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Moroccan Ambassador: Polisario’s Sultana Khaya is Not a Human Rights Defender

Rabat - The Permanent Representative of Morocco to the UN, Omar Hilale, has accused Algeria of hiring Polisario members such as Sultana Khaya to undermine Morocco’s territorial integrity.

Hilale addressed a series of letters to the Security Council to expose how Khaya’s maneuvers serve the agenda of the Polisario Front and their biggest supporter, Algeria.

“Sultana Khaya is in no way a defender of human rights, but indeed an agent working for Algeria and the Polisario,” said the Moroccan ambassador, recalling the self-proclaimed activist’s provocative acts and attacks against Morocco over the past months and years.

In his letter, Hilale emphasized that  Khaya has publicly called for an armed conflict in Morocco’s southern provinces, emphasizing that she has been making trips to Algeria where she received military training on the use of firearms and participated in military exercises.

The latest military camp training that Khaya took part in was from January 1-12 in 2019.  Footage and pictures later emerged of the hardline Polisario militant -- and self-described human rights activist -- holding a firearm and calling for war against Morocco. The footage went viral instantly,  prompting many questions about Khaya’s self-presentation as a pacifist human rights activist.
Polisario and Algeria finance Khaya with a monthly stipend of €4,300 to serve their agenda in her capacity as president of a non-registered association under the “Sahrawi league for the defense of human rights,” Hilale said in his letters to the UN Security Council.

“[Khaya] has a Moroccan passport and travels freely and regularly abroad, where she indulges [in criticizing the] human rights situation in Morocco without being bothered or arrested by the Moroccan authorities on her return,” the ambassador argued.

Khaya is one of the most controversial members of the Polisario Front. Just last year, as news circulated of her links to an armed branch of the separatist Polisario Front, the European Parliament excluded Khaya’s candidacy from the list of finalists for the 2021 Sakharov Prize, an award presented to individuals who have dedicated their lives to the defense of human rights.

Despite claiming to be a champion of human rights and a fierce chronicler of abuse in Morocco’s southern provinces, Khaya refused to meet a delegation from Morocco’s Human Rights Council (CNDH) in February. 

The delegation, which had traveled to the southern provinces to investigate allegations of human rights violations in