Morocco to appoint a Polisario deserter Ambassador to Spain
Ennahar Online/AFP - Morocco has asked Spain to accredit as ambassador to Madrid Souilem Ould Ahmed, a former member of the Sahrawi Polisario separatist group, who joined the Moroccan position, the newspaper El Pais reported on Saturday.
The information could not be confirmed from official sources on Saturday.
According to El Pais, quoting a diplomatic source, Madrid should authorize, without enthusiasm, the appointment of the ambassador.
Former diplomatic head of the Polisario, Ahmed Ould Souilem, 59, has joined the position of Morocco in July, says El Pais.
Rabat considers Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony annexed in 1975, part of the kingdom and proposes considerable autonomy under its sovereignty.
The Polisario Front, supported by Algeria in particular, requires in turn a referendum on self-determination including the option of independence.
Since he joined the Moroccan position, Mr. Ould Souilem supports the Moroccan autonomy proposal, according to El Pais.
The purpose of this appointment, the newspaper said, is to show that all the Saharawi are not in the independence movement and are to counter the wave of sympathy provoked by the hunger strike carried out in Spain in late 2009 by the separatist militant Haidar.
Ms. Haidar had observed more than one month of hunger strike in the Canaries to be allowed to return home in Laayoune, Western Sahara, where she had been pushed back on her return from the U.S. in November. The strike had led to tensions between Madrid and Rabat.
Africa's last colony
Since 1975, three quarters of the Western Sahara territory has been illegally occupied by Morocco. The original population lives divided between those suffering human rights abuses under the Moroccan occupation and those living in exile in Algerian refugee camps. For more than 40 years, the Saharawi await the fulfilment of their legitimate right to self-determination.