Germany reiterated a few days ago its support for the autonomy plan proposed by Morocco in 2007. They believe that the Alawi kingdom "has made an important contribution to achieving a political solution within the framework of the United Nations", they said in a statement this week. However, the UN's intention is to carry out a referendum that the Saharawis have long been hoping for, although the supranational organisation is being criticised by all sides for its inability to implement its idea.
The Saharawi civil society delegation arrived in Berlin on Tuesday for a series of meetings with German parliamentarians. The Bundestag welcomed the Saharawi representatives who criticised the Polisario Front for wishing to claim to be the sole actor in defence of the Saharawis, affirming that the only legitimate representatives of the population of the Moroccan Sahara are the local elected representatives of the region, of which Shaibata Mrabih Rabou, president of the Centre for Studies and Research on Development and Human Rights in the Sahara, one of the members of the delegation, is a member.
In addition, they also criticised the Polisario for the harsh repression within the organisation, which the Polisario Front itself acknowledged. Brahim Ghali admitted "reparations to the victims of past mistakes and abuses", which is a confirmation of the Polisario's historical accusations of human rights violations.
For the first time in half a century, these words acknowledge the commission of crimes against humanity in the Tindouf camps in Algeria against the dissident population. Moreover, this locality is witness to the forced recruitment of children to become soldiers, something that the Saharawi delegation that has travelled to Germany also denounces. It does so in a conference at the Quadriga University in Berlin under the title "Stop the recruitment of child soldiers in the camps of Tindouf by the Polisario".
This lecture was attended by Shaibata Mrabihrabou, vice-president of the Provincial Council of Tarfaya and the entrepreneurs Zeinabu Ramdan from Laayoune and L'imam Boussef from Dakhla. The conference at the German university is the culmination of a week of meetings by the Saharawi delegation which has come to Berlin precisely at a time when the problem of the Sahara is on the lips of many German politicians. The government of Olaf Scholz has reaffirmed its position on the Moroccan side in the face of criticism from a sector of the left represented by Sevim Dağdelen, a member of parliament of the party Die Linke (The Left) who believes that "Germany ignores international law, it is hypocrisy".
Despite these words, Scholz's government is clear that Morocco is an important ally and, above all, because the possibility of independence for the territory 'is no longer a possibility', according to Werner Ruf, professor of international relations at the University of Kassel. Nevertheless, given the sensitivity of this issue and its repercussions on relations with Rabat, Berlin has done important work in giving a voice to a section of the Saharawi population that dissociates itself from the Polisario Front and harshly criticises the crimes committed by the latter.
Precisely these violations in Saharawi regions were part of the second panel at the conference held in Quadriga, where Khira Suleiman and Ramdan Mesaud Larb addressed the issue of human rights. Mesaud spoke about the enforced disappearances and abuses perpetrated by separatist militias in the Tindouf camps with the complicity of the Algerian authorities and gave an update on the lawsuit filed before the Spanish courts for the illegal entry of Brahim Ghali into Spain. For her part, Suleiman spoke from personal experience, giving a testimony about the complicated situation of many people in the region who, like her, are forced to be separated from their families.
Zeinabu Ramdan de Laayoune and Limam Boussef focused their interventions on the entrepreneurial opportunities for young people in the southern provinces and delved into the region's potential in terms of sustainable investments, green energy development and potential fishing and port opportunities. In this sense, the Saharawi delegation, in addition to explaining the problems and denouncing the situation to which the population is subjected by the Polisario Front, also showed the future and the opportunities offered by the region.