Morocco puts Algeria in its place as real party to Sahara conflict at UN meeting
Morocco has once again highlighted Algeria’s role as the main party to the Sahara conflict, stressing if Algeria was so attached to the principle of self-determination, it had better let the occupied Kabylie with its 12 million people practice that right.
“You ask for self-determination for the 20,000 people that you are holding in the camps of Tindouf but you deny that same right to 12 million people?” Hilale asked in a response to Algeria’s delegate Nadir El Arbaoui at the UN C24 meeting in St Lucia.
The Kabylie people suffered three occupations: The Ottomans, the French and now the Algerians, said Hilale.
The Kabylie is a restive Berber-speaking region with its own peaceful independence movement known as the MAK, whose leadership is exiled in France.
Hilale reminded the Algerian delegate who said the Sahara was a “closed prison” that the territory is home to 27 consulates and a destination for investors and tourists, unlike Algeria which restricts access for journalists and imprisons dissidents.
Algeria is only fooling itself when it says it is not a party to the Sahara conflict. In 1975, as Spain was preparing to leave Morocco’s southern provinces, Algeria sent a letter to the UN voicing its interest in the territory. At that time Polisario was not mentioned.
Algeria funds, arms and backs the polisario diplomatically. It even negotiates on behalf of the polisario separatists and takes stands against the countries that back Morocco’s sovereignty over the territory in an utmost proof of its status as the real party to the conflict.
Hilale reminded the Algerian delegate of the battles that Algeria fought against Morocco in the Sahara including the battle of Amgala in 1976, during which hundreds of Algerians were captured.