the Spanish government put an end to one diplomatic crisis with the Morocco lasted almost a year and did so with the unexpected decision to change its position on the issue Sahara Western film. A week ago, Morocco published part of the content of a letter to the Spanish President subsequently published by El País Pedro Sanchez sent to the Moroccan king Mohammed VI a few days earlier: Among other things, it was stated that Madrid “considered the Moroccan autonomy initiative presented in 2007 as the most serious, realistic and credible to settle the dispute.” This is a significant change as Spain has so far called for a “political, just, lasting and mutually acceptable solution consistent with the United Nations‘, but without preferring either the option of autonomy or that of independence. The initiative proposed by Morocco actually conceives the Western Sahara like one region with limited skills: Grants to the area administrative functions, economically, VAT, cultural, environment and infrastructural. the Moroccoinstead it would hold them core competencies as the defensive control and from National securityForeign countries, currency, flag and religion, as well exploitation of natural resources of the territory.
Received the decision of the Spanish government unanimous criticism from Parliament. From the beginning, the members of Unidas Podemos, the government’s minority party, criticized the PSOE for not even warning them about the decision. In addition to form, they also distance themselves from content and defend necessity hold a referendum and to respect free determination of the Saharawi people. Gabriel Rufianspeaker for erc (Esquerra Republicana, the Catalan left separatists) in Congress, launched a provocation to the Socialists: “The sands of the Sahara still exists in Madrid. When they see it, they remember it Betrayal of the Saharawi people“.
The end of the diplomatic crisis with Morocco has led to the opening of another front of tension, namely with theAlgeriathe main thing gas supplier Spain’s and strategic partner for controlling irregular migration flows. The North African country, the first ally and protector of the Polisario Fronthe reacted with the immediate withdrawal of his ambassador a Madrid. The Polisario Front also added to the criticism: “Spain has succumbed to the Moroccan policy of blackmail and fear. It is a position that does not correspond to Spain’s political and legal responsibilities and will affect its role in resolving the conflict,” he said.
ARCHIVE / 2021 | Spain, migration crisis in the enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla: Morocco’s shame in Madrid for treating the Sahrawi leader
Madrid, Rabat and Western Sahara: a 150year entanglement
The links between Spain and Morocco in the Sahara are anything but new. It was the 1883 when the troops of Madrid occupied it Sahara Western filman area of 266,000 square kilometers that remained his colony for almost a century. 1973 the forehead Polisariowhat he claimed independence of territory: one year after Spain suggested calling a Referendum on selfdetermination the Sahara, but the Moroccofor fear of losing it advisory and the territory itself, unleashed hostilities against the Polisario. 1975 the king Hasan II urged some 350,000 civilians from Morocco to enter and occupy Saharan territory: an event remembered as Green March.
Spain was unable to bear the pressure from the neighboring kingdom in the face of the dying Franco regime. For this reason abandoned the colony and in 1976 it assumed control of the area Morocco and to Mauritania. The abandonment of the region led to an internal division of the Saharawi people: thousands of people fled to theAlgeria, where camps were set up that still exist today. L’unhcr calculate that about 173 thousand people have been living in the five refugee camps in the region for more than 40 years Tindufin the west ofAlgeria, in the middle of the desert. The situation in these camps is complicated and the residents live on humanitarian aid.
Fewer people chose to stay in Western Sahara instead. “Those who survived the Moroccan repression and have not fled today represent only 15 percent of the population of the occupied territories because the Morocco from the beginning he sent settlers from his country for dilute the Sahrawi identity‘ the reporter explains Tomas Barbulo in the podcast Hoy en El País.
Beginning with Spain’s withdrawal from the territory, war broke out between them Polisario Front and Mauritaniawho signed a peace agreement in 1979, and between Polisario and the Moroccowhat came to a armistice in 1991, injured several times over the years. In the same year theU.N approves the billing plan, agreed by the Moroccan authorities and the Polisario, which provides for the holding of a referendum to allow the Sahrawi people to choose between independence or integration with Morocco. To monitor the process that United Nations Mission for the referendum By doing Western Sahara. However, 31 years later, the consultation has not yet taken place Polisario Front never stopped claiming this, not even in 2007 when Morocco presented to the then UN SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki Moonhis proposal for the autonomy of the territory, which Sànchez has now approved in writing.
The Gali case and the 10,000 who are still to drive through Ceuta in 2021
Spain’s change of position came later months pressure Morocco, particularly following the recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over the Sahara by the former President of the United States, donald trump, in December 2020. From that moment, the Kingdom began to demand a clear position from the European partners. The dispute with the Iberian country began in April 2021 when Morocco found out Brahim GaliLeader of the Polisario Front, hospitalized in Spain Logrono (in La Rioja, in the north of the country). Rabat’s reply came a month later, in May, when entry in full pandemic and in just three days allowed it about 10 thousand people to Ceuta. Most were of Moroccan origin and managed to enter the Spanish autonomous city North Africa, on foot or swimming, thanks to the indifference of the Moroccan security forces guarding the border. On this occasion, Morocco withdrew its ambassador Madrid. Now, after the argument, she’s back in the Spanish capital.