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Attempt to rehabilitate Moroccan colonization in Western Sahara: Sarkozy’s mission to Dakhla

The vision of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy on Africa in general, and on colonization in particular, continues to be structured in the colonial era clichés. And it is in Dakhla – a city of Western Sahara under Moroccan occupation, as recognized by international, European and African law, where he declared that “The tragedy of Africa is that the African has not fully entered into history” – that the organizers of the Crans Montana Forum (in Dakhla, in violation of the international law!) discuss “Africa and South-South cooperation”. Listening to the statements in this Forum is the one who is accused (Sarkozy) of having been inspired by the colonial theme in one of the first speeches of his election campaign for the presidential elections, pronounced in Toulon on 7 February 2007. “The European dream needs the Mediterranean dream …. the dream that attracted so many emperors of the Holy Roman Empire and so many kings of France, the dream that was the dream of Bonaparte in Egypt, Napoleon III in Algeria, Lyautey in Morocco” said Sarkozy. “That dream was not so much a dream of conquest, but a dream of civilization,” he added. In short, Bugeaud, Massu and many other political and military leaders dreamed of civilization by indulging in inhumane practices, such as torture and death under the guillotine blade of nationalist militants held in prisons of the French colonial system in African countries. And it is in a city of the Saharawi territories still under Moroccan occupation, that Nicolas Sarkozy returns, more than ten years later, and reaffirms “his civilizing vision” of colonialism, declaring “My presence here, it speaks, says something “. It is his support to those who still represent, in this twenty-first century, the colonization, which Morocco has erected, since 1975, as a political system in Western Sahara, the last question of decolonization in Africa, as written by the United Nations (UN) and African Union (AU). He who received a disavowal of his politics, losing the re-election at the head of the French state, could not give political advice to a king, Mohamed VI, and to his collaborators and government, which have been accused for several months by large-scale protest movements and by tens of thousands of Moroccan citizens who, for the monarchy and the Makhzen, are only “king’s subjects”. Sarkozy prefers to talk about his “civilizing” vision of colonialism from a Saharawi city under Moroccan colonial rule. While the legal and political texts of the UN and the AU concerning Western Sahara put this territory in the register of cases that must know the completion of the process of decolonization, with a referendum for self-determination of the Saharawi people. For the former French president Sarkozy “It is about giving a chance for economic development”, he said. The words of the man who had announced his withdrawal from politics seem to be confusing – it should be noted – between the United Nations mission for the organization of the referendum in Western Sahara (established in 1991 in the Saharawi territories, after the ceasefire, under the auspices of the UN between the Polisario Front and Morocco) and the UNDP development program. Moreover, Nicolas Sarkozy returns, after more than ten years, to bring to light the Moroccan proposal concerning “autonomy” in Western Sahara, expressing his support for a solution in violation of international law. Everything indicates that the European Nicolas Sarkozy has not realized how much water has passed under the bridges since 2007, as he expressed his support for the Moroccan colony in Western Sahara, while also at European level, the Court of Justice of the EU has issued a decision ordering all EU member states not to enter into agreements with Morocco that include Western Sahara, in accordance with the international and European law. In Dakhla, a city in the occupied Saharawi territories, the former French president has shown that he has not made any evolution of his views about the colonial period and the colonial political system, facing it just like he did during his last election campaign, from the beginning to May 2007, in Nice, Lyon, Metz, Marseille, Dijon and Montpellier.

A vision based on the old lie that colonization was a humanitarian enterprise and contributed to modernization, while in form and substance it was and still is fundamentally cruel, abject and infamous, and has committed systematic and permanent violations of the rights of the colonized. Nicolas Sarkozy has tried, in vain, to water down historical intelligence and critical thinking in a cup of good feelings, insisting on his “legitimate preference to consider Morocco as his favorite friend”, averting his gaze on a colonization that is unjust in its principles and oppressive in its structures. Sarkozy was in his role, the exaltation of the colonizers… to try to rehabilitate the colonization – not surprisingly, for the one who spoke to the Crans Montana Forum of peace and security, he who had triggered the NATO intervention in Libya, a country which more than seven years later finds itself in a chaotic situation – according to Sarkozy’s vision of security, peace and stability.

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