Rabat – Algeria and the Polisario Front were publicly “embarrassed” after the plane crash that claimed the lives of more than 200 people, including 26 members of the separatist group on Wednesday, according to Algerian news source TSA.
TSA criticized the Secretary-General of Algeria’s National Liberation Front, Djamel Ould Abbes, noting that the official “has revealed information that should have been kept secret for several reasons.” The website added that this information is an embarrassment to Algeria and the Polisario Front.
The Algerian news website added that the SG of the party made “too many mistakes,” announcing on a national television channel that 26 members of the Polisario were among the victims of the crash in Boufarik, while Algeria continues to deny any direct involvement in the conflict around Western Sahara.
Ould Abbes was the first to reveal this additional information, as the balance sheet of the national army only mentioned the deaths of 257 people, without other details.
The SG statement pushed the state to publish a communiqué confirming the presence of 26 separatists in the military flight.
“Did the FLN SG measure the consequences of his mistake?” asked the news source. “His only concern has always been to prove to public opinion and his opponents that he is well-placed in power, in other words, to appropriate the status of the president’s man?”
The crash occurred on April 11. shortly after the plane took off from Boufarik military airport near Algeria’s capital Algiers.
The list of the victims of the crash includes army staff and their families, in addition to many members of the Polisario Front.
Morocco World News has obtained a list of the members of the Polisario Front who were among the passengers of the military plane. According to international media, the plane was en route to the Tindouf camps, before its ultimate destination of Bechar.
The incident followed statements from Algeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Abdelkader Messahel, who said that the Western Sahara conflict is a question should be solved between Morocco and Polisario, without Algerian input. Messahel also reiterated his country’s full support for Polisario’s members. However, Messahel said that Algeria should not cooperate in finding a solution to the decades-long conflict.