ALGERIA- POLISARIO: WHAT MAKES LAMAMRA RUN?

lamamra-ramtaneMorocco’s imminent return to the African Union is becoming an obsessive concern for Algiers, as evidenced by the fever that gripped the Algerian diplomatic machine. This machine does not hesitate to resort to any methods, were they worn-out methods, in an attempt to stop the repeated setbacks suffered by the Polisario and which presage the separatists’ fall.

The current agitation of the Algerian Foreign Minister falls in this context. Ramtane Lamamra, in a ridiculous move, organized a colloquium in the Algerian capital, and pompously labeled it as “international.” The theme of this meeting, which took place on 29 November in a blatant international indifference, is no less pompous and over-inflated: “Algeria’s contribution to decolonization in Africa.”

Actually, the head of Algerian diplomacy tries to catch a train in motion. Algerian rulers, irritated by the success of King Mohammed VI’s visits to several African countries, many of whom having reconsidered their support for the Polisario, want to play on the same ground as Morocco.

In this vein, Lamamra vowed to organize an economic meeting in Algiers to promote, he claimed, cooperation between Algerian businessmen and their African counterparts, and to explore investment opportunities to serve “the common interests of African peoples.”

But all knew that Lamamra is blowing smoke and the very few participants in the Nov.29 colloquium were aware of his real motives that he was not late to reveal: it all depends on the support of the peoples of the continent to the cause of the Polisario and on solidarity with the Sahrawi republic, the SADR.

Yet, Lamamra’s activism in favor of a pseudo- republic, not recognized by the United Nations or any major world capital, does not stop there. Algeria’s chief diplomat continues to maneuver in collusion with the chairperson of the AU Commission.

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who had arbitrarily delayed the distribution to the AU member countries of Morocco’s request to reintegrate the Pan-African organization, rejected the letters of support to Morocco she received from several AU members. This rejection is in total contradiction with the principle of neutrality that Dlamini-Zuma, as the chairperson of the AU Commission, is supposed to respect.

But at this level, Morocco remains serene. It has the support of a large majority of member states. Their number is greater than the number required by the AU Constitutive Act. And all these member states have sent to Mrs Zuma formal and legally valid letters of support to Morocco’s decision to return to the Pan-African Organization at the next Summit, in January 2017.

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