The Report issued by the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, resulted in Resolution 2351 (2017) that the U S drafted and submitted to the Security Council for the vote. It was finally adopted on 28 April 2017 by a unanimous vote of all the 15 members, giving hope to all concerned1. Morocco might feel comforted with the final outcome of this Resolution and eager to see the recommendations translated into concrete actions. It might also consider this as a reward for Moroccan determined mature and judicious diplomacy and the country’s perception and treatment of just engagements in foreign policy when compared to erratic Algerian and Polisario failures to influence events. This, however, would certainly inspire the Moroccans to reinforce their peaceful diplomacy in Africa and the world and be more determined than ever before to fight terrorism and promote peace in a world torn by violence and inhuman acts of terror that spare no one.
In the final analysis, Resolution 2351, as seen by Moroccans, is in line with Moroccan inspirations and highlights the Autonomy proposal as “credible and serious. Morocco’s foreign policy remains very attached to UN resolutions and declarations and the authorities believe in the fair arbitration of the UN. Furthermore, the Moroccan authorities are actively involved, at every level, to bring Morocco to an emerging country by developing all its 12 Regions. The main policies are well anchored in three major priorities focusing on the legal Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara under UN auspices. Though “Morocco is in its Sahara and the Sahara in its Morocco”, Resolution 2351 seems to be in harmony with Moroccan interpretation that emerged since Baker’s Report, as both the UN and Morocco are excluding any notion of a referendum. This gives some signs of confidence and creates positive grounds to accepting the Moroccan proposal, perhaps with some modifications on the nature and models of autonomy2, to reach a final political settlement agreeable to both, Morocco and the Polisario. Morocco is conducting a revolutionary economic, political and social development process to cover all the 12 Regions of Morocco. The new initiatives are to include the democratisation of all the institutions in the country, the modernisation of the education system by giving priority to the National Amazigh language and Culture, promoting the Hassani culture and reducing the foreign Arabic language in Moroccan schools and Universities. The reforms are also to promote the provision of foreign languages as presented by the gifted Prof Rachid Belmokhtar and now inherited by Hassad, to reinforce sciences by reducing useless Islamic studies, Arabic language, literature and poetry and other useless luxury subjects devoid of any innovation or tolerant thinking and without hope for any future employment other than Prayer Callers in Mosques, soothsayers and charlatans at Jamaa Lafna and other squares across Morocco. The second is security and security but security, both within Morocco, regionally and at international level. The country is also making international security as the concern of all and is determined to fight Islamist terrorists, drug dealers, counter-band and human traffickers at every level and urges the cooperation of all. International diplomacy is on the forefront of the Foreign Office and investment in the Moroccan Southern regions is a major preoccupation of the authorities in Rabat to counter its critics within and from without. Morocco considers that the problems facing the world today are more about insecurity than anything else. World terrorism is better organised now than at any time before and poses serious problems and challenges to the whole of the international community. It breads on failed and weak states, like the case in Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Mali, Centre Afrique, Nigeria, Somalia, South Soudan, Libya, Algeria, Venezuela, Uruguay and many more states around the world. The West is not spared or immune and terrorism finds its root not only in ‘failed-states’ but also in ‘defective democracies’ (démocraties défectueuses) like France, Belgium and others around the world. The experiences in Syria, Iraq, the attacks in Paris, Brussels, Germany and Turkey show the resolve of these obscurantists who instead of being called “Terrorists” belonging to either Ben Laden’s Group, or Baghdadi’s Group, these failed and some of the defective democratic states call them, for political reasons or simple ignorance, ‘Islamic’ and not even ‘Islamist’ and still hammer in their hidden hatred for peaceful Islam to validate their false assumptions in order to gain more votes. More often than not, they label them, not as terrorists, but ‘Islamic Terrorists’ or ‘Islamic State’ and not even using the word ‘Islamist’ which is not Islamic because it sounds better to undermine Islam and reinforce islamophobia in society when Islamic bashing becomes fashionable, instead of calling a spade a spade. The word Islam, Islamic or even Islamist, as an abstract nomination cannot be a terrorist, but the person behind the act is, and not the teaching of any religion, ideology or a cause. It is the man, his narrow interpretation and his actions that render him a terrorist and is responsible for his deeds and not the loose words that have many interpretations and cannot execute any act. Furthermore, they legitimise what is not legal by their actions and declarations when they acknowledge these “Terrorists” as a legitimate and a sovereign state and hypocritically arrest, harass, punish people for apology or bar them from entry into a country because they belong to the peaceful Islamic faith, as interpreted by another ignoramus person called “Donald Trump” or “Duck?.” This shows that these defective states in western democracies are, because of their weaknesses, the first ones to promote terrorism to serve their election prospects. Furthermore, there are some journalists