Mohamed Abdelaziz, President of the Saharawi Republic 1948-2016
Australian Western Sahara Association (AWSA), June 2016
With the death on 31 May 2016 of Mohamed Abdelaziz, Saharawi president, the people of Western Sahara have lost a major figure in their recent history.
He was one of the founders of their independence movement, the Polisario Front (Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el Hamra and Rio de Oro) in 1973, fighting first against the Spanish coloniser, then in 1975 battling the Moroccan invader. He has been at its helm since the inaugural Polisario leader, El Ouali Mustapha Sayed, died in action in 1976. (cont.)
Mohamed Abdelaziz helped establish the Polisario Front in 1976
Following a long illness President Mohamed Abdelaziz died on 31 May 2016.
A period of 40 days’ mourning has been announced, at the end of which a new president will be elected by an extraordinary general meeting of the Polisario Front. In the meanwhile, the speaker of the Saharawi National Council (Parliament), Khatri Addouh, will act as interim leader of the Polisario Front.
This is the end of an era and could be a turning point, but for now we simply assess the enormous contribution made by Mohamed Abdelaziz in the course of the past 40 years. As a young man….(cont.)
Moroccan protesters in the capital Rabat, on March 13, 2016, during a demonstration against statements made by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (Photo: FADEL SENNA/AFP/Getty Images)
Dominic Dudley, Forbes Business, Foreign Affairs
19 May 2016
On May 18, the Moroccan government summoned the US ambassador in Rabat, Dwight Bush, for a dressing-down over the State Department’s most recent human rights report on the country, as it wages diplomatic battles on several fronts over its occupation of Western Sahara.