What does France want? What is France worth? To the second question, I would answer straight away that France is for Morocco a historical and important ally with versatile and unpredictable behavior, except that at such a decisive turning point for the Kingdom as that of the recognition of its territorial integrity by the USA the republic is really behind, a delay which leads us to ask the following question: Where is France located in relation to the latest developments in the Moroccan Sahara?
* By Dr Mustapha Grine
Indeed, France, a former colonial power, is directly concerned by the course of events, because of its position which has so far remained preponderant and its political, economic and cultural commitment in Morocco in particular and in the region in general, but these latest developments, by their magnitude and the speed with which they occurred, seem to have generated great astonishment in Paris and are likely to endanger the interests of our French partners, because it seems that the dynamic created by the USA in the Sahara will to open the way and the appetite to other competitors in France.
Thus, by its lack of reactivity, very suspect in addition, France found itself caught in a pincer, on the one hand it cannot withdraw its investments and its “troops” from Morocco, since it would be extremely expensive. strategically and would entail the definitive loss of its dominant political and cultural position and its very lucrative economic presence, a deadweight loss that risks spreading, not only in the kingdom but, like a chain reaction, in a good part of the African continent, and consequently the inevitable loss of its influence in Africa and its weight internationally.
And on the other hand, it cannot let the Anglo-Saxons do it without defending its status, because that would relegate it to an appendicular rank and leave it a secondary role unworthy of this great country.
Thus, the wisest solution in the short term as in the long term would have been to integrate into this dynamic and position itself by renewing and revitalizing its relations with the Kingdom in particular and Francophone Africa in general, except that looking closely, this is not the case, France is lagging behind, and would apparently be tempted, in its search for a response to the Anglo-Saxons, to take advantage of the historic Algerian enmity towards the Kingdom (in which France holds moreover a good share of responsibility), this enmity which borders on hatred and which was recently fueled by the recognition of the Moroccan Sahara by the USA.
And as if the evil of France should always come to us from Algeria, would Paris be tempted on this occasion and in the same logic, to use the deep discontent of the power in place in Algiers towards the Americans to strengthen its presence in the country? region at the expense of the Shereefian Kingdom, by instrumentalizing the conflict or by relocating its capital and its teams to the East? Especially in this context where France lives under the fear of being overtaken by history on the basis of its responsibility for crimes committed during the colonial period and its share of responsibility in the genesis of the territorial problems between Morocco and Algeria ?
If this is the thinking of Paris, which is absolutely not politically wise, although that would not surprise me at all given the clumsiness it has shown for a few years already, and given that France has almost lost all credit with the Algerian people because of its lack of neutrality vis-à-vis the social movement in Algeria and its interference in the internal affairs of Algerians and the support it has always lavished on the dictatorship as it had done in Tunisia before, If this is her reflection, then she cannot carry it out without the help and direct involvement of the generals deposed by the Hirak and who have remained loyal to Paris, isn’t it she who put them in place? , protected and supported since independence?
This would easily explain the turnaround in the legal situation in Algeria, through the annulment of the sentences handed down at first instance and on appeal, and the proclamation of innocence by the supreme court, in favor of former military regime officials. Algerian guilty of crimes against the people, embezzlement, conspiracy against the State and various abuses, this decision of the Supreme Court, which undermines the integrity and independence of the Algerian judicial system as a whole , does not seem to be a coincidence or a coincidence with the return of the Algerian president, whom the French president Macron had promised to support (implying to make decisions in his place).
All this scenario, very badly done moreover, would ultimately aim to harm and try to bend Morocco in order to dissuade it from diversifying its international relations and keeping it under an undeclared “protectorate”, except that this risks being costly once again. to France, judging by the landing of the American David Schenker and his statements yesterday in Algiers after which he would go to Rabat, a visit full of signals, especially if the USA succeeded in defusing the Moroccan-Algerian crisis or even launch the two countries on the path of reconciliation and normalization.
However, it is important for us, faced with such a situation, to stay awake, because the risk for our country is twofold: First, the possible manipulation of the French lobby in Morocco and in certain French-speaking countries, still under supervision, by Paris, with possible repercussions and extensions within the African Union, and then the activation of possible terrorist sleeper cells in southern Algeria and the Sahel by Algiers, whose connivance with terrorists is no longer a secret to anyone, in order to lead destabilization actions in the big cities housing the foreign consulates, namely Dakhla and Laayoune.
This prompts us to proclaim an action strategy along three axes: Strengthening surveillance around Moroccan interests and investments in sub-Saharan Africa and economic intelligence, activating Moroccan alliances in order to consolidate the international, consular presence and economic and financial in the southern provinces and finally the alerting of military and civilian intelligence services at the borders in partnership with the Americans.
After all, what does France have that other powers cannot offer? Wouldn’t it be time for Paris to try other ways, wiser to which we will be more receptive?
* President of the National Social Justice Observatory (ONJS)