Jeune Afrique: "As Long as Algeria Has Not Acknowledged its Role as Party to the Conflict, No Final

"As long as the fantasy of an autonomous polisario has not been lifted and Algeria has not acknowledged its role as a party to the conflict, no final settlement will be possible," wrote France-based magazine Jeune Afrique on Wednesday.

In a leading article signed by its managing editor, François Sudan, under the title "Sahara: Algeria Must Come Out of Denial", Jeune Afrique reviews the latest events in El Guerguarat following the Kingdom's initiative to restore the free flow of goods and people in this buffer zone.


"One has only to take a look at the map to understand that the reopening of the buffer zone of El Guerguarat to free movement was vital for the kingdom," the publication underlined.


"Nearly two hundred trucks were blocked at the roadblock that the Polisario had set up there, threatening to clog a vital essential commercial artery for exports and trade between Morocco, Mauritania and sub-Saharan Africa," it added.


For the author the "fixation abscess was about to become a permanent camp for trafficking of all kinds" where the separatists "had begun to install Sahrawi families, making its evacuation as complex and lethal as that of Gdeim Izik, not far from Laayoune, in November 2010."


In the eyes of "Jeune Afrique", in doing so, "the Polisario Front leadership was obeying its own logic of survival."


For the Polisario clan "settling in El Guerguarat between the Moroccan and Mauritanian border crossings meant to generate a source of income and to create a 'patriotic' diversion likely to re-motivate an exhausted population, the publication explained.


"Having observed the inability of the UN mission to manage this problem (Polisario's incursions have been recurrent in the area for the past six years), King Mohammed VI has therefore made a decision."


"Benefiting from a window of diplomatic opportunity and supported by the majority of Arab League countries, the cleanup operation of El Guerguarat took place without any human loss on either side and no one, outside Algeria, has really condemned it," Jeune Afrique" pointed out.


For the magazine, accusing Morocco of having broken the cease-fire, when the latter "was already de facto violated" by the Polisario equals to "confusing the firefighter and the arsonist".


Recalling that the separatists declared "the state of war" and "the resumption of hostilities" following Morocco's intervention in El Guerguarat, the magazine notes that everyone knows that the separatists, who are "equipped with an arsenal that has changed very little since the 1980s and are totally dependent for its renewal on their Algerian mentor, are limited to the minimal hit and run tactics."


For Sudan, it is "a conflict from another age, stemming from the Cold War and resulting from the aftermath of decolonization."