“The people of Western Sahara are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the POLISARIO Front in the midst of a historical struggle for its independence from the mother country, Morocco,” stated its ambassador to Algeria, Brahim Ghali.
Created with the name of Popular Front for the liberation of Saguia el Hamra Rio de Oro, and the present political and militant vanguard of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), the organisation will celebrate the date in the refugee camps of Tinduf.
“We are commemorating the reemergence of the Sahrawi people’s identity after a century of colonization, the rebirth of the Sahrawi personality, the last African people to take up arms in order to obtain their self-determination and independence,” Brahim Ghali declared. “Four decades marked by troubles and defeat against the Spanish regimen of Francisco Franco, who abandoned Western Sahara in 1975, and against the Moroccans, who annexed this territory after the Spanish withdrawal,” the diplomat recalls.
During the four decades, the militants of the POLISARIO Front and the Sahrawi people faced two Moroccan kings, Hassan II and Mohamed VI, until the ceasefire in 1991. The unsuccessful moves toward a referendum that allows voting for the independence of Western Sahara have passed by three UN envoys: James Baker, from 1997-2004; Van Walsum, from 2005-2008 and Christopher Ross, beginning in 2009. Last year, Ross’ last two negotiations were frustrated by Morocco’s refusal to cede beyond the Sahrawi autonomy inside its territory.
The creation in 1991 of the United Nations Mission for organizing a Referendum in western Sahara (MINURSO), became the institutional structure for managing the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) through the UN, even though without any concrete results. Nevertheless, Ghali emphasizes, “in its long walk of sacrifice, struggles and determination, the Sahrawi people have reached numerous achievements in the spheres of education, health, institutional and military.”
The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), proclaimed by the POLISARIO Front on February 27, 1976, after the withdrawal of the last Spanish soldier, has been recognized by more than 0 countries and its struggle and aspirations are followed on the five continents,” Brahim Ghali recalls.
The present Secretary General of the POLISARIO Front is Mohamed Abdelaziz, who is also president of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), preceded by Mustafa Seyid el Uali, who died in 1976.