army of the territory”, added Arabi, who remarked that an escalation of the war means “an increase in instability not only for the Sahara and Morocco, but for the entire North African region”.
In the same way, the representative of the Polisario Front demanded that Spain and the European Union suspend the sale of arms to the Moroccan State, accused of serious human rights violations against Saharawi militants.
According to data from the Secretary of State for Trade Sent to Congress a few weeks ago, in the first half of 2022 – the latest data available – the Government granted four arms export licenses to Morocco for a total value of 30 million euros. In addition, the sale of riot gear to that country for another 78,500 euros.
“Faced with a situation of war, the European countries, and particularly Spain – which continues to be the administrative power of the territory of the Occidental Sahara– they have to try not only not to sell weapons to one of the parties in the conflict, but to condition bilateral relations on respect for international law and human rights,” Arabi said.
The Polisario Front congress will also take place a few weeks after the marocgatea scandal involving MEPs who acted on Moroccan guidelines in exchange for bribes.
As published in mid-December by the German newspaper Der Spiegelthe former MEP Antonio Panzerian Italian Social Democrat and one of the four defendants in the legal case, would have received bribes from both the Qatari regime and the Moroccan authorities to whiten the image of both countries, which allegedly sought to influence the political decision-making of the EU.
According to the information published by that medium, Panzeri – who paradoxically leads an NGO against impunity – would have received gifts from the Moroccan ambassador in an Eastern country.