A new stage of Saharawi struggle for freedom is shaped after the recent Security Council adoption of the famous, yet dangerous, resolution 1495-2003. Saharawi People are now facing a wide and strong media campaign, led by France and Moroccan mass media, that aims in the first hand to discredit the Saharawi political organisation, aiming at the same time ñas it has always been a French strategy- to support Moroccan claims and violations of international laws.
The main detectable tactics of the Franco-Moroccan response to the international support of Saharwiís right to self-determination, reveals to be the natural outcome of the old colonial tendencies by which the two systems are known.
In my point of view, there is a new strategy adopted by both countries to counter the new international political mood that seems to be pushing the conflict towards a solution in which the Saharawi People can finally express their will on the future of the territory.
This strategy, I think, is multileveled and does not target Saharawis only, but also all those, countries, organisations or persons, who support the Saharawis and recognise their rights to freedom and independence.
The first feature of this new colonial attack can be seen in the wide diplomatic and media campaign led by different parties, Moroccan and French mainly, to discredit the political organisation which represents Saharawis and which had always been a target to the Franco-Moroccan alliance, not only diplomatically but also militarily (in the first years of Polisario struggle, France intervened in the military action using its Air force to back Moroccan and Mauritanian Armies in 1976).
Morocco, in fact, backed by French pro-Moroccans, are trying now to dismantle the conflict in smaller issues, so as to open new battlefields in front of the saharawi diplomacy, which proved to be more efficient and reliable than the old Moroccan corrupted diplomatic machine. Of course, there are many honest persons and organisations that were misled by this strategy, pushed by the Moroccan focus on a specific sensitive question, which is no more than the Moroccan POWs. But it would not take them a long time to understand this malicious strategy.
As it is known, Moroccan POWs question is, certainly, a very important and sad one, and nobody could but wish and work to help ending their dilemma. But, what is new in the situation is that it is used now in a theatrical melodramatic way, to rise a wrong debate over a question which is and should normally be put in its real humanitarian context:
the suffering of the people of the region Moroccan and Saharawis is a single question which should be treated as a level of a wider political conflict, and in which the responsibility is certainly Moroccan since it is Morocco which invaded another nation territory, killing, destroying and pushing its own people in a war that brought them more sufferings besides the violation of their rights being citizens of a totalitarian system.
Moreover, the ësaddení Franco-Moroccan ëhumanitarianí concern for the long forgotten and denied POWs, is used by the two colonial systems to attack Algeria, not only because the rising North African power is backing Saharawis right to self-determination, but also because Algeria recovered its right place in the region as a reliable and strong country, which could assume the responsibility of leading the Maghreb, and which can be an element of stability in the region.
The problem is that Algeria, rejecting the French attempts to control North Africa, chose to be open to different strong powers, USA, Russia, European Union, an increasingly strong African Union...etc, and this is far from being accepted by France that fears the increasing influence of the USA in the region. Besides, France failed in its different attempts to control Algiers, which proved to be more independent and resolute to have its own political decision and will, unlike Morocco, the adoptive son of the old French colonialism.
From this, one can understand the motives of the French nervous unconditional support of Moroccan violations of international laws and human rights in Western Sahara and in Morocco itself.
In another level, and as an attempt to push USA to change or at least to soften its ënewí position towards the conflict, Morocco recently re-warmed its "briefly" cut relationship with Israel, the other repressive system, and the famous challenger of UN's resolutions.
In fact, the revival of diplomatic relationships between the two countries can only be understood from this side. The deal being, Israel lobbying in Washington for more ëunderstandingí of Rabatís colonial aims, in exchange of a Moroccan role in mediation between Tel Aviv and other Arab Capitals. Further, some observers expect that Israel would likely ask Morocco to receive Yasser Arafat, since Sharonís government is seriously studying the possibility of getting rid of him, ëejectingí him from the Palestinian political scene and territories.
Thus, it should be understood that the Moroccan loud voice in the scene is derived from its increasing political isolation, because its acts proved to the whole world that the Monarchy is not that stable and reliable as French propaganda tries to spread.
The old tyranny suffers from a deep instability caused by:
- Its wrong and expansionist policies.
- The increasing abuses of Moroccan Human rights.
- A weak and unsatisfactory economy.
- An increasing economical gap between social classes on the detriment of the poor (more than 70 per cent of Moroccans can be considered as part of this social class).
- Unemployment, the youth (more than 40 per cent) is hopeless, and is likely to stay so.
- The political parties are completely absent, and far from being representatives of the real political aspirations of Moroccans.
- Corruption, is the title of all the System institution...etc
And the list could lead us to another subject.
Finally, I would like to say that, Morocco is now playing a humanitarian "gameí" (because, for the repressive systems the human life has never been a subject of concern), trying to mislead people who are really concerned with human rights questions, and seems to have succeed more than we, the normal Saharawis, could have imagined.
For the refugees, at least the ones I had discussed with or heard, there are many human questions in Western Sahara that should be resolved and treated taken as a whole, because, I think that, though important a problem , but 900 Moroccan POW are not and should not be more important than more than 500.000 human beings who are parted, exiled, imprisoned, killed and ignored or more marginalised.
In other words, it is unfair to focus only on the human condition of less than a thousand human being and pay less efforts towards hundreds of thousands, at least the 900 hundreds should be dealt with as a part of the bigger number of Moroccan systemís victims and should not be considered as more important than other victims who had never hold an arm or attacked a person, or participated in the military struggle.
Saharawi Refugees Camps