Rabat – A lawyer representing the Polisario Front has filed a complaint challenging the decision by Peruvian border authorities to deny Khadijetou Mokhtar, the “ambassador” of the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), from entering Peru.
Mokhtar is currently in custody at Jorge Chavez Airport police after Peruvian authorities were ordered to prevent her from entering the country.
The Polisario representative was arrested in Lima on Saturday for “impersonating an ambassador,” as Peru does not recognize the separatist front as an independent state, explained the Moroccan Embassy to Peru.
Mokhtar is also accused by Peruvian authorities of “engaging in political activities which contravene Peru’s immigration laws” and “interfering in the internal affairs” of the country, because she had previously engaged in political activities in the country outside of her status as a tourist travelling on a Spanish passport.
In response to being barred from entry, the Polisario representative said in a statement to a pro-Polisario news outlet that “the Sahara diplomats were surprised by the decision of the Peruvian authorities to deport me from the country despite the possession of a valid Spanish passport, which means that the issue is political and that Morocco is responsible for it.”
Mustapha Salma Ould Sidi Mouloud, Polisario Front dissident and former police chief in the Tindouf camps, criticized her statement on his Facebook account, which he said belied her tenuous claim of being an “ambassador.”
“The statement made by Mokhtar made me wonder who does this woman represent; is it Spain, as she possesses a Spanish passport, or the Polisario, which appointed her ambassador to Peru?” Ould Sidi Mouloud asked.
Edited by Elisabeth Myers