Western Sahara: facing the media storm, the region needs to calm down
The Thomas More Institute (ITM) has just published a note on Laayoune violent events which sheds light on the 8th November clashes, but also on foreign hands slipping into this old conflict, while concluding that “the region needs a calming down without provocations” to reach a solution. The clashes which have followed the action of the Moroccan security forces and the media inappropriate outbursts, namely in Spain recalling all the difficulties to put an end to a thirty five years old conflict, at the origin of the Arab Maghreb Union freezing, from the point of view of this European independent think tank report.
The Thomas More Institute points out particularly the Spanish media. “The Spanish press, recalls ITM, has notably used a picture of Palestinian children, going back to 2006, to illustrate the consequences of the Moroccan security forces intervention in Laayoune”. “The fact that the media of a democratic country, which is moreover a member of the European Union, become the source of propaganda fit for a cold war to excite the popular emotions on the basis of a media war, is even more serious”, mentions with astonishment the Institute report.
These violent reactions are, nevertheless, in contrast with the reserve, at the same time, of the Spanish government and UNO. Just like Spain, the Security Council has “deplored” the violent events, but the “fifteen member states did not want to go further”, as stated by the ITM.
On Polisario side, « radicalization in the speech becomes even stronger with the loss of influence”, because a number of Sahrawis leave Tindouf camps to rejoin the Western Sahara. “The Polisario seems also to be more and more controversial in its claim to represent the Sahrawis”. In last September, it is an executive of the Polisario, Mustapha Salma , who made a defection and called for the support of the autonomy plan proposed by Morocco, before rejoining the Tindouf camps to defend the Moroccan project, which leads to his arrest once the frontier crossed”.
The « Western Sahara conflict, mainly a geopolitical one, is based on the tensions between Algeria and Morocco ». For ITM, “without the support of Algeria, the Polisario would have disappeared since a long time as stated by the UN Secretary general, Kofi Annan, in his 2006 report, the conflict would never be settled if a global solution integrating Algeria, is not found”, concludes the Institute.