It took two long weeks to Algiers authorities and the Polisario mercenaries to regain their sanity. They finally announced the decision to end the arbitrary arrest of a citizen whose only crime is to have publicly and favorably expressed his opinion about the Moroccan autonomy plan. How long will they take then to lift the siege they have imposed for over 35 years, on a population of Sahrawis forced to live in a chaotic desert space. Now that the decision to release Mustapha Salma Ould Sidi Mouloud has been announced, observers are wondering if it is just a hypothetical release with conditions restricting his freedom of expression and his right to free movement. Morocco, which fears the suffocation of Mustapha Salma’s rights and freedoms, has, while remaining on its guard, welcomed the news of his release.
The fact of willing to release him in Mhériz buffer zone tells a lot about the real intentions of Mouradia and Polisario leaders, warned the same observers. Coming these recent months from Smara to make it up again with his father and immediate family, under the exchanging visits program, between the Sahrawi families in the Southern provinces of the Kingdom and those in Tindouf camps, supervised by the High Commissioner for Refugees, Mustapha Salma Ould Sidi Mouloud had left his wife and his five children at their home in Tindouf camps. Before his abduction, he served as Inspector General of the Polisario Police. These are all essential elements which not only preoccupy Morocco, but also the international public opinion following, since its beginning, this hard misadventure of Ould Sidi Mouloud. The first round of this battle was won thanks to the international mobilization and pressure. Now it is up to NGOs voted to defending human rights, led by the UNHCR, to take over in order to ensure all rights and freedoms of Mustapha Salma, his small family and all the other families sequestered in Tindouf camps.