By Majid Morceli
By Majid Morceli
San Francisco- Algeria and the Polisario are holding their breath waiting for Sweden to recognize the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arabic Democratic Republic (SADR). They have every reason to feel nervous about what might happen.
No country in the European Union has even come close to recognizing this fictitious state, made and eternally supported by the Algerian regime. This time they can sense it, they feel that they are almost at the finish line. They figure that Sweden could be that start of an avalanche of countries recognizing them. The news coming out of Sweden can only be encouraging for them.
At first, the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallstrom said in a statement that Sweden’s policy on Western Sahara is the subject of an internal review.
Today, the spokesperson of the Swedish Green Party (currently in power), Pernilla Stalhammar, said that the recognition of SADR is not in the review process that was initiated by the government.
These represent two contradicting statements from the Swedish government. And to make the matter ever more ambiguous, Tobias Billstrom, Deputy Speaker of Swedish Parliament, said that recognition of the so-called SADR was out of the question for the time being.
Moroccan authorities do not like to hear words such as “for the time being” or “review process”. They know that these are statements with hidden messages.
The Swedish government could have made it easy on everyone involved by simply stating, “Sweden will not recognize the so-called SADR. The matter is in the hands of the UN and we support what the UN is doing.” That would close this chapter. IKEA would open its doors in the outskirts of Casablanca in a second. Volvo and other Swedish businesses will be able to go back to work.
Instead, Sweden wants to be a hero at the expense of the Moroccan sacred cause. Interfering in the UN process is not an intelligent move from a country that Moroccans appreciate. By doing so, Sweden in aligning itself with African dictators such as Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, who is banned from ever stepping foot in Europe; Algeria’s Abdelaziz Bouteflika who changed the Algerian constitution to allow him to stay president for life; South Africa’s Jacob Zuma, who stole $20 million of public money to upgrade his own private property; and Cuba’s dictators, who have held their own people hostage and has suffocated them for more than half a century.
Sweden needs to understand that this is a sacred cause for all Moroccans. Algeria wants to make it an issue between the Monarchy and the people of the Sahara. This is a losing tactic in which the Moroccans held in Tindouf are paying the price for. Not even the humanitarian aid that is sent by the international community reaches the people of Tindouf, as was revealed by the report of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF). The report illustrated the shameless embezzlement practices of the Algerian military regime.
Sweden does not have to rely on the delegation of Moroccan parliamentarians visiting the northern nation for truth or clarity. They have their allies such as France, Spain, and the US, should they need help figuring out their next move. These countries know the root of the conflict more than any other nations on Earth, and that is the reason why they are supporting the UN process and the Moroccan autonomy proposal for the region.
Let’s hope that Sweden will do the right thing by not interfering in one of the oldest artificial conflicts in the world, made and supported by a Soviet-trained military regime.
Sweden does not have to prove that they are champions when it comes to human rights and advocating for the oppressed. The world has witnessed its kindness toward the Syrians refugees, and history will be on their side. Let’s hope Sweden does not get too excited and start falling prey to liars and propagandists financed by the dictatorial Algerian regime.
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