After the interview with Laayoune regional TV, I took a taxi from Laayoune to the capital of Mauritania, Nouakchott, and from there to the city of Zouerat in the north, from which the trade flow between the camps and Mauritania take place, and where the Sahrawis are almost permanently present.
The first results of my arrival in the city of Zouerat, I learned that my passport is no longer valid. The only other document I still had was the Sahrawi identity card, which only allows me to travel between Mauritania and the camps.
The Front declared explicitly and formally its position through one of its representatives abroad that they would not allow me to enter the camps. On the other hand, I insisted that I would go to the camps, and suddenly it became a global cause. I started speaking all the languages as a result of the press inquiring about my situation and where I arrived.
Even the front called, saying they sent negotiators who will meet me in the city of Zouerat. They asked me to wait for them.
The atmosphere was very tense, and the one who struggled the most was the director of state security, he was a good man. His border city, far from political debates even in his own country, has turned into the center of the world, hosting a person whose fate all press agencies are inquiring about.. A person with no power or authority, as Mauritania is not a party to his cause, even worse is that he has become stateless. He has nothing but the Polisario documents that disavows him. The state security director himself had to secure the house where I live, as the city is open on the borders of the front on three sides, precaution is necessary.
The front’s messengers came with .... They were members of the tribe, some of them carrying the president’s message and some carrying the minister's message.
The content of the two messages .. is divided into two parts:
To go back where I came from, and I jokingly said: You are not true cousins, you really mean what you said? You ask your cousin to go to the "enemy" !!!! Or has Morocco suddenly turned into a friend ???
And the second part: Otherwise..
I continued joking, and asked them: Perhaps the front gave you a mind altering drug... you come to me as cousins and ask me to choose between going to "the enemy" or 25 years of prison?? Did they not insult you by making you carry such a message? If I were in your place, I would not have done it.
Ok, my cousins, to whom the tribes testify of justice: Why should I go to the "enemy" or else ???
I uncovered my chest and there was no explosive belt, I opened my bag there was no guns or grenades. I asked: What is my sin to have to choose between going to the "enemy" or life imprisonment? I am sure one of you witnessed the trial that was held in our camp to look into my case in my absence.. Tell me how the sessions went and who was the prosecutor who read the accusation document? Who were the judge and the advisers? Who was the lawyer that you appointed to defend me?
- Enough with your trial jokes, which court are you talking about?? You said that you are in favor of autonomy.
- So what? Where is the problem? You say that you are in favor of independence, why do you have the right to say that and I don’t? Our blood, our language, our religion, our joys, our funerals. Everything in us is one, why do you have the right to say that and I don’t?!!!!
The conclusion of the negotiations was the acquittal of the delegation’s responsibility to deliver the message, and a tea session with a humours vibe: enough with your jokes, then all went their way without ruining our relationships.
I assured them before they got in the car to return to the camps, that I would not be the one taken down in my battle, although there is no honor in winning a battle between brothers.
I went on with my journey north towards the border town of “Bir Moghrein”...
The story continues ...
Mustapha Salma Ould Sidi Mouloud is a former police chief of the Polisario Front, and political dissident.