Western Sahara independence leader Brahim Ghali returns to Algeria Conflict news


Brahim Ghali returns to Algeria after being in the Spanish hospital that provoked the Spain-Morocco diplomatic row.

The leader of the Western Sahara independence movement, Brahim Ghali, has returned to Algeria after spending more than a month in Spain.

The stay of the head of the Polisario Front in a Spanish hospital triggered a diplomatic row between Spain and Morocco.

“It came safe and sound,” said Jalil Mohamed, a spokesman for the Polisario Front in Spain.

Ghali arrived in Algiers around 3am (0200 GMT), where he will continue his recovery from a serious case of COVID-19, Abdelkader Taleb, an officer with the Algerian news agency APS Omar.

He added that improving Ghali’s health meant he no longer needed hospitalization in Spain.

Algerian state television showed President Abdelmadjid Tebboune visiting Ghali at a military hospital, but gave no details of his discussion.

A Hawker Beechcraft 1000 plane carrying the leader of the Polisario Front, Brahim Ghali, left Spain early on Wednesday [Vincent West/Reuters]

Rabat has not yet commented on Ghali’s departure from Spain, but had already said he would not resolve the dispute on his own.

The Polisario Front, supported by Algeria, is fighting for the independence of Western Sahara, which was a Spanish colony until the mid-1970s and is vindicated by Morocco.

Ghali, who was suffering a severe COVID-19 attack, had been admitted to a Spanish hospital in April for humanitarian reasons, the Madrid government said.

He left Spain several hours after appearing remotely in a hearing with the Spanish high court over a war crimes case. After the sight, the judges did not impose any restrictions about the leader Polisario and allowed him to leave the country.

Spain’s decision to admit Ghali to a hospital in the northern Spanish city of Logroño, in Algerian papers and without informing Rabat, infuriated Morocco.

Moroccan officials suggested this the sudden influx of last month A maximum of 10,000 migrants and refugees in the Spanish enclave of Ceuta, North Africa, after Moroccan security forces appeared to loosen border controls was a form of retaliation.

The government of Pedro Sánchez accused Rabat of “blackmail” and “aggression” by the arrivals.

Algerian support for the Polisario Front independence movement is also a source of anger in Morocco.

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