French TV Program Raises Hackles For Documentary On Moroccan Sahara
Rabat, March 8 (TNA) A Spanish program "In 5 Minutes" of the French media channel “France 24” broadcasted a documentary entitled “Western Sahara: a territorial dispute of nearly five decades, hundreds of thousands of civilian refugees and a tangle of interests for Spain, France and the United States” has raised the hackled of several people in the establishement here.
This program, by tackling the question of the Moroccan Sahara, cumulated enormously unfounded allegations and contradictions that the polisario spare no effort in disseminating. It was a merely biased narrative in favor of the separatist thesis. It is to be recalled that the SADR is an artificial construct propped up by the separatist Polisario Front group, claiming to be a sovereign Sahrawi state in the western region of the Moroccan Sahara.
As such, the program claimed that Morocco “exploits the Sahara region’s resources” and that “Several countries have expressed support for Morocco, many of which have companies in the region and exploit its resources, including Spain, France, and Germany.”
The truth is that Rabat is investing heavily in the Sahara provinces with the aim of developing the fisheries industry, agriculture, tourism and the education sector in the region.
Given this, it is needless to say that the Sahrawis in the Moroccan Sahara provinces have a far better quality of life as compared to their brethren in the Tindouf camps. In fact, Morocco envisages the Sahara as a bridge between itself and the rest of Africa.
Moreover, the reality is that there’s an upsurge in support for the Moroccan autonomy plan. Many countries from different parts of the world have opened Consulates in Morocco’s southern provinces in Dakhla and Laayoune. This dynamic on the ground strengthens the autonomy plan as being the only realistic, practical and lasting political solution to this regional dispute and reflects their total support for Morocco’s unity and its territorial integrity, of which the Kingdom has never put on table for negotiations.
The program also claimed that “Spain supported Morocco’s autonomy plan for Western Sahara, in exchange for Rabat’s increased control and detention of migrants seeking to reach Spain via the cities of Ceuta and Melilla.” This is a ridiculous falsification of facts and history. In the fight against illegal migration, Morocco's record is distinguished and well-known.
In fact, the Kingdom is a key responsible actor that stands for 99% of the effort to combat illegal immigration into Europe. It is also alleged that "Morocco allowed thousands of migrants into the country in a few days, in response to Madrid's authorization to Polisario leader Brahim Ghali, to receive medical assistance on its territory."
Needless to say, this is a gross oversimplification of facts. What the Spanish government did was downright treacherous because it secretly allowed Ghali to enter Spain under a fake name for his hospital stay. When the truth was found out, Madrid tried to pass it off as a humanitarian endeavour, totally disregarding the fact that Rabat was a key trade and security partner.
The channel concludes that “this scenario, which explains the suffering of the Sahrawi population, suits the international interests” to such an extent that “Minurso only follows up the conflict, without acting”. This is an absurd untruth. The fact is that the SADR, which does not represent the vast majority of the Sahrawi people, simply controls a few refugee camps in Algeria where the inmates live in deplorable conditions with serious charges of embezzlement of aid being levelled against the Polisario leadership.