Khat Ach’chahid to Horst Kohler : «The Polisario doesn’t have the right to negotiate on behalf of Sahrawis»

As the UN Secretary-General’s personal envoy to Western Sahara prepares to visit the region in October, the Martyr’s Line (Khat Ach’chahid), an opposition movement within the Polisario Front has sent a letter to Horst Kohler. The written message, issued by the movement led by Mahjoub Salek, came to comment on the Polizario’s latest congress, calling it «a single party’s play initiated to preserve the Front’s leadership for more than forty years». «A leadership that is not allowed to negotiate or speak on behalf of the Sahrawi people», the letter said.


For the record, Khat Ach’chid is a «political movement representing democratic reform within the Front and which aims at achieving justice and democracy through making people take part of the decision-making process regarding their fate by rotating power as an urban approach to governance».


Speaking to Horst Kohler, Khat Ach’chid called the UN envoy to «listen directly to [its] members», recalling that it is representing an important portion of the Sahrawi population. A way of making the UN special envoy «benefit from a complete and familiar overview of all opinions, despite the disagreement on the Western Sahara conflict, instead of listening to the unanimous opinion of the Polisario’s leaders».


The Polisario «doesn’t have the right to negotiate with the Moroccan government»


The letter stresses on the fact that «the Polisario’s leaders are only members who hold power and take advantage of the situation of Sahrawis in the camps». «Every day, every month and every year, this conflict continues to be a crime against humanity, against our women, our ancestors and our children who have been suffering in the camps for more than 35 years in a conflict that serves only those who continue to fish in troubled waters».


The letter also indicates that Khat Ach’chahid is ready to meet Horst Kohler to explain the ins and outs of the Western Sahara’s conflict. «Whether in Spain, Mauritania or Algeria and if you can ensure our safety and security (…) we are ready to meet you», said the movement.


The letter, signed by the Polisario – Khat Ach’chahid Executive Committee, then insists that the Front doesn’t represent them.


«If the Polisario claims to represent the Saharawi people, this administration represents only itself. It therefore has no right to negotiate on behalf of the Saharawi people with the Moroccan government on our destiny and our future».


The document also urges «the international community and the United Nations to send independent international observers to the Tindouf camps» and calls Horst Kohler to advocate for this mechanism.