As the boat of the Algerian regime sinks against the backdrop of unrelenting protests demanding a step down of infirm Bouteflika and a departure of the opaque regime, the ruling elites seek diversion by sending their foreign facade figure Ramtane Lamamra to the UN talks on the Sahara in Geneva, a move that shows that hostility to Morocco is a tenet of the autocratic and embattled establishment in Algiers.
Ensuing diplomatic defeats one after the other at the African level and beyond, the Algerian regime sticks to the mirage of having an unviable state in the Sahara that turns in its orbit.
Myopic to the significance of the protests and their aspirations to have open borders with Morocco and Tunisia, the Algerian regime sticks to obsolete stands born out of a cold war context.
Lamamra’s participation in the UN-sponsored Geneva II roundtable on the Sahara at the head of the Algerian delegation shows that undermining Morocco’s territorial integrity is more important for the Algerian regime than the threat it faces from the growing awareness of the Algerian youth regarding the untenability of the autocratic status quo.
As protests grow, the Algerian regime is busy contributing with South Africa to hold yet another anti-Moroccan event on March 25 to show solidarity with the separatist Polisario entity.
Protesters representing the vibe of the Algerian people are aware that the regime has used the Sahara issue to destroy the Maghreb integration and keep borders closed. It is worth noticing that in all protests in the Algerian capital no one hoisted the flag of the Polisario entity.
Support for separatism in the Sahara is a cause of a regime perceived as aging, corrupt and inefficient. The cracks within the regime and the ensuing defections would probably give rise to a new elite that looks at the Maghreb as a win-win project breaking away with decades of hostile policies towards Morocco.
Meanwhile, in its last days, the regime squanders its decreasing oil and gas mantra on the already lost cause of separatism at a moment where Morocco gathers support continentally and internationally for its territorial integrity.