Western Sahara: Polisario Loses Three of its Major Western Supporters

Sahara_Wolfgang-Weisbrod-Weber_MinursoThe Polisario leaders are trying to hide their extreme bitterness at the bad luck that has befallen them lately.
In addition to the successive diplomatic setbacks it suffered in its battle with Morocco about the sovereignty of Western Sahara, the Polisario has lost, in less than a month, three key defenders of its independence claims.
The recent diplomatic offensive led by Morocco at the United Nations, at the initiative of King Mohammed VI, has not only enabled to maintain unchanged the nature of the MINURSO prerogatives, but it also prompted the replacement of the MINURSO chief, the German Wolfgang Weisbrod- Weber, by Canadian Kim Bolduc.
Weisbrod- Weber has been notified about his replacement by Mrs Kim Bolduc on May 10, long before the scheduled end of his term on July 31.
Since his appointment as MINURSO Chief nearly 23 months ago (June 2012,) Weisbrod -Weber kept his distance from Rabat, where he never set foot, while he multiplied trips to the Tindouf camps. The latest of such trips dates back to this May 8.
Rabat has surely expressed no regret for Weisbrod –Weber’s departure especially that Morocco had not cheered the appointment as head of the MINURSO of the man who had supervised the referendum that resulted in the independence of East Timor in August 1999.
This appointment has then been interpreted by observers as a sanction against the Moroccan government which had said it lost confidence in Christopher Ross, the Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary General to Western Sahara.
The Polisario has lost two other heavyweights among its strongest supporters. These include American diplomat Frank Ruddy who passed away on May 7. In his message of condolences to Ruddy’s family, the Polisario leader, Mohamed Abdelaziz, acknowledges that his separatist front has lost “an ardent defender of the Sahrawi people’s right to self-determination.”
The Polisario’s third lost ally is reporter Ignacio Cembrero who was working for Spanish daily El Pais and who is well-known for his hostility against Morocco and for his biased stories on Western Sahara. Ignacio Cembrero has just been fired from his job for posting on his blog an AQIM video glorifying terrorism and threatening the interests of Morocco. A Polisario’s propagandist voice on a widely circulated daily has thus been silenced.



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