Brahim Ghali returns to Tindouf camps

The Polisario Front leader has reportedly resumed his activities after a meeting in Algiers
brahim-ghali-polisario

PHOTO/REUTERS  -   Brahim Ghali, secretary general of the Frente Polisario

The leader of the Polisario Front, Brahim Ghali, has returned to the Tindouf refugee camps in Algeria, following his full recovery from COVID-19 and his subsequent controversial entry into Spain to receive medical treatment.

As announced by the Polisario itself on Twitter, "Brahim Ghali, President of the Saharawi Republic and Secretary General of the Polisario Front, returns today to the refugee camps and resumes his functions after successfully passing the #COVID-19". 

brahim-ghali

After his arrival, Ghali was received by Prime Minister Bucharaya Beyun and the Coordinator of the Sahrawi People's Liberation Army General Staff, Mohamed Ibrahim. In his first activities, Ghali reviewed the troops with the Coordinator of the General Staff of the Sahrawi People's Liberation Army (SPLA), Mohamed Ibrahim, before resuming his administrative work.

Brahim Ghali managed to arrive in Spain on 18 April in an Algerian plane bound for the Zaragoza Air Base, without going through any kind of border or documentation controls. Once at the Base, Ghali was transferred by ambulance to the San Pedro Hospital where he was admitted under the name of Mohamed Benbatouche, and where he was treated for illnesses derived from the coronavirus.

tinduf-refugiados

Ghali's presence in Spain unleashed a major diplomatic rift between Spain and Morocco, as the leader had been received in secret and without prior consultation with the Alawi Kingdom.

After receiving several complaints accusing him of alleged rape, torture and crimes against humanity, Brahim Ghali appeared before the judge of the Audiencia Nacional, Santiago Pedraz. After testifying via videoconference, the judge decided to dismiss the complaints after stating that "the witness statements do not match the allegations in the complaints". 

brahim-ghali
PHOTO/AP - Brahim Ghali, secretary general of the Frente Polisario

Following the resolution, on 2 June, Brahim Ghali left Spain from Pamplona to return to Algeria. On his return, Ghali was received by President Tebboune together with the head of the Algerian army, General Said Chengriha. 

His return to military activities comes at a crucial moment in the Saharawi conflict, a few days after Morocco accepted the Swedish diplomat, Staffan de Mistura, as a candidate for the post of UN special envoy for Western Sahara, a post which had been vacant for two years.