The former Spanish foreign minister has put his career in jeopardy for a torturer who is used to playing with the law. The case of the illegal entry of the leader of the separatist Polisario militias reveals how Spain got caught up in its own game. The Sahara issue is at the center of this affair.
The Brahim Ghali affair ultimately did not serve Madrid’s interests, on the contrary, it revealed a hidden game between Spain and Algeria, and created a major diplomatic crisis with Morocco, a breach of trust. To restore it, Madrid will have to make a lot of effort.
Is Algeria doing well?
If this affair has benefited a party, it is indeed Algeria which has pulled out of the game, by sending Brahim Ghali on the sly to Spain and leaving this country to unwind with the heavy burden of welcoming in hiding place, a man accused, among other things, of genocide, rape, illegal detention and torture. A man, moreover, still leads the militias which are accused of these serious violations of human rights.
While Algeria appears to be the actor who got away with the least damage, in reality, the revelation to the general public of this alliance with what it entails as illegality, falsification of identity documents, granting of false diplomatic passports, and orchestration of this operation on behalf of a separatist militia leader, demonstrates once again that if there is a real interlocutor in the Sahara affair, it is indeed Algeria and not not the Polisario.
Algeria cringed at the revelation of the affair, gloated at seeing Morocco-Spain relations deteriorate, before wasting away in the face of the scandal that erupted in its face.
Spain in embarrassment
As for Spain, unfortunately, because of this affair, its foreign policy vis-à-vis the Sahara has somewhat come to light. And according to the elements at our disposal, it appears that there is support for Algeria, and the separatist militias, until proven otherwise.
At the beginning of October, the former Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Arancha Laya Gonzalez, indicted in the case of the reception of Brahim Ghali, admitted in court that his reception was a “political” decision of Spain (she had made a humanitarian decision at the beginning, editor’s note) and that it could not reveal the details of the case because that could “expose a very serious part” of Spanish foreign policy.
And to add that the secrecy of this operation is explained by the conflicting relations between Rabat and Algiers. Without saying it, the former minister has already said everything, especially since we remember that Spain was the first country to complain to the Biden administration about the recognition of Morocco’s sovereignty over the Sahara by the old administration.
The declarations of the head of the Spanish government Pedro Sanchez who affirmed at the end of May that Morocco has no better or greater ally than Spain within the European Union, must be followed by concrete actions and not only empty talk.
Even if relations between Rabat and Madrid have warmed up, the crisis is still not forgotten and Morocco will rebalance its relations with its northern neighbor, as evidenced by the aid of 30 million euros which was refused. A next Morocco-Spain meeting is scheduled, it will determine Madrid’s willingness to solidify its relations with Rabat.
A ruined career for a forger
This whole affair, born of a deal between the head of the Spanish government Pedro Sanchez and the Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, has really put Spain in difficulty. Above all, it cost its place to Arancha Gonzalez Laya, who fell out of favor.
Because of Brahim Ghali, but also because of the permissive and accommodating policy of Spain vis-à-vis the Sahrawi separatists, the reputation of the former minister Laya is now burnt.
Arancha Gonzalez Laya lied and orchestrated an operation worthy of a spy movie for a man who committed the worst crimes possible and imaginable, to serve the interests of Algeria and not even of his country, because in the end, Algiers will always need Spanish euros for its gas and oil, and Spain will neither be able to re-colonize the Sahara nor succeed in installing a false state in this territory.
Result of the races, the former minister pays a high price for having protected and hidden the identity of Ghali, having allowed him to enter Spain without passing the identity and customs checks, to use a false identity during the 46 days he was in Spain, and in fine, allowed him to escape complaints for “crimes against humanity” in progress since 2008 since the judge in charge of the case archived the complaints.
However, it would have been easier for her to bring in Brahim Ghali with his Spanish identity card, because the latter has held Spanish nationality since 2006. Was she unaware of it? The reasons why Spain granted this man this nationality remain unknown, but it is still unfortunate to see the effects of this case when he could enter Spain legally.
But again, the problem of the cases for “genocide” attributed to him would have arisen at the identity check, even if the latter managed to enter Spain in 2016 to renew his DNI while he was being prosecuted. How could this have happened?
Because of his complacent and also illegal policy vis-à-vis the members of the Polisario, the case of the reception of Brahim Ghali as Mohamed Benbattouche, revealed the faults of Madrid which allows separatists to walk in Spain under false identities and escape justice.
The question that arises is how is it that Brahim Ghali exists in Spain at least under two identities, one as a foreign resident since the 90s, and the other as a Spanish citizen. And in both cases, the name is not the same, its place and date of birth are different. This, without counting the false identity of Mohamed Benbattouche used for his care in Spain, and that of Abdella Mohamed used in Algeria.