and NGOs, who support failed regimes like the one in Algeria, South Africa or Venezuela, or terrorist organisations like the Polisario’s Abou el Oualid Sahraoui, one of the Algerian secret service collaborator and one of the founders of the MUJAO terrorist group based in Mali before he headed the Mourabitun Movement with the Algerian Belmokhtar. These sponsored terrorists are praised and encouraged by these failed western democracies to continue their macabre work in exchange of information as well as serve as a lever for negotiations with other failed states in the region and the world. They seem to ignore or do not want to examine in any details who is behind Mokhtar Belmokhtar or Abdelmalek Droukdel, both working with the Algerian military and the secret services covering Algeria, Libya, the Sahel, or the Moroccan Sahara and beyond. None of them mentions the atrocities committed by Polisario terrorists, including those committed by the present Head of SADR, Ghali who is wanted by a Spanish prosecutor for an alleged rape, kidnapping, torture of Moroccan prisoners of war and many other crimes the seriousness of which forced him to cancel his visit to Catalonia. These terrorists are encouraged by some of these corrupt journalists and NGOs to cause serious damage to the Moroccan population and the military, as the massacres committed by Polisario agents at Gdeim Izik when they attacked and killed innocent civilians and members of the local security services. These Polisario terrorists acting in Tindouf and Moroccan Sahara are targeting different towns and villages including the attack on Gleim Izik, and were legitimised by these organisations and now MINURSO is on the top of their list. They gave them a green light to butcher innocent people, targeting especially members of the army and security services in the Camp at Gdeim Izik they attacked for several weeks from 9 October 2010 to the dismantling of the camp by the government forces on 8 November 2010. Unlike the ‘Zemla Intifada’ under Spanish rule in 1970, the ‘First and Second Intifada’ was not of the same magnitude and could be seen as an excess zeal from the Moroccan security services when it was based on trivial technical matters which could have been, with ironsight, handled with tact and better. Up to now, there is a lack of trust as some regions were and others are still living in the shadow of fear of the Moroccan authorities, particularly the memories of the brutality and the inhuman treatment inflicted on the population by the security services during the “Years of lead”. They made serious mistakes in turning a minor issue to a major one, because of the traditional non-respect of the individual, be it from the South or from other parts of Morocco, an aspect the NGOs do not take into consideration in order to be given any credence for impartiality. It appears that other Moroccans do not count. Whereas for the case at Gleim Izik was a deliberate and well organised Polisario terrorist act designed to create carnage in Morocco and outrage abroad enflamed by some failed gutter-press journalists and self-made NGOs for self-glory when they failed in everything else in their rotten, miserable and useless lives. They never reported the Polisario terrorists butchering with knives of 11 members of the auxiliary forces at the camp and injuring 159, whereas only 2 members of the terrorists were legitimately killed in self-defence. The authorities arrested 25 members of them and presented them to a military court where they received all the care and attention of the selfish journalists and NGOs and no concern for the dead. The 25 arrested Polisario terrorists received heavy sentences except for 2 who were freed at the end of the trial in 20133. A new civilian trial brought by the surviving victims and the families of the dead was attended by many international jurists and Human Rights activists delivered its final verdict in April 2017 and practically all observers worth their salt praised Moroccan Justice and some even claimed that the accused were given more leeway than they would have received in any European court.
The other main concern for Morocco is the promotion of all types of synergy in all industries and in all fields of technology, improve the infrastructure in all urban and rural areas as well as completing electrification and make available drinking-water distribution in all isolated rural areas throughout Morocco, build major and rural roads, motorways, complete and renovate rail networks, build hospitals, universities and Research Centres for excellence as well as other projects to make all Moroccans responsible and prosperous in their country from Saidia in the North-East to Zug in the South-East, from Zug to Lagouira in the South, from Lagouira to Tangier in the West and from Tangier to Saidia in the North. To achieve its development goals, Morocco needs its security which is centred first and above all on securing the Moroccan Saharan borders from Mauritania in the South to the border line with Algeria that extends from Saidia Oued Kiss to the Mauritanian border line along the East; complete its advanced status within the European Union as well as reinforcing further its role in its continent among Francophone and Anglophone Africa, as well as becoming a full member of the CDEO. It has just confirmed its special partnership with the GCC and Saudi Arabia during the King’s last visit there. Major changes also have taken place towards major world powers by improving and consolidating Morocco’s position with Russia since the King’s visit there in 2016. Further breakthroughs were recorded during his visit to China on 11 May 2016 leading to the signing of a Free-Trade Agreement between Morocco and China. Following on this partnership, China undertook in 2017 to build of new “Mohammed VI City” near Tangier with a new technology park to reinforce Moroccan automotive and other industries. After China, the King visited India where a new partnership was signed between India and Morocco to develop new phosphate industry that formed an important role in the negotiations. There are also major changes taking place with Brazil which is the third Moroccan trading partner, and the kingdom is exploring further breakthroughs with other major and minor partners in all economic, political and social spheres, including re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba in April 2017 and the announcement of the opening of a Moroccan Embassy in Havana. Morocco has to work harder to assert itself against Algeria which failed completely to make any substantial contribution to its economy or impress its traditional allies, especially since its oil revenues dropped and the cash handouts it used to distribute dried out and can no longer be sustained as the price of oil is enjoying the thrill and danger of a defective roller-coaster freefall, with some minor recoveries made recently. In addition, Algeria is going through a period of serious economic crisis and unrest spreading throughout the country and well intensified in the Amazigh/Kabyle Ghardaya regions, as well as facing many oppositions to the conduct of the new legislative elections that are taking place on 4 May 2017 in the midst of a total blackout on the state of health of its president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
As for Morocco, a new era started with the new SG, Antonio Guterres, taking his functions at the UN from 1st January 2017. He is an experienced diplomat with a record of achievement and praise worldwide. A lots of initiatives are expected to take place, especially the modernisation and the restructuring of the UN or, at least, some parts of this worldwide institution. Antonio Guterres has already proved his skills on managing the April 2017 Report on the MINURSO outlining a new approach and for more commitments from all concerned and, for the first time, calling on Algeria to come clean and take its responsibility to undertake the registration of refugees and be active in the open and contribute to finding a political solution to the Moroccan Sahara and not to hide behind its paid lobbyists to do her dirty work. Morocco is also relying heavily on its new found role to invigorate, promote and construct a new confident peaceful, democratic and transparent AU. There are, however, legal consultations behind the scene to expel the SADR from this continental institution it integrated illegally. Nevertheless, the Polisario is still enjoying strong support from mainly failed states like Algeria, South Africa, Venezuela, Uruguay and some minor countries. But with the return of Morocco to its African roots, as there are more Arabs in Georgia than in Morocco or North Africa, the country will finally find its role within the African Union, and soon with its full membership of the CDEO, it will contribute a fair share of its knowhow to modernise its continent. Morocco, headed by King Mohammed VI, has shown its entire commitment to its origin in Africa where it returned to roost in January 20174. It has practically lost all faith in the failed “Great Amazigh Maghreb” or Tamazgha as well as the “Non-Arab Middle East League” or the fictitious “Arab League” the King has shied away from attending its conferences since 2004. The Moroccans and their King, all consider themselves as totally Moroccan-Amazigh with the Amazigh Language as the mother tongue of all Moroccans as prescribed in the 2011 Constitution, though admits the use of Arabic in the country but does not state that Morocco is an Arab country or an Islamic state (other studies show that the Moroccan population is more than 90% African Amazigh and more Europeans than Arabs with more than 6% European DNA and less than 2% Arab DNA5) though some of them are Arabophone, Francophone, Anglophone or others. Nevertheless, the kingdom has chosen, instead, to consolidate its long collaboration with the GCC, as they call themselves, not Arabs but ‘Khaliji’ from the Gulf or Saudi from Saudi Arabia and not Arabs, as well as strengthening Morocco’s natural, political, economic, social, geographical and ethnic ties with Africa that have been developing since Moroccan got its independence in 1955 and beyond. Its main objectives are to promote the interests of Morocco and the whole of Africa as one and has high hopes to succeed in its endeavour to become a full member of a more realistic and dynamic CDEO than any of the moribund Maghreb Tamazgha Union or expect any serious outcome from the defunct “Arab League”. With the newly elected President to the AU, a new role and a new approach in African and Moroccan foreign policy is in the making putting the Moroccan Sahara as the missing link that has been restored between Morocco and Africa, on the one hand, and Africa and Europe, on the other. It is based on a win-win principle within South-South economic, political and social cooperation with religious tolerance through the teaching of Ibn Tumart’s Moroccan Amazigh Malekit-Sunni Ash’ari-Tijania Sufi Islam, on the one hand, and of an Averroes secular teaching totally Moroccan Amazigh, liberal and democratically committed to advance the wellbeing of all, on the other6.
Consultant/Journalist - Oxford Consultancy International
Dr. Ben Kirat was educated at Oxford and Nottingham Universities, holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from Westminster College Oxford, an M.A in French Studies and a PhD in International Relations from Nottingham University. He was a Senior Lecturer at Northumbria University and M.A Supervisor in French Studies, a Visiting Professor in International Relations and Globalisation Theories at Marbella University, Spain and held other post as Head of Department, Director of Studies and Marketing Manager in Colleges in Oxford and Europe. Dr Kirat has been working as a Freelance Journalist/Editor and as an International Consultant for over 30 years, specializing in European-US affairs, Africa, the Maghreb and the Middle East.