New divisions hit Polisario Front
ALICANTE, Spain - New divisions have hit the Polisario Front after a group of Sahrawi youth activists decided to form an opposition movement of their own in Spain, which would serve as an umbrella for all the leaders who are opposed to the policies of the Front.
The movement, named 'General Coordination of the Sahrawi opposition to the Polisario Front', said that "after a series of meetings and consultations with each and every component of the Sahrawi society, a group of senior Sahrawis living abroad held in Spain its first meeting on May 27th of 2011."
"This Committee derives its legitimacy from the popular basis, it represents youth, former and current executives within the Polisario and a large stratum of the population of the refugees’ camps in Tinduf," it added in a statement.
The group said that Sahara conflict has reached a "dead end" due the "Polisario's leadership lack the ability to make progress in the negotiations, instead, it keeps focusing on individual profit, and taking advantage of the sufferings of our families in the camps of Tinduf, by looting the financial aids and adhering to the policy of inheriting the leadership of the public institutions to each other."
The group also sought to shed light on "the squalid and inhumane conditions of our families in the refugees’ camps are stemming from the mismanagement of the public issue."
Since the eruption of protests in the Arab world, the Polisario has been facing considerable pressure over the status of the Front's secretary general, Mohammed Abdulaziz, who Sahrawi activists considered as a "dictator" that is no different from Arab leaders who continue to rule for decades.
"The wave of change that seeks democracy which is currently sweeping the neighboring countries, aiming to remove of the old stubborn governments and regimes that could not put forward successful solutions on the constitutional and democratic levels which take into considerations the popular aspirations," said the group.
The General Coordination of the Sahrawi opposition has resolved itself to take the following steps:
1. To announce its name as the General Coordination of the Sahrawi Opposition to the Polisario Front.
2. To announce its split from the Polisario Front and its intention to organize a peaceful corps of opposition that encapsulates all the Sahrawi society’s spectra.
3. To assure that the important role played by the youth, the medium and high-ranking executives, is the basis that spurred our determination to reach our goal, which is, change. Starting from the fact that the Polisario Front is not the only and sole representative of the Sahrawi people, the presence of this cluster inside the opposition will be the genuine and the factual reflection of the Sahrawi people's opinion.
4. To proclaim the determination of the Sahrawi opposition to stick to the major Sahrawi political options, to get this conflict out of the present deadlock, and to channel it towards reaching possible solutions according to the actual situation.
5. To reassure that the opposition will accord a tremendous importance to the issues at stake and is determined to go forward in the path of the opposition to the Polisario Front and expose the latter's schemes aiming at infinitely lasting the status-quo and trading with the public principles and the feelings of the Sahrawis.
6. In the name of the opposition, the General Coordination of the Sahrawi opposition holds the Polisario Front responsible for the present inhumane and squalid conditions in which our families dwell in the refugees’ camps.
7. The Coordination announces that it insists on its right to hold a Assembly parallel to the Polisario Front and to be part of the negotiations as an essential member of the conflict's parties.
8. To stress on the opposition's right to circulate in order to mobilize and supervise its activists throughout the areas where the Sahrawis live and guarantee their right of movement.
9. To announce that the opposition shall respect all the options put forward on a popular basis, based on the belief in the freedom of opinions, how opposite they are and to firm the adherence to the principles of democracy, human rights and political "alternation".
10. To announce its determination to invite all the other Sahrawi opposition forces to join it the General Coordination of the Sahrawi Opposition to the Polisario Front.
11. To declare that it mandates an executive team to manage and organize a campaign abroad in order to get international recognition and highlights its right to initiate procedures for that aim.
12. Believing that the previous generations couldn’t efficiently solve the conflict, the General Coordination of the Sahrawi Opposition aim to give a chance to the third generation to engage in possible negotiations which would inevitably lead to the resolution of the conflict.
13. As it declares its establishment on the Spanish soil, it assures its respect to the laws, procedures and the essential bases of the system of the Spanish kingdom.
14. To require from the international community, and principally the United Nations, represented by the General Secretary and his Personal Envoy, to consider the request to join the negotiations on the basis of its status as a legitimate designated party that adheres to a new approach that would certainly pave the way to the resolution of the conflict and the end of a long dwelling tragedy.
15. To reassure that the heads of missions and representatives of the Sahrawis who would later split up from the Polisario shall be the representatives and the members of the opposition at the very countries they were serving in.
16. Finally: as it announces its proclamation as an opposition, it pledges to all the Sahrawis to walk steadily in a responsible, meaningful, and efficient oppositional path.
17. The General Coordination of the Sahrawi Opposition to the Polisario Front congratulates the Sahrawi people all over the world for this important historical gain.
The Coordination announced its intention to hold a press conference, on Monday, June 6th, in the Hotel NHC located at N°1, Ricardo Mico Street, Valencia, to explain its goals, orientations, and provide further details.
The new round of negotiations will be held over the weekend between the Moroccan government and the Polisario in New York to discuss the autonomy plan proposed by Morocco, which enjoys broad international support.