Challenging Hispano-Moroccan contempt for African sovereignty, by Owei Lakemfa

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HE is amazing, but true. A sitting African head of state has been infected with COVID-19. He could not be treated in his country. A sister country in Africa who came to his aid concluded that he needed specialized treatment available in a European country. He contacted the latter who accepted that the sick African president could be sent there, to judge him from his sick bed!

The European country involved is Spain, which holds the infamous record for the most bestial and greedy colonialist in human history. It also has the dubious distinction of having been ruled for 39 years by a fascist dictator, General Francisco Franco, from 1936 to 1975.

When forced by the Sahrawi armed struggle, the internal rise of democratic forces and international pressure to abandon its Saharan colony (Western Sahara), rather than granting pure and simple independence as other European colonialists did , Spain broke the new country into three parts, handed two to Morocco and the third to Mauritania. It was his half-smart way of continuing to rule Western Sahara by proxy.

However, the Saharawi people of the POLISARIO Liberation Movement retaliated militarily, forcing Mauritania to return its share of the booty and Morocco to sign a peace accord overseen by the United Nations. Under this agreement, the world body, on the basis of United Nations Security Council Resolution 690, established its United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara, MINURSO in 1991. But due to an unnatural alliance of the United States, France, Spain and Morocco, and the impotence of the UN, this referendum has not yet taken place 30 years later!

Meanwhile, the Saharawis who renamed their new country, the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, SADR, continued to rule the liberated parts of the country while Morocco, with European and American support, continued to occupy the rest of the country. . This is responsible for the protracted refugee crisis, with many Sahrawis forced to live in the refugee camps provided by Algeria in Tindouf.

In 1982, the Organization of African Unity, OAU, recognized the independence of Western Sahara and that year admitted it as a full member. A sulky Morocco cried at the OAU summit like a baby deprived of its pacifier, but Africa insisted on its principle of the right of all colonies, including Western Sahara, not only to self-determination under the Charter founder of the UN, but also to independence.

When it was not allowed to recolonize the former Spanish colony, Morocco left the OAU.

Since then, Spain and Morocco have been in an unnatural alliance, plundering phosphate, fishing and other resources from the Saharawi people and suppressing them. Their attempt in June 2021 to seize the president of Western Sahara, Brahim Ghali, was their last bet which, despite all the drama experienced by the two countries, failed.

President Ghali has been infected with COVID-19 and has not been able to receive adequate treatment in the country or in neighboring Algeria. The latter approached Spain who accepted that Ghali be treated at the San Millan-San Pedro hospital in Logroño, the capital of his province of La Rioja in the north. However, tearful Morocco took offense; he considered the extension of medical treatment to President Ghali as a betrayal.

In its usual crises, Morocco, on May 18, 2021, retaliated against Spain by opening its borders with the Spanish enclave of Ceuta and urging migrants who tried to enter Europe, to cross Spanish territory. In two days, some 8,000 of them entered Ceuta. It turned out that when most of the migrants were arrested by the Spanish armed forces, half of them were Moroccans.

Meanwhile, Spain was embroiled in its own irritabilities. On the basis of alleged complaints from a Moroccan group and despite the fact that he enjoys diplomatic immunity, he tried President Ghali from his hospital bed on the grounds that as head of the Army of Saharawi liberation about four decades ago, he had committed war crimes.

However, Spain’s High Court on Tuesday (June 1) rejected a request for President Ghali’s arrest, saying the plaintiffs had provided no evidence at the preliminary hearing that he had committed a crime. Morocco in protest, recalled its ambassador. The next day, President Ghali returned to Algeria to continue his treatment and recovery.

Interestingly, Spain, which seeks to maintain some moral foundation in its accusation against President Ghali, has never brought any of its citizens to justice for the more than 500,000 human beings killed during the coup. ‘State of Franco.

The conspiracy of Spain and Morocco to seize President Ghali was not only intended to undermine the sovereignty of the African people by imprisoning a sitting African head of state, but also to take their pound of flesh from a Sahrawi leader. which had given both countries a bloody nose. .

President Ghali, 71, was one of the co-founders of POLISARIO which launched an armed struggle against Spain. He led the military raids against the colonialists in 1973 and the following year became the Chief of Staff of the Saharawi People’s Liberation Army. This great African son was a major military leader at the head of the liberation forces which clashed militarily against the combined armed forces of Spain, Morocco and Mauritania in a David vs Goliath contest in which the Saharawi David was only neither intimidated nor conquered until this day.

When the world called for peace, Ghali played a major role in this peace process which led to the creation of MINURSO. He was Minister of Defense from 1976, Ambassador to Spain for nine years from 1999 and Ambassador to Algeria, the most important country in Western Sahara, from 2010 to 2016. On July 9, 2016, he was elected President of the Republic.

When on November 13, 2020, an overconfident Morocco decided to violate the ceasefire agreements, the Ghali administration without any hesitation or fear immediately resumed the armed conflict; confidently pitting the 597,339 Sahrawis against the 36.47 million Moroccans. Thus, the Spanish fascists and the Moroccan monarchical and anti-democratic establishment know who they are dealing with in Western Sahara.

Generally, Western Europe and America tend to treat Africa like garbage; the Arab group assumes they are next to Europe in the human hierarchy, while Morocco peeing on the continent, the AU accepts them as a house nigger.

But Africa had peerless leaders like Ben Bella and Abdel Gamel Nasser in the north, Mwalimu Nyerere in the east, Robert Mugabe and Samora Machel in the south, Patrice Lumumba in the central belt and Kwame Nkrumah and Sekou Touré in the west. . Africa will rise up and take its place of pride as it did when it led all mankind to civilization.

Owei Lakemfa, former secretary general of African workers, is a human rights activist, journalist and author.

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