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the Polisario “breaks” with the Spanish government

“The Polisario Front decides to sever its contacts with the current Spanish government so that it distances itself from instrumentalizing the Sahrawi issue in the context of the deplorable negotiations with the occupying forces (Moroccan, editor’s note),” wrote the Polisario in a statement. This rift will continue until the Spanish government “complies with the decisions of international legality, which international legality recognizes the right of the Sahrawi people to self-determination and to respect for the internationally recognized borders of their country”.

Spain has shown its support for the Moroccan autonomy plan

The prime minister of the former colonial power Spain has so far shown his neutrality and publicly announced on March 18 his support for the Moroccan autonomy plan, which he now considers “the most serious, realistic and credible basis for the solution of this dispute”.

Criticized from all sides in Spain, but also by Algiers, the main supporter of the Polisario, the Spanish government confirms that it has not changed its position, but has only taken “an extra step” to contribute to the resolution of the conflict which has opposed Morocco on the Polisario Front since the departure of the Spaniards in 1975. The Polisario justified its break with Madrid on “the principle that the Spanish State has responsibilities towards the Sahrawi people and the United Nations, being the governing power of the area, responsibilities that remain thus inexplicable”.

The migration issue at the heart of the negotiations

For Madrid, the main aim of restoring relations with Rabat is to ensure its “cooperation” in controlling illegal immigration, while Morocco, from which most migrants leave for Spain, has been regularly accused by many observers of using it. as a pressure medium.

The conflict in Western Sahara, a vast desert area with a very fish-like coastline and a phosphate-rich subsoil, which the UN considers a “non-autonomous area”, has pitted Morocco against the Sahrawi separatists of the Polisario Front for decades. front. Rabat, which controls nearly 80% of this territory, proposes an autonomy plan under its sovereignty, while the Polisario Front calls for a self-determination referendum, planned by the UN when a ceasefire was signed in 1991. †

The Polisario says it is “in a state of war of self-defense”

The ceasefire was broken in November 2020 after Moroccan troops deployed in the far south of the area to oust separatists blocking the only road to Mauritania, which they said was illegal. Since then, the Polisario Front says it is “in a state of self-defense” and publishes a daily bulletin of its operations.

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