Rabat – The newly appointed “prime minister” of the Polisario Front-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), Mohamed Ouali Akeik, was one of the seven perpetrators of terrorist attacks committed against Spanish citizens at the Phosboucraa site, Laayoune in October 1974.
Polisario members’ attacks in Phosboucraa resulted in the death of soldiers and the kidnapping of Spanish citizens.
Polisario’s attacks on the phosphate conveyor belts occurred in Laayoun between 1974 and 1976. The front attacked the conveyor belts in an attempt to stop phosphate mining. Polisario also engaged in violent attacks on Spanish fishing vessels, Moroccan army and French nationals.
Polisario’s targeting of Spanish citizens continued during the 1980’s, and claimed the lives of 300 civilians, according to Spanish news website La Opinion de Tenerife, which gives a detailed account of the attacks and the names of the victims.
After the Western Sahara’s return to Morocco’s sovereignty in 1975, the Polisario used the assassination of Spanish civilians as a tactic to put pressure against Spain and punish it for signing a fishing agreement with Morocco 1976, which tacitly recognized the Western Sahara as Moroccan territory. According to Spanish website El Confidencial, 300 Spanish citizens, most of whom fishermen working in the waters of Laayoun, lost their lives as a result of Polisario’s attacks.
According to Moroccan news outlet Le360, the so-called prime minister of the self-proclaimed republic, who was just appointed to the position by the separatist leader Ibrahim Ghali on February 5, was involved in a series of serious alleged crimes, including the kidnappings of Spanish citizens working in the Phosboucraa site. At the time, the site was administered by Spain during its colonization era.
These attacks caused the death of a Spanish soldier, Angel del Moral, two Spanish citizens, Canarian entrepreneur Antonio Martin and physician Jose Sastre Papiol. The series of attacks were ordered by Ghali, who was then the head of the “Sahrawi Army.”
In October 2015, the Canary-based newspaper, La Provincia, published a report, which marked the anniversary of the terrorist attack against Spanish civilians. La Provincia also published a press report by journalist Diego Talavera. The report included press accounts about the perpetrators of the terrorist acts, including Ouali Akeik, laureate of the Churchill Military Academy in Algiers.
La Provincia’s reports aimed at determining both the exact circumstances of the attack and the release of the seven alleged terrorists, who were held in detention at a Las Palmas prison in October and November of 1975.
The author of the report said that the seven members of the Polisario “were freed in the framework of the exchange of detainees, between the Spanish authorities in the Sahara and the Polisario front.”
Le360 added that the seven Polisario members were handed back by Colonel Diego Aguirre on November 21, 1975, to Ibrahim Ghali and Mahfoud Ali Beiba, on the Algerian border with the Moroccan Sahara.
In January, Canarian Association of Terrorism Victims (Acavite) received King Felipe VI of Spain to brief him about the history of attacks committed by the separatist group during Spain’s colonization.
Polisario’s guerrilla attacks resumed throughout the 70s. Acavite president, Lucia Jimenez, also discussed with the King the situation of widows and orphans in the Canary Islands as a result of Polisario’s guerrilla attacks.