Let me breathe, a Sahrawi tragedy (4)

Please do not ask me to be silent. Allow me to breathe 

 

Imagine the head of police of the Polisario front wandering around Morocco !!!! The simplest thing that he could bring back to his family, if he was destined to survive it, is some uncovered secrets about this terrifying monster that we always heard about but never saw.

 

83% of the camp residents are under the age of 50. They have the same age as the conflict, they grew up with this image of Morocco - the monster, about which they only know what they are told. 

Do not talk to me about the internet and satellite TV, those are discoveries of the twenty-first century, or at least for us in the camps. The first telephone that came around was in 2003, it was a mobile phone, otherwise we would have never known what the telephone was. 

 

Our neighboring state of Tindouf, which is less than 8 kilometers from our camp, used to see our elderly and old people crowding in lines at the telephone booths in their streets but they still find it too difficult to extend telecommunication cables to our camps to this day .

 

 Going back to the original story, and the fact that the head of police of the front is in the city of Smara. He will eventually return to his people and his family and his country, and questions will be asked. As is our custom, we say that you don’t ask the one that has been absent how long they were away, but rather what they brought back.

 

I spent a little more than a month in the city of Smara, trying to discover where was hiding this terrifying monster we used to hear about in our camp, occupying the city and capturing its people. I saw that people's lives are going normally, much better than the ones we live, but that did not excuse me from continuing to search. I even roamed the wilds in the outskirts of town, without encountering the monster.

 

I did not find a trace of the monster.. the monster does not exist..I did not believe myself.. Should I believe what I was looking at or what I was told.

I remembered being the head of the police, that makes the burden heavy. I have to come back with an outcome. People will ask. Rather, I would be suspected if I went back safe and sound, for no one has ever returned from the dark forest. Anyone who goes from our camp to Morocco never returns.

I had only two options, no more. Either I scratch a part of my body with a knife and shed my blood in one of the alleys of Smara, and keep the tape until my return. Then I would say to them: Praise God for my safety. If it were not for your prayers for me, I would have been devoured by the wild dogs of the city, after the monster tortured me and threw me to his dogs.

 

Throwing myself in front of a car, or jumping from the top of a building, was more convincing of the monster’s existence had it not been for the risk involved. Especially falling from a high place, it is the ideal dramatic image, and the most believable. Part of what we were told about the monster, is that it would take people in helicopters and throw them alive out of it.

 

The other option was to be honest with myself and my people, I am the head of their police after all: their eyes and their ears, and I have to share with them the truth of what my eyes have witnessed, for we are honest people demanding rights and lying does not suit us.

 

The last option was the closest to myself who refused hypocrisy. But there is still one obstacle left. How will I convince them just by saying so? How will I convince them that the monster does not exist outside of our imaginations?

 

I found my way to the idea of ​​showing them myself wandering around my city, from which I was liberated a long time ago, after it was occupied by the monster that destroyed the plows and offspring, and telling them on television here I am and I am coming back to you. This way, if they would not believe that the monster does not exist, I would spare myself the embarrassment of being called a liar if I told someone that I went to the forest and came back from it safe and sound.

 

Do not forget, we are in the middle of the summer of 2010. I decided to hold a press conference in the city from which I was "liberated" nearly 31 years ago.

 

 Mustapha Salma Ould Sidi Mouloud is a former police chief of the Polisario Front, and political dissident.

Don't get angry, you who want me to shut up, for I still said I was liberated, and I didn't say I was kidnapped. Do you know why? To think you are as you claim. The source of liberation. And that you only had mercy on me, taking me when you did, as a liberated ten-years-old boy, without the permission of my father, so that I would not live as a slave in my hometown and the cradle of my youth, occupied by the monster.

 

Oh God, how exemplary would be this pink picture of our liberators! Were it not for what happened later... 

 

The story continues.

 

 Mustapha Salma Ould Sidi Mouloud is a former police chief of the Polisario Front, and political dissident.

 

 

 

 

26/12/2020