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Western Sahara: Dakhla city, once again at the front page news

The shop that appears in this photo is a store that is located right in front of the taxi station which has as destination the Wilayas and Tindouf (Pasaja in Hassaniya, the term comes from the word passenger) to Rabouni.

It is said that it belongs to Abdelkader Taleb Omar, Prime Minister of SADR; something I can not confirm. Instead what I can confirm is that the people who work in this shop belong to the tribe of “Kader”, as they call him their most intimate friends.

In 2013, I went to this store to buy some food, not knowing to whom it belonged and that was the last of my worries. One of Abdelkader’s “cousins” recognized me, instantly. Apparently, he is from Ahl Ahmed-Zein’s family. I held out my hand to greet him but I almost got mugged by him. The reason: my writings. Writings which never target a specific tribe, but the city of Dakhla has inhabitants known to a large extent by their lack of nationalism and militancy and of being accommodated to the “cartillas” (a subsidy of 2000 dirhams) given to them by the Moroccan colonial administation.

This is not the first time I risk being lynched by the tribalists of Mansour, who is the person behind this cowardly mobilization. The same year, during the Fisahara Film Festival, I was also threatened by the henchmen of Mansour and Abdelkader.

Today, on the occasion of the Rally that has just crossed Western Sahara, I want to draw attention to the reason why this Rally goes through Dakhla avoiding the other cities of Western Sahara. Dakhla, which has always been Mohamed VI’s favorite for his visits when he wants to send a message of intransigence to the UN. He can not do it since El AaiĂșn. The king of Morocco is afraid of the inhabitants of the Saharawi capital because of their intense activism and defiance of the Moroccan occupational authorities.

Like the king of Morocco, the Rally did not dare to go through any of the Saharawi cities, while in Dakhla, it took a long break after a long journey from southern Morocco.

According to an activist based in this city, Dakhla is the laboratory of the Moroccan propaganda on Western Sahara. All propaganda projects targeting the inside or foreign consumption are held in Dakhla. The annual Crans Montana Forum is an example among many. Festivities, exhibitions, meetings and conferences are incessantly held in this city that Morocco considers safe and where the king is not afraid that his plans are liable to get ruined. We cite as an example the arts exhibition in March 2017 or, a few weeks earlier, the Triathlon sports competition. Added to this are tourism projects boosted with direct flights from Air France with surfing activities in the backdrop.

For this reason, the Moroccans have placed in this city hundreds of Mauritanians usurped as Saharawis; a bunch of mercenaries ready to do any dirty work in exchange for the crumbs that Morocco offers them.

To justify this reality, some advance the pretext of the geographical position of Dakhla which does not allow its inhabitants to escape the repression. An unfounded pretext.

Mohamed Ayache

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