Brahim Ghali, leader of the Polisario Front, urgently hospitalised in Spain

He was admitted for respiratory problems in a hospital in Logroño
Atalayar_Brahim Ghali, jefe Frente Polisario

PHOTO/REUTERS  -   Brahim Ghali, Secretary General of the Polisario Front

Brahim Ghali, leader of the Polisario Front, has been hospitalised in Logroño in serious condition due to breathing difficulties. According to the Moroccan media Le360, Ghali, who would have been infected by the coronavirus, suffers from other diseases such as hepatitis C and liver cirrhosis, he was also operated on for colon cancer. Ghali, 73, has been admitted under a false Algerian name, Mohamed Benbatouch. The Saharawi politician has used this false identity because the Spanish justice system accuses him of human rights violations. Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune offered health care to Ghali, although it appears that the Algerian medical staff was not sufficient to treat his problems. Ghali had recently visited Algiers, the Polisario Front's main ally and a key supporter against Morocco. During the meeting, held in February, Tebboune and Ghali agreed to work together to address the challenges and threats affecting both. 

Brahim Ghali was one of the founders of the Polisario Front in 1973, and was later elected its first secretary general. One of his first military actions was an attack on the Spanish army. A year later, in 1974, Ghali began leading the Sahrawi National Liberation Army, the military wing of the Polisario Front. Ghali was also present at the first meeting between the Spanish government and the Polisario Front in 1975. The Polisario leader has held the post of Minister of Defence in the first government of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, and was the Polisario Front's commander-in-chief and representative in Spain until 2008. Some time later, he was transferred as Sahrawi ambassador to Algeria until 2015. Ghali has been the current secretary general of the Polisario Front since 2016, following the death of the previous secretary, Mohamed Abdelaziz.

Atalayar_Brahim Ghali, jefe Frente Polisario
PHOTO/AP - Brahim Ghali, Polisario Front Secretary General

The issue of Western Sahara has been discussed on numerous occasions by the United Nations, although the organisation has not been able to reach any conclusions on the matter. The International Support Group for Sahrawi Reunification is one of the most relevant bodies seeking a solution to the conflict. It is made up of personalities from Spain, Brazil, the Azores, Costa Rica, Great Britain and Russia, and seeks to promote a dialogue of peace and tolerance in Western Sahara. The international community has also considered holding a referendum in the region, but has received little international support.

The most widely supported proposal within the international community on the Western Sahara issue is that of the Kingdom of Morocco, which advocates autonomy for the territory under Moroccan sovereignty. This position was supported by the former US administration of Donald Trump and by other nations that have opened consulates in territories such as Dakhla and El Aaiún, thus giving their support to the North African country.