Omar Hilale is a Moroccan hero. Morocco’s Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, long a bête noire of the Algerian Diplomat, is making news again.
During his response to Algeria’s ambassador anti-Morocco speech at the current meetings of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Mr. Hilale compared the inter-ethnic unrests in the Algerian city of Ghardaïa to the horrific conditions in the Syrian city of Aleppo.
Unhappy with this assessment, Algeria’s Boujemaa Dilmi interjected calling Ambassador Hilale “sick.” The Committee Chairman admonished the Algerian diplomat for undiplomatic conduct.
Ambassador Hilale belongs in the U.N. in New York where the Moroccan mission looks sheepish and meek. His style and diplomatic language is well suited for the on-going saga in New York. If he is given a degree of autonomy, Ambassador Hilale will shine in the world body.
History has taught us that being a good guy doesn’t pay. If Algeria choses to make “human rights in the Western Sahara” the cornerstone of its foreign policy, Morocco has the right to address Algiers poor human rights record at all levels.
Mr. Hilale actions in Geneva have demonstrated some specific and tangible implications of such approach. In Addressing Algeria’s domestic human rights record, Morocco re-frames the Western Sahara conflict as a Moroccan-Algerian border dispute and put the international community in front of a fait accompli.
Past passive foreign policy campaigns projected weakness and told the world that Morocco has a losing hand. As the world saw in Syria and Ukraine, defiance and consistency pays off. Mr. Hilale put steel in Morocco’s backbone in Geneva and he could do the same in New York.
Moroccans have enjoyed Hilale’s performance at the United Nations. His frank and aggressive styles in Geneva is a departure from Morocco’s customary diplomatic passivity. His blunt and unapologetic description of Algeria’s adverse role in prolonging the “Western Sahara “conflict put the Algerian Ambassador in the defensive.
For years Algerian diplomats orchestrated the anti-Moroccan campaign at the UNCRH without paying a political price. Hoping not to be accused of interfering in Morocco’s internal affairs, Algiers has engineered Polisario’ s each move while hiding under the cover of “observer.” If the Algerian delegation chose to use their floor time to bash Morocco, Ambassador Hilale has the right to reply.
However, he put it “there is no difference between the capital Rabat and the Saharan city of Laayoune.” In addressing the human rights situation in one or the other, Algerian diplomats are interfering in the affairs of the Kingdom. Therefore, Morocco has the right to address the wearisome conditions of civilians in Ghardaïa.