Whether or not the Polisario Front represents all Sahrawis is bound to be a major talking point in the UN-led process to settle the dispute in Western Sahara.
Rabat – Khat Echahid, a group of Saharawi di^polssidents, has addressed the international community in a letter that challenges Polisario’s current standing on the world stage.
The letter, Al Ahdath Al Maghribia reported, aims to discredit Polisario, contesting the separatist front’s right to represent Western Sahara at the UN-led negotiating table.
The group’s letter comes as all stakeholders in the conflict prepare to attend a UN-monitored roundtable in Geneva on December 5-6.
According to Khat Echahid’s letter, the most sustainable solution to the dispute is a sincere dialogue between Algeria and Morocco. The takeaway, as the group’s statement went on to say, is that Polisario is a pawn and does not carry the legitimacy to sit at the negotiating table. “Only Morocco and Algeria are qualified to de-escalate tensions and ultimately end the conflict,” according to the Sahrawi group.
Created in 1973, the Polisario Front is a separatist group that has been calling for independence in Western Sahara. According to Khat Echahid, however, the front is only a small group of combatants usurping Sahrawis’ political rights and profiting off the status quo. “Polisario only represents itself,” the dissidents’ message asserted.
They claimed that the front is not any more legitimate or popular with locals than Khat Echahid is. Should the international community decide to proceed with Polisario at the Geneva roundtable, Khat Echahid believes they should also be invited to participate.
Accusing the separatist front of periodically de-escalating tensions to catch the world’s attention by presenting themselves as freedom fighters, Khat Echahid invited the UN to dispatch “an independent observatory group in refugee camps [in Tindouf] to see that Polisario does not carry any legitimacy.”
Polisario, they stressed, tells a biased and incomprehensive story of the situation in Western Sahara as they “wish to eternally benefit off the current status quo.”
Khat Echahid has recently established itself as the most outspoken and vocal anti-Polisario “internal opposition party.” The group describes itself as “internal dissidents” or “opposition” and has been asking to be granted the same rights as Polisario on the global stage.