Unlike the 2017 edition, Aminatou Haidar did not take part to the Polisario officials’ summer university program held in Boumerdes. Algerian officials did not show up at the opening session of the forum.
The 9th edition of the Polisario Front executives in the University of Mohamed Bougherra opened Saturday, August the 4th, in the Algerian city of Boumerdes. Deeply preoccupied with internal issues, including President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s fifth term and the war waged by the group that ended General Toufik’s reign, no official representing the Algerian government has made it to the opening session of the seminar dedicated to the Front.
Meanwhile, the separatist movement’s Secretary General and the «spokesperson of the Sahrawi Parliament» Khatri Addouh, who is also President of the Summer University, spoke during the event.
The absence of Algerian officials has pushed online newspaper FuturoSahara, which is close to Ghali’s main opponent Lamine Ould El Bouhali, to raise questions. The Front’s «Minister of Defense» was also absent during the meeting held this weekend.
Aminatou Haidar misses the Polisario’s event
On the other hand, many Sahrawi figures couldn’t make it to the opening session of the Polisario summer university, including Ali Salem Tamek, a Sahrawi human rights activist who was vice president of the Collective of Sahrawi Human Rights Defenders (CODESA), currently headed by Aminatou Haidar.
The latter did not attend the meeting either. Last year Haidar was present at the 8th edition of the summer university, where she praised Algeria all while denouncing Morocco’s policies.
Meanwhile, 24 Polisario supporters in the Sahara province attended the Boumerdes meeting. They landed on August the 2nd and 3rd at Algiers' airport, coming from Casablanca and Agadir.
However, this is not the first time that Aminatou Haidar misses a meeting or a conference attended by Brahim Ghali.
On Friday 29th of June, UN Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for Western Sahara Horst Köhler held talks in Laayoune with members of pro-Polisario associations. Unexpectedly, the CODESA's head missed the important meeting.
Haidar had been to nearly every meeting hosted by the former personal envoy, Christopher Ross.
While the female pro-Polisario activist wasn't there, Ali Salem Tamek was present at the meeting with Köhler. He was accompanied by Mohamed Salem Lakhel, head of a department at the regional delegation affiliated to the Ministry of Education as well as Mohamed Moutawakkil, another senior official.