The delegate of the Polisario Front in Spain, Abdulah Arabi, stressed that the general secretary of the movement, Brahim Ghali, had been transferred for “strictly humanitarian” reasons and that the government of Pedro Sánchez therefore acted “consistently”. with his reception policy, despite the “media noise” that he now attributes to Morocco.
Ghali was evacuated from Algeria last week after his health deteriorated after contracting coronavirus and was initially hospitalized in an Algerian hospital. He came to Spain on a medicated plane and an Algerian diplomatic passport, an aspect of the latter that Arabi considers “obvious”.
The Saharawi delegate said in an interview with Europa Press that the Polisario leader is still “improving”, although he avoids going into details of his circumstances for privacy reasons.
The Moroccan government called the Spanish ambassador in Rabat, Ricardo Díez-Hochleitner, over the weekend to convey his “disappointment” about the transfer and to ask for “explanations”. However, Arabi insists that the evacuation is based on “strictly humanitarian” issues and urges that political readings be set aside.
“We are in a war of disinformation in Morocco,” says Arabi, who accuses Rabat of trying to “instrumentalize” the case. “Morocco shouldn’t be confused when it comes to bilateral relations in Spain and trying to dictate what to do,” he added.
The chairman of the Polisario in Spain, who says he has a “fluent dialogue” with the Sánchez government, makes it clear that after the controversy in recent days, none of the executive has contacted the Sahrawi delegation – “and I think so too not, that”. he shows.
In the field of justice, he sees little way to bring the demand of the Saharawi Association for the Defense of Human Rights (ASADEDH) to the national court to evaluate the renewed summons of Ghali, who was summoned in 2016 for alleged crimes of genocide, murder and torture and enforced disappearances allegedly committed against the dissident Sahrawi population who sought refuge in the Tindouf camps, Algeria.
Arabi does not consider that Ghali could be blocked in Spain, arguing that one thing is “media impact” and another is “reality”. “We believe that this case has no legal route,” he claims, confident that the leader can leave Spanish territory and “resume his functions” without any problems.
The Saharawi delegate recalled that, as a former metropolis, Spain “has a responsibility in the conflict” that is still open in Western Sahara, where the Polisario Front is demanding an “active role” in the search for a solution that has since emerged Resists decades …
The situation became particularly tense in November when Morocco was driven from the Guerguerat Pass on the border with Mauritania and protected by the 1991 ceasefire. The authorities of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) speak openly of “war” to describe the current situation on the ground.
Arabi fears a “military escalation” because he believes that the Saharawi people are “more determined than ever to continue their struggle”. However, he also defends that the Polisario will always be open to negotiation, in search of self-determination that Rabat always immediately rejected.
Regarding the lack of a UN special envoy for the Western Sahara, the representative of the Polisario Front in Spain emphasized that the possible appointment was “not an end in itself” but “must be a means to lead the parties to negotiations” President Horst Köhler, who resigned in May 2019, reached in his time.
The Polisario does not name any possible applicants and limits itself to claiming a “serious” envoy with “honesty” and “complete impartiality” after diplomatic sources quoted last week by the official Moroccan agency MAP alleged vetoes against the former Romanians had accused Prime Minister Petre Roman and former Portuguese Foreign Minister Luis Amado.