In those hard days, the “ Sahrawi Amgala” issue has surfaced on the international media as part of the so called “ eradication of the terrorist dormant cells” initiated by the Moroccan authorities since years.
- Despite the unreasonable number of military operations carried out so far, there is not any hint of the existence of a plot targeting the Moroccan kingdom.
- Recently, the Moroccan interior ministry has announced the disbanding of a terrorist cell equipped with heavy armament on January 4th, in an area that has been a matter of controversy going back to a distant past.
- Amgala illustrates several episodes in the long lasting Saharawi people combat against foreign colonialism.
- The sudden comeback of Amgala on the international media scene is another Moroccan malevolent scheme that targets Western Sahara authorities and people presenting them to the international community as a terrorist organization supposedly liked to the so called “ Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb”.
- Before delving into, what some pseudo historians and security issues experts, qualified as “Amgala 3” we have first to relate the events that occurred in both Amgala I and Amgala II in 1976.
- Moroccan oppression in Amgala I
- At the end of January 1976, a year after the Moroccan invasion of Western Sahara territories, as part of the so called the “Green Trek. Thousands of Sahrawi were forced out by the Moroccan military forces ordered by then-king Hassan II.
- As a consequence of this large scale oppression, the Sahrawi families fled their home land and stranded in the desert deprived of the basic amenities seeking refuge in the refugees’ camps of Tindouf, Algeria, to fond shelter.
- Faithful to its unflagging support for the desperate causes, Algeria didn’t hesitate to give a military assistance to the “Polisario” front at the time. According to a former military officer, the Algerian military forces helped the Sahrawi refugees to flee the Moroccan atrocities carried out the Royal forces.
- An Algeria battalion comprising 140 soldiers equipped with Kalashnikovs and Semenov (individual arms used for self defence) get through the Sahrawi territories to help the distressed families fleeing the Moroccan attacks, but not to carry out any kind of carry out any military attack against the Moroccan military forces.
- The Algerian battalion that got into the Sahrawi territories had a humanitarian goal, mainly to help the innocent civilians and was not even backed by heavy equipment. The officers were ill-trained and not professionals.
- The former officer has further indicated that the Algerian battalion was surprised by the Moroccan forces and imprisoned most of them, while others fled into the desert and died.
- The very next day, the Moroccan information ministry gave details on the operation boasting a great military victory over the Algerian army brushing aside the fact that the military operation was mainly humanitarian carried out by unqualified Algerian soldiers.
- The Algerian authorities at the time have acknowledged that its military forces got into Sahrawi and not Moroccan territories with the aim to help the local population at the request of the Polisario Front, in its quality as the legitimate representative.
- The Algerian operation inside the Sahrawi territories cannot be assimilated to an invasion to the Moroccan ones. However, the Algerian authorities have officially announced that the Moroccan military forces have arrested most of the soldiers that took part to this operation.
- Houari Boumedienne’s slap to the king Hassan II
- The late Algerian president Houari Boumedienne has considered the Moroccan attack over the ill- equipped Algerian battalion as a cowardly act especially that they were on a humanitarian duty, thus unable to carry out an attack against the Moroccan forces. He vowed to revenge the Algerian dead and supervised personally the operation.
- Houari Boumedienne moved to the special forces Academy “ Commandos” and ordered the officers to select the best elements to carry out a special operation, the selected officers should be reliable where there was not a third choice but to come up victorious or die.
- The president, who supervised the training, summoned them to arrest the double of the Algerian detainees “ One Algerian should equal two Moroccans otherwise I will not rest in peace”, he said.
- While the president was in an official visit to Libya in February 1976, the Algerian commandos stormed at night a Moroccan military camp, surprised a squadron made up of 350 officers asleep and imprisoned 250 while the others were killed. To recall the Algerian commandos didn’t suffer any single loss.
- The Moroccan king has immediately after the event addressed the Algerian president Houari Boumedienne asking him to declare war between the two countries before the Arab and international communities.
- The Algerian president’s response was limited to publish the King’s letter on the Algerian newspapers with the aim to inform the Algerian general public the Algerian Popular Army had taken revenge.
- The international community cannot accuse Algeria of an aggression over Morocco simply because the president Houari Boumedienne was not present on the Algerian territory and such an important military operation cannot be carried out with the absence of the president.
- Talking on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the nationalization of Hydrocarbons February 24, 1976, the president Houari Boumedienne has ironically responded to the Moroccan king saying” The Moroccan king asked us to declare war as if war was a football match, the matter is much more difficult and the king doesn’t know because he didn’t wage a war that lasted 7 years against the fourth military power in the world”.
- “ War is not a children’s game” . That’s the way with which the late president folded the subject.
Anouar Malek// English Version: HAKIM.A