Sunday, October 9, 2011

What future for the polisario in light of the Arab Uprising?

Polisario : Victim of its own alliances

The future of the Front Polisario has been brought again on agenda after the Arab springs’ impact on the geopolitics and foreign policies of the North African and Middle Eastern states. The recent fall of the Colonel Muammar Kaddafi’s regime was the most significant turn-point which stirred suspicions as well as opportunities for the neighboring countries (Morocco and Algeria) and the Polisario front.

Worth reminding is the important role the Libyan regime played in the creation as well as the sustainability of the Polisario regime, since Kaddafi was renowned for his unconditional support to the Saharawi fighters and his long lasting animosity toward the Moroccan crown.

Be it through logistical, political or financial support, Kaddafi not only saw in supporting the Polisario an opportunity to seize in harassing the Moroccan regime, but also a duty to accomplish in the cadre of the philosophy he believed in, a mix of communism, liberating movements theory and anti-imperialistic views.
Now that Kaddafi is gone, a new approach imposes itself when dealing with the determination of the future of the Polisario and its political survival in a new diplomatically shaped area.

Since the beginning of the turmoil, the Polisario, still confused about what position to adopt toward the ongoing clashes in Libya, got hit with a major blow: Polisario mercenaries were captured fighting alongside Kaddafi’s forces!

The statement came out from NTC officials who seemed rather suspicious about any future relations with the Polisario front, a move which would deprive the group from a main ally and thus doom it to more political isolation in the Arab World and hence in the international stage.

More than it has to do with financial or military needs, the Polisario have more to fear from a deteriorating reputation which has so far monitored its foreign policy and world alliances.
This reminds me of an encounter I had in Spain with Mostapha Jarmouni, a Moroccan University professor exiled in Spain because of his political opinion on the Sahara dossier. We were discussing the future of the Western Sahara conflict in the light of the Arab uprisings, and the conclusions we draw were pretty doubtful: A future Polisario front which lacks the support of the Libyan regime will ultimately lead the Western Sahara dossier into a much more stagnating waters with no International political will to stir it up things, especially with a Front which lacks credibility and willingness to approve new democratic regimes, and which struggles alongside tyrants to shut down revolutionary waves.

Follows a good BBC Arabic show “Open Agenda” which discusses the future of the Polisario in light of the Arab Uprising:

 Mohamed Amine Belarbi

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