Sunday, September 24

Ross In Tindouf : What Is Behind The Polisario’s Odd Restraint?

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Polisario Confidential
by Khalid Ibrahim Khaled

C. Ross

The restraint observed by the Polisario on the current visit of Christopher Ross in the Tindouf camps does not succeed to hide the embarrassment of the separatist front leaders regarding the UN mediator’s insistence, informed sources in Tindouf said.

The embarrassment is explained by the fact that neither the Polisario leaders nor the Algerian officials have convincing arguments to counter the UN mediator, the sources said.

Christopher Ross returned to the Tindouf camps this week shortly after his previous visit (February 14) in an attempt to make Algeria adopt a more flexible position.

The UN mediator, who is to submit a report to the UN Security Council in few weeks, seeks to reach a consensual basis for the resumption of negotiations.

Christopher Ross is seeking to rally the Polisario and Algeria to his arguments showing that the independence of Western Sahara is not a realistic option.

The UN Secretary General’s Personal envoy for Western Sahara had already told his interlocutors during his February visit that no power in the Security Council would take the risk of weakening a region that is already seriously endangered by terrorism.

The Libyan chaos that is expanding to neighboring countries in addition to the proliferation of jihadist groups in North Africa and the Sahel and also in Nigeria and Central Africa all plead against the position upheld by Algeria.

Christopher Ross has reportedly explained to Algeria and its protégé the Polisario that it was essential to find a compromise on the autonomy plan proposed by Morocco since this plan is much more likely to be supported by the international community given the current explosive situation in the region.

According to the same sources, if the UN mediator manages to convince the Polisario leader Mohamed Abdelaziz, he would probably make a trip to Algiers. The clue to the problem is there.

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