But where has Brahim Ghali gone? No speech or image of the Secretary General of the Polisario has been in the media in recent weeks. The media regular did not deign to comment on the operation carried out on Friday, November 13, by the Royal Armed Forces to free the passage of El Guerguerate.
An absence which raises questions as well in the big cities of the Sahara, in particular among the partisans of the Front, as among the Sahrawis of the camps of Tindouf who wait to see their “leader”. In such circumstances, the heads of armed movements immediately speak up to reassure their troops by means of speeches or audiovisual recordings and not by letter addressed to the Secretary General of the United Nations.
Worse, when Antonio Guterres wanted to speak with Brahim Ghali to discuss the latest developments in El Guerguerate, this Friday, November 13, it was Khatri Adouh in his capacity as secretary general of the secretariat of the political organization and head of the negotiating delegation , who was mandated to chat with the Portuguese.
Moreover, Ghali had no role in the Polisario communication campaign denouncing the FAR operation. Rather, it was entrusted to representatives of the Front in certain European and African capitals. In the neighbor to the east, Abdelkader Taleb Omar multiplies the statements to the Algerian press. Last outing, this Saturday evening, he was the special guest of the Al Hayat TV channel.
A strange absence that dates back more than a month
To alleviate the heavy absence of their leader, the lieutenants take turns in the capitals where the Front is present: Mohamed Yeslem Beissat in Pretoria, Abdellah Larabi in Madrid, Bachir Abi Bouchraya in Brussels, Mohamed Sidi Ammar in New York.
But this absence of Brahim Ghali goes back more than a month. His last official appearance was on November 7, when he chaired a meeting of the general secretariat. Even statements relating to the blockade of El Guerguerate and the preparation of the Front militias for the resumption of arms against Morocco were delegated to the coordinator of the armed militias, Mohamed Ibrahim Biadillah, and Abdellah Lahbib Belal, the chief intelligence officer, known to be the foal of Algerian General Said Chengriha.
Gone are the days when Ghali missed no opportunity to demonstrate his leadership over the Polisario. In August, he made an inspection visit to certain buffer zones that the separatist movement describes as “liberated territories”. Ghali, like other Polisario executives, is known to be a follower of photo diplomacy.
This absence is reminiscent of Mohamed Abdelaziz’s during the very controversial visit of the former UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, to the Tindouf camps in March 2016. He died two months later, on May 31, 2016.