Algeria has once again confirmed, through its Prime Minister, its visceral hostility to Morocco and its blatant bias in the Western Sahara conflict.
The Algerian leaders have gone far in their enmity against their Moroccan neighbor and tried to involve, at all costs, the African Union (AU) in the Western Sahara artificial conflict. They fear Morocco’s return to its rightful seat within the pan-African organization as a founding member of the defunct Organization of African Unity (OAU.)
For the Algerian oligarchy and strategists, this return might turn upside down the geo-strategic maneuvers of the Algerian regime, which is constantly in search of a regional leadership that is slow to materialize.
It seems that the Algerian leaders, including the members of the late President Houari Boumediene’s clan who are still alive, have a short memory.
They have all forgotten that these very Moroccan neighbors, become overnight their “No.1 enemy,” have fought and died alongside the Algerian Mujahideen (Martyrs) to liberate Algeria from French colonialism.
This is the case of the Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal, who impertinently said in his speech before the 25th AU summit in Johannesburg that the Western Sahara issue is a matter of “decolonization”.
Unfortunately for him, none of his African Peers echoed his claim.
The Algerian regime which defends peoples’ sacrosanct right to self-rule is denying this same right to the Berbers of Kabylia who have long claimed the autonomy of their province but never got it. Each time they raise their voice, they are harshly repressed, unlike Morocco which went far in its concessions by offering its Sahrawi population a large autonomy.
But as put by Peter Pham, Director of the Africa Center at the influential Atlantic Council, History and reality on the ground evidence the soundness of the autonomy plan in the Sahara under Morocco’s sovereignty, a plan that was acknowledged by major world capitals.
Sellal is not supposed to ignore that resistance to the Spanish occupation forces was not staged by the Polisario Front leader, Abdelaziz el Marrakchi and his separatist teammates, but by Sheikh Maa al-Ainaine, who had repeatedly sworn allegiance to the Alawite throne. For Peter Pham, these are all facts that kill off the Algerian imposture vis-a-vis Morocco’s irrefutable territorial integrity.