The statements of the Polisario dissident Mahjoub Salek on the autonomy plan for Western Sahara reflect the prevailing sentiment among the Sahrawi population living in the Tindouf camps under the Stalinist control of the Polisario and Algerian security services.
To illustrate this mindset, Mahjoub Salek, who was among the founders of the separatist Polisario front, cites the municipal and regional elections held in Morocco on September 4.
The poll was marked by the high turnout of voters in Western Sahara, the highest compared to other regions of the country, Majjoub Salek told France 24 TV channel.
The Sahrawis’ large participation translates their adherence to the electoral process which has consecrated, for the first time, the election at direct universal suffrage of the Regional Councils that are constitutionally endowed with wide prerogatives.
The Sahrawi’s’ participation was not only massive, but it also involved militants of human rights who were regularly invited by the Polisario to visit the Tindouf camps or participate in pro-Polisario events abroad, said Mahjoub Salek, who heads Khat Achahid, a dissident movement opposing the Polisario.
The unfolding of the elections in Western Sahara was largely commented in the Algeria-based Tindouf camps, said Mahjoub Salek.
“A Sahrawi in the camps has only two choices: either the Morocco-proposed autonomy plan or remaining indefinitely in the Tindouf camps,” he said expressing confidence that if the Sahrawi populations in Tindouf camps had a choice, they undoubtedly would opt for the autonomy plan.
But the current Polisario leadership is doing everything to prevent the Sahrawis from freely expressing their will, which is the antithesis of the political strategy followed by the Algerian regime in the region. If the Sahrawis in Tindouf could speak freely or if they were granted the freedom of movement, they would unhesitatingly leave the camps and return to Morocco.