Algiers never expected such a blow from US Ambassador Elizabeth Moore Aubin. Just as she was posing for a souvenir photo with Supreme Court justices at the end of a visit she had just made to their institution, the US embassy issued a communiqué dissuading Westerners from travelling to Tindouf because of terrorism

US, Spain and UK warn their nationals wishing to visit Tindouf

Tinduf - PHOTO/FILE
photo_camera Tindouf - PHOTO/FILE

The alert issued by the US diplomatic representation in Algiers has caused a lot of pain to the Algerian regime, which never ceases to make nice gestures to Washington with the sole aim of winning its sympathy. There has never been any protest against the conduct of Mrs Elizabeth Moore Aubin, who behaves like a real mistress of the place in Algeria.  

  1. Unprecedented behaviour

She meets the President of the Republic whenever she wants. President Tebboune has granted her two audiences in less than a year in Algiers. She was received by General Saïd Chengriha at the headquarters of the army general staff. She visited more than thirty wilayas (prefectures) at the invitation of the prefects and executives of the country's various institutions. A few days after his installation as head of the national police, Ali Badaoui was visited by the US ambassador. He went at will to the editorial offices of newspapers and television channels, which were distinguished by headline-grabbing topics dictated by the army's intelligence services.  

Unprecedented behaviour

Never before had an ambassador to the world behaved in a host country as Elizabeth Moore Aubin did in Algeria. No one has dared to call her to order in any way. What would become of diplomacy if a group of ambassadors were to indulge in such behaviour?  

The silence of the Algerian authorities on her conduct did not prevent the US ambassador from pillorying them in a statement that caused them great pain. The statement warned Westerners of possible kidnappings by terrorist groups operating in the Tindouf area, a Polisario stronghold. To celebrate the 48th anniversary of the proclamation of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, the Polisario is organising an international marathon on 28 February. And here it is, receiving the biggest gift of all from the Americans. Not only did the Americans spoil the party, but they also hurled a frank accusation of terrorism at it.  

Tinduf

The British were quick to follow Washington's lead. A few hours later, its embassy in Algiers issued a statement to the same effect. 

It is worth noting that Washington and London's warnings came shortly after those of the Spanish Foreign Ministry, which also advised Spaniards against travelling to southwest Algeria.

At the time of writing, neither the Algerian Foreign Ministry nor the government media had reacted. However, many observers believe that this alert is the prelude to the Polisario's classification as a terrorist organisation. This would be a mortal blow to the Algerian regime, which survives thanks to the exploitation of this separatist movement, which is increasingly losing ground both internally and externally.