Nouakchott Partners with Polisario in High-Risk Game

Mauritanian leaders who have been shunned by Morocco for a long time seem to close their eyes on the activities of the Polisario’s armed militiamen that wander in Mauritanian territory unbothered and go back to the demilitarized locality of Lagouira at the extreme northwest of the country.


Informed sources in the region explained that Nouakchott authorities are doing so at the request of the Algerian regime, which is increasingly embarrassed by the extended presence on its territory of thousands of Sahrawis, and which does not know how to deal with them in the absence of a final settlement of the Western Sahara conflict at the UN level.


Senior Mauritanian civilian and military leaders are much solicited these days by their Algerian counterparts to counter the Moroccan diplomatic offensive in Africa on the one hand and to facilitate the Polisario’s activities, on the other hand, said the same sources.


The Polisario leaders, having lost all hope to see their obsolete demand for a self-determination referendum ever materialized, are probably advised and encouraged by Algerian generals to further escalation in the region to pressure the international community and the UN to put the settlement process back on track.


It is against this backdrop that on December 4, the Polisario’s media had published a picture of Brahim Ghali and a group of militiamen dressed in military fatigues, claiming the picture was taken at a beach in Lagouira, a locality located in a buffer zone administered by the Mauritanian army.


So far, the Moroccan army, positioned at a short distance of the Polisario militiamen, has not reacted to their provocations for the simple reason that Morocco had promised the UN to show restraint when it started the asphalting of a 3.8 KM long road section linking the Moroccan border post of Guergarate to the Mauritanian border. The Polisario had reacted to the Moroccan move although it was meant to facilitate struggle against all sorts of trafficking in the area.


Yet, the Polisario’s provocative acts, in connivance with the Algerian leaders and the complacency of the Mauritanians, are likely to have serious unfortunate consequences on the security and stability of the whole region and none of the three countries will be spared the impact of such a dangerous escalation, the same sources commented.