Algeria Uses the Polisario to ‘Unsettle’ Morocco- South African Paper

Algeria Uses the Polisario to ‘Unsettle’ Morocco- South African Paper

In the wake of the triumphal return of Morocco to the African Union where the King delivered a landmark speech reflecting Morocco’s growing economic and diplomatic clout in the continent, the leading South African paper, the Daily Maverick, published an analysis on what Morocco will gain from its comeback to the continental body, noting that the carpet will soon be pulled under the feet of the Polisario.

In an Op-ed entitled, “Morocco wrong-foots its African critics,” the paper sheds light on the responsibility of Algeria in perpetuating the conflict over the Sahara and blocking attempts to reach a consensual solution. It deems that Morocco’s presence within the AU structures will highlight Algiers role in settling the regional dispute.

“Morocco has always maintained that the Polisario is not only backed and funded by Algeria, but in fact has no sovereign decision-making power; its leaders take direct orders from Algiers, which is less committed to the Sahrawi people than it is to anything that might unsettle Morocco,” said the three co-authors of the Article Terence Mcnamee, Greg Mills and Peter Pham

The article sheds light on the different facets of the manipulation by the Algerian regime of the polisario separatist front saying: “Algeria has used the Western Sahara as a political football in its fight for regional supremacy and a means to consolidate domestic support in a country still struggling with the consequences of its brutal, murky civil war and the myriad sources of potential instability within its borders.”

On the triumphal return of Morocco to the African Union following an outspoken support by a sweeping majority of the organization’s member states, the authors of the article noted that the Algerian-sponsored separatists are “slumping under the relentless weight of Rabat’s nimble diplomacy and economic heft.”

Underscoring Morocco’s comeback to the African Union as “integration to the continent’s development,” the article describes the North African kingdom’s “emboldened” comeback inside the African Union as a prelude to “a final blow” to the Polisario’s separatist dreams.

“Previously excluded from multilateral African responses, Morocco will now be able to throw its political, military and economic clout, as well as its direct experience of terrorism, behind operations,” says the analysis.

On the gains of the AU from Morocco’s membership, the three authors stress that the continental body will “benefit from Morocco’s relations and strong political and economic interests with the European Union, its membership in the NATO Mediterranean Dialogue (which also includes Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt and Mauritania), and its privileged status as a “major non-NATO ally” of the United States, to strengthen military co-operation with these major powerful players.”

The authors also highlighted the economic achievements of Morocco as a model for the rest of the continent and called on the African Union to capitalize on Morocco’s assets.

“Morocco’s rapid development over the past 20 years puts it among very few African countries that can genuinely claim to be an economic model for the rest of the continent,” said the authors.

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