Sahara: Mounting Signs of Failure of Polisario’s Upcoming 15th Congress

The 15th Congress which the Polisario Front is about to hold in Tifariti is already showing signs of a resounding failure. After suffering series of diplomatic setbacks, the separatist group has to deal, this time, with an explosive situation in the Tindouf camps.

To avoid any surprise or troubles from a very frustrated population by their reckless leaders and by the deteriorating situation of their living conditions, the Polisario decided to convene its congress in Tifariti, a buffer zone under the exclusive control of MINURSO, to avoid being targeted and embarrassed by possible protest movements.

According to a news platform close to the Polisario, victims of human rights violations in the Tindouf camps have already started demanding justice and reparations ahead of this congress.

In an open letter addressed to the Front’s leadership, copies of which have also been sent to the Algerian ministry of Foreign Affairs, the United Nations and the international human rights NGOs, the 124 signatories accuse members of the current leadership, including the so-called “Minister of Occupied Territories”, Bachir Mustapha Sayed and the so-called “Minister of Equipment”, Sid Ahmed El Batal, of having ordered the crimes committed in the notorious “Errachid prison”.

They also demand that light be shed on these heinous crimes perpetrated with impunity, stressing the need to reveal the fate of the disappeared and the bodies of prisoners buried in mass graves, says the Tindouf-based Futuro Sahara website.

In an audio broadcast last October, Bachir Mustapha Sayed, brother of the founder of the Polisario, had himself acknowledged the crimes committed between 1974 and 1988 by Polisario torturers against civilian Sahrawis in Errachid prison and called for turning the page on these crimes with a “pardon”.

Furthermore, as the date set for the Polisario congress (Dec.19-23) draws nearer, the leadership of the separatists tightened grip on the Tindouf camps, by imposing a siege on these camps, while the armed militias closed off the way to Tifariti with barricades.