Morocco expresses concern over Ould Sidi Mouloud arrest
By Mohamed El Gharbaoui for Magharebia in Rabat – 06/10/10
The arrest of former Polisario police Inspector-General Mustapha Salma Ould Sidi Mouloud in Algeria has troubled his family and angered Morocco, which described it as a kidnapping. The arrest came just weeks after Ould Sidi Mouloud announced his intention to defend the Moroccan proposal to grant autonomy to Western Sahara.
Mohamed Sheikh, Ould Sidi Mouloud's brother, said in a press statement that his family is worried about the fate of his brother and his deteriorating health, especially after the cancellation of his father's visit to the Tindouf camps. He said that the Polisario want to hide something or they do not want his parents to know anything about him.
Sheikh said earlier that his brother "was being held, according to sources from the Polisario Front, in a metal container intended for international relief and is being tortured", describing the kidnapping of his brother as "an act of piracy in the darkness of the desert".
"Mustapha Salma Ould Sidi Mouloud has lived for years in the same camps in Tindouf, and recently returned to his homeland and expressed his opinion freely on the Moroccan initiative for autonomy in the southern provinces," said Moroccan Foreign Minister Taieb Fassi Fihri.
"The opinion of Ould Sidi Mouloud, in fact, reflects the opinion of all Moroccans, as well as the vast majority of people of the southern provinces living in the Tindouf camps on the Algerian territory," added Fassi Fihri.
A September 22nd statement from the general secretariat of the Western Sahara National Police said that Ould Sidi Mouloud "has fled to the enemy and declared openly his allegiance to [Morocco], and disclosed secrets concerning Saharan state institutions and committed acts of espionage for the benefit of a nation at war with the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, with the purpose of compromising their security and integrity and he will be referred to justice".
The Committee for the Release of Mustapha Salma Ould Sidi Mouloud demanded that the UN and its High Commissioner for Refugees intervene in an effort to increase pressure on the Polisario. The group added that the Polisario should release Ould Sidi Mouloud, ensure his safety, and give him the right to freely express his opinions.
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