ISSN 2330-717X

Polisario Front Suffering Serious Setbacks Due To Its Opportunistic Representatives – OpEd

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Have you ever heard about the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) and its so called representative to the United Nations Sidi Mohamed Omar?

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Sahrawi student El-Ouali Mustapha and his friends established the Polisario Front on May 10, 1975 in a village called Ain Ben Tili, which  is now in Mauritania. It is currently based in Sahrawi refugee camps in Tindouf, Algeria.

On Feb. 27, 1976, Polisario proclaimed the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) in Bir Lahlou, Western Sahara. The headquarters of the SADR, a government in exile, is in Tindouf, Algeria. 

In 2018, Polisario Front has appointed Mohamed Omar as its representative in New York to coordinate with United Nations to find political solution to the Sahara issue, which he never succeeded in resolving it.

Prior to 2020, Polisario was already bleeding heavily as it had lost its popularity, sympathy and support internationally as well as among the Sahrawi people, due to its substandard and opportunist representatives like Mohamed Omar, who is seeking to enrich his own business and personal interests instead of representing Polisario at the UN and to find political solution to the Sahara issue. 

Mohamed Omar has never shown his accreditation letter to the UN, nor his UN ID Card as he pretends to have.

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Unlike most of the poor Sahrawi refugees in Tindouf camps, Mohamed Omar has been living for more than 18 years in Spain where his family lives and where he obtained his Ph.D from a little-known university. 

According to Polisario’s defectors, Mohamed Omar lives a lavishing life in New York and Spain. Most of the time either he lives in New York or in Spain. He has failed in his duties to protect the rights of Sahrawi refugees.

His lavishing life, the defetors said, and his love for alcohol do not reflect the plight of Sahrawi refugees, who are struggling to get food, water, medicines and access to education in Tindouf. Shameless Polisario front representative Mohamed Omar and other greedy leaders are taking advantage of this situation to get rich by allegedly stealing humanitarian aid and donations from foreign countries.  

 There was no effort from Mohamed Omar to lobby friendly countries to put pressure on UN to find a solution.

Since his appointment as the so-called Polisario’s representative at the United Nations, Mohamed Omar has obviously failed in his mission due to his substandard diplomatic skills and lack of experience that make him incompetent to build relationships and contacts with key figures in UN. Also, his origins from a minority tribe (Malian tribe) in Tindouf camps, his long and frequent absence in UN institutions, his opportunism, deficiency and egoism are the main reasons for his diplomatic failure. 

Away from the UN office in New York, where he shows his frustration whenever his accreditation and the lack of UN ID Card are subject of discussion, Mohamed Omar prefers to pass his time within his family in Spain and to seek to enrich himself by allegedly embezzling humanitarian aid.

Before 1912, the Kingdom of Morocco was a fully sovereign, independent and a united country. Western Sahara was a part and parcel of Morocco. It became a protectorate of both France and Spain in 1912.

Morocco gained its independence from France in 1956 but it was not fully independent from Spanish colonial regime. Because the territories under Spanish protectorate were scattered between north, central and southern regions. Liberation of these territories began gradually: the north in 1956, Tangier in April 1956, Tan Tan and Tarfaya in 1958, Sidi Ifini in 1969 and Western Sahara in 1975. Western Sahara is now called Moroccan Sahara.

The UN has been trying to find a solution to the Western Sahara conflict for a long time. Polisario, which signed a UN-brokered cease-fire with Morocco in 1991. But in 2020, Polisario ended the truce with Morocco.

Veeramalla Anjaiah

Veeramalla Anjaiah is a Jakarta-based senior journalist and the author of the book “Azerbaijan Seen from Indonesia

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