Sahrawis Resist Algeria’s Will to Impose its Guy at the Head of the Polisario

polisario--1Pressure from the Algerian military intelligence services (DRS) to impose their guy at the head of the Polisario confirm the fears expressed by Sahrawis in Tindouf as to the Algerian regime’s determination to manage the Sahara issue in defiance of the Sahrawis themselves.

The dissident movement Khat Chahid was among the first to call on the Polisario leaders to free themselves from the tutelage of Algeria. The movement has actually questioned the seriousness of the Preparatory Commission of the Polisario congress that will appoint a successor to Mohamed Abdelaziz.

Khat Chahid, wich has no illusions as to the outcome of the congress, announced that it will not take part in the preparatory commission’s work as long as Algerian officials continue to have the upper hand in all issues of concern to the Sahrawis.

According to an informed source in the Tindouf camps, the Algerian rulers are keen on keeping control over the Polisario, now more than ever before, because skeptical and critical voices are mounting even in Algeria and critics of the Sahrawi separatist front have begun to express themselves openly.

This is the case of Ammar Saadani, the head of the former single party, the FLN. He is at the forefront of Algerian politicians who distanced themselves from the Polisario. As an evidence to his attitude, Ammar Saadani has refused to attend the funeral of Mohamed Abdelaziz, who died on May 31 at a clinic in Rochester, USA and who was buried at the buffer zone of Beir Lahlou.

This attitude, deemed a political sacrilege in Algeria, prompted the Algerian media to lambast the FLN leader.

Yet, Saadani is not the only figure to castigate how Algerian leaders are manipulating the Polisario.

Ali Belhadj, the former number two of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) has also affirmed that the Algerian regime was instrumentalizing the Sahara issue for political purposes.

During a recent media apparition, Ali Belhaj called the Polisario to show “realism” and negotiate directly with Morocco to reach a political solution to the long-lasting Sahara conflict.

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