“Threats of attack are nothing but pure propaganda”

– Your city has been designated by a “military leader” of the Polisario Front as a target for attacks from elements from the front. What was the reaction of your fellow citizens to this risk to their lives and property?

Above all, I would like to clarify that this communication from the Polisario Front is very dangerous, which represents an operation of this organization and a proof of its radicalization, which classifies it as a terrorist organization.

This announcement comes in a particularly global and regional context and following the diplomatic setback suffered by the separatists and their sponsor, the Algerian military regime, in particular the recognition of the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Morocco over its Sahara by influential international forces. just like the United States. In addition, the opening of consulates in several countries between Dakhla and Laayoune and the significant international support that the Moroccan Autonomy Plan has received for the southern provinces.

I would also like to remind you that the area has previously suffered from the war and terrorist activities of the Polisario Front, which carried out no less than 289 attacks on Spanish citizens between 1973 and 1986. Despite all this, we remain calm and our fellow citizens are aware that this exit is nothing but a symptom of the failure of the project for the opponents of the Kingdom and a sign of its weakness, its despair and its political and military incompetence.

– Nevertheless, any terrorist act can have blind effects, even if its authors claim to control the effects, does not worry you?

– It is certain that no one can claim that a terrorist act can not have unforeseen consequences that can go until one opens the doors of hell. Clearly, they can be a crucial factor in triggering a generalized military conflict in the region, and as always, the first victims will be civilians. I believe that we all have the obligation and responsibility to condemn and reject this warlike threat in order to avoid terrorist attacks in civilian areas.

– In the board you chair, there are different political sensitivities, what is the level of coexistence between them? And can we talk about minorities who are oppressed or who are systematically prevented from speaking out?

– I am the chairman of the Dakhla-Oued Dahhab Regional Council and I am well placed to assure you that the political and social situation is normal and that all political sensitivities coexist without problems. The election process in 2021, which enabled the local people to elect their legitimate representatives, took place under normal circumstances. The region had a higher turnout in legislative, regional and municipal elections compared to the national level and previous elections.

– The economy of the Sahara registers strong economic growth, what would be the effects on the activity in case of terrorist attacks?

– I remain convinced that these threats are nothing but pure propaganda and that there will never be attacks of this kind. Despite our opponents’ claims about our territorial integrity, the situation in the area is under control, and calm is guaranteed there thanks to the efforts of the security forces, counter-terrorism units and the Royal Armed Forces. These threats are part of a suicide strategy that goes against the hopes of the people of the area, and there is no point in spreading terrorism and insecurity.

– What about the Spanish presence in the area, and what percentage represents this presence in the local economic structure?

– The majority of Spanish investment in our region is in the fisheries and services sector. Note that there are several Moroccan companies operating in the region and led by a Spanish leader. I believe that Spanish entrepreneurs have a good opportunity to invest in Dakhla and its region. They must seize the opportunities that are opening up right now, especially following the step taken by the Spanish Government and the high – level desire to further develop relations between the two countries.

To give you an example of our efforts to bring our two countries closer and strengthen cooperation, the Regional Council at the end of this month in Dakhla is organizing an investment forum between Morocco and Spain to present the natural potential and socio-economic status of the region and the investment opportunities it provides. This event will also be an opportunity to present new opportunities for trade and economic unification between the two countries and even to further consolidate bilateral relations.

“It’s pure propaganda aimed at intimidating entrepreneurs who want to invest in the southern provinces.”

– Do you think that the threats from Polisario could affect its investments or investments from other countries that are interested in the opportunities that the region offers?

– I think it’s pure propaganda aimed at intimidating entrepreneurs who want to invest in the southern provinces. Morocco is an example of stability and security in the region, and it is interesting to note that at a time when the kingdom is multiplying initiatives to reach a just and workable solution to this artificial conflict and is behind all the measures aimed at against generalizing peace. , security and prosperity for all the population of the region, others strive to drag it into chaos and spread war, hatred, poverty and terrorism.

– Polisario recently issued “warnings” to companies investing in the Sahara, some of which are directly aimed at Spanish operators. Did this cause the staff to be withdrawn from the area?

– On the contrary, I can assure you that despite these “warnings” and the health situation that has affected the entire planet, several investors from different countries have traveled to Dakhla to explore investment opportunities and take advantage of the facilities and incentives that our country offers . to invest there.

Our region is a country of opportunity and provides an opportunity to participate in its economic and social development, especially in the sectors of fisheries, agriculture, tourism, renewable energy, mining and logistics, which contain enormous sources of growth.

– What are the most attractive industrial sectors for investment in the Sahara zone? And does Morocco and specifically your city have infrastructures capable of meeting these investments?

– The main economic sectors in the region are fisheries, agriculture, tourism, renewable energy, mining and logistics. Since the end of colonization, the state has made great efforts to provide the region with huge infrastructure projects that have transformed it into an attractive and competitive territory, especially since His Majesty’s announcement in 2015 of the new development model for the southern provinces and its regional integrated development plans.

Since then, several structural projects have been programmed, such as the mega-project of the new port and its 1,000-hectare industrial and logistics zone, which reflects Morocco’s futuristic vision of diversifying commercial and economic activities in the region. Not to mention the construction of a 5,000 ha irrigation desalination station, the Laâyoune and Dakhla motorway project, the connection of Dakhla with the national electricity network, the creation of two logistics and industrial platforms at the El Guergarate and Bir Guendouz border posts.

– What message do you want to convey to the Polisario Front and to the Sahrawis living in the Tindouf camps, following the threats of terrorist attacks?

They must put an end to this artificial conflict and seek to save themselves from the ordeal they are living, which is only getting worse day by day and return to their country, Morocco. The Kingdom is more than ready to welcome them and offer them dignified and stable living conditions, after many years of suffering far from their territories. The world has changed a lot and they have to show realism and abide by the project of autonomy under Moroccan sovereignty, which guarantees peace, security and prosperity for the whole area and all the peoples who live there.

Collected in Spanish by La Razon

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