Thursday, 10 December 2009
Haidar, Spain & Morocco
Let's oversimplify things a bit:
Haidar, a woman from Sahara fighting for the right of Sahara to be independent, states in a document that her nationality is from Sahara, not from Morocco. Then the Government of Morocco gets infuriated and decides to retire her the passport. She takes a flight to the Canary Islands (Spain) where she is accepted to enter, in spite of the lack of passport.
Then she starts a hunger strike, at the same airport where she arrived, to reclaim her return to El Aaiun, the town where she comes from, in Sahara; but does not accept a passport from Spain. Morocco asks for excuses from her to the king, or else she won't receive any assport. And her representatives state that, if Haidar dies, it will be Spain's fault.
Of course the situation is much more complicated, but in the end, it is just like I explained.
The situation of Spain is quite tricky in this whole business; in 1975, we abandoned Sahara in a shameful history, when our 40 years dictator Franco was dying and Hassan II, king of Morocco, decided to launch a pacific invasion of Sahara, taking profit of the tension in Spain. Since then, in theory we support the occurrence of a referendum to decide whether Sahara wants to be independent or join Morocco. But in the real world, Morocco anexionated Sahara in 1975 and is acting, at all levels, as its owner since that date, in spite of repeated referendum promises made with the backing of the UNO.
So at this point, I guess that the Spanish government feels it has some kind of responsability in solving the strike of Haidar; but I think the whole situation is rotten enough to prevent any reasonable solution, and moreso if we consider the ways of acting of the Morocco government, which, to put it mildly, are not exactly "trustworthy", regardless of the very cooperative attitude of the Spanish government of Zapatero.
But things reached a point where only the involvement of the European Union, or the USA, could press enough to get some kind of agreement. And the irrational atittude of many advisers of Haidar is not helping matters at all.
Anyway, I see only a positive outcome of all this: Haidar and her strike have put back the controversial situation of Sahara in the map of Spanish politics, and I think it was about time.