The news comes in the wake of accusations of embezzlement, corruption, and wider human rights violations in the Tindouf camps.
Rabat – A Polisario leader and a young female separatist activist are in hot waters after revelations of “hard romance” between the two, igniting debates about the “credibility” and “virtues” of those entrusted with the mission of broadcasting the “Sahrawi cause” to the international community.
Maghreb Leaks reported earlier this week that Bachir Oubi Bouchraya, the Polisario representative in Paris, and Aziza Hameida, the president of the Paris-based League of Young Sahrawis have been involved in a “very hot” romantic relationship.
Titled “The Hard Romance of Polisario’s Paris Representative,” the report depicts the escapades of Bouchraya.
The separatist official is said to have left “his wife and children to a difficult life in Bilbao, Spain, where they barely survive thanks to meager social aid from the Spanish government,” while he enjoys a luxurious life with another Polisario militant in Paris.
“It is another type of militancy,” the report teased.
The news quickly hit a chord in some pro-Polisario circles, with a wave of indignation and outrage in a number of separatist quarters. There have been suggestions that some of the separatist group’s representatives deserve neither the public’s trust nor the “honor” of being at the forefront of the front’s “righteous” struggle.
In the meantime, however, a number of critical voices have played down the surprise and outrage the revelations may have elicited from the separatist group and their sympathizers, arguing that Bouchraya’s conduct should not be news to those with first-hand or in-depth knowledge of the group’s modus operandi.
“This should not come as any surprise to us,” Clara Riveros, a Colombian political scientist specializing in the Western Sahara conflict, tweeted in reaction to the report. “Polisario delegates are only interested in leading pleasurable lives. They are keen to indulge their sexual desires, while depriving Sahrawis in Tindouf of fundamental freedoms.”
In her Tweet, the Colombian political scientist took issue with Bouchraya’s “naive” conduct. “What particularly caught my attention is that your sexual adventures were with a Sahrawi. Isn’t that naïve of you?”
Riveros’s surprise and her description of the Polisario official as naïve, she went on to explain, is because Polisario delegates are traditionally said to be more interested in having sexual adventures with foreigners.
She suggested that foreign women are generally seen by the separatist leadership as more appealing because they can be seduced on two fronts: both as mistresses and as staunch advocates of the separatist cause in their respective countries.
Lo que me llama la atención es que se involucre con una saharaui. Algo genuino? Me había dicho algún expolisario que prefieren seducir a las extranjeras por lo que de ellas pueden obtener para la “causa”.
— CLARA RIVEROS (@CLARARIVEROS) 9 novembre 2019
“A former Polisario leader told me that they prefer to seduce foreign women from whom they can obtain more in terms of support for the cause,” Riveros pointed out in her tweet.
In addition to revelations of the forbidden intimacy between the two Paris-based separatist militants, the Colombian Western Sahara specialist’s revelation of the front’s leaders’ instrumentalizing sex for support is set to be yet another low point for a group that has been hit by a series of scandals in the past months.
In recent weeks, accusations of embezzlement and related scandals have proven a blow to the separatist group.
In most of these instances, the front’s leadership was heavily criticized for indulging in luxurious lives abroad and sometimes in the Tindouf camps, while the people it claims to represent in Tindouf are left to live in squalid conditions.