- YOUNES SAFAA
The Moroccan media stood behind the government’s stance after videos of the events were made public. As the record shows, [Western Separatists Funded] militants grew progressively brazen; first they threw rocks indiscriminately, then they ignited households with gas canisters, then they finally upgraded to Zarqawi-style public beheading(s) of security forces. A handful of angry rioters processed to desecrate the remains of fire fighters, emergency personnel, and unarmed auxiliary forces by urinating and kicking the corpses left scattered on the street. This ugly display of complete disregard for the law and human values begs one to explore the source of such hostility.
Understandably, there are some socioeconomic frustrations that exist in the southern territories, in the same fashion that the global recession has lead to crippling strikes in France and the change of majority rule at the US Congress in the November elections. However, what we have seen in [Western Sahara city of] Laayoune is a mere exploitation of the misfortune a few Sahrawi residents for purely political gain. Most of those who camped in Gdim Izik were seeking a listening ear to practical demands that the local authorities peacefully considered and negotiated. What is certain is that the majority of the peaceful protestors never intended to subscribe to a scenario where extremists converted civilian territory into a battlefield. The hoodlums carried out the most despicable acts of aggression against servicemen, who were restricted by rules of engagement that stipulated: Engage Not. Most Moroccans are horrified that such an insurgency was met with a generous level of leniency.
The international community has a moral obligation to acknowledge Morocco’s right to defend its national security and its civilians, in compliance with international law. It also needs to hold the Algerian government responsible for its active involvement in exacerbating tensions in Morocco's Southern provinces. The Algerian government continues to deny being a party to the conflict in an absurd attempt to deflect attention from its unrealistic aspiration for regional hegemony. The hawks of Algeria's National Liberation Front (FLN) are surpassed by world events. The seemingly revolutionary idealistic principles that have driven the party into power stand in the way of a sound Algerian foreign policy. In an attempt to break the umbilical cord, and a historical susceptibility to Morocco, Algeria designed its national priorities based on anti-Moroccan agenda. Such a reckless attitude stands in the way of the resolution of the Moroccan [Western] Sahara conflict and the overall integration of the Maghreb Union.
Author: Younes Safaa is an expert in African media analysis currently employed by Leading US Government contractor. He writes on Political and economical Issues relating to the Region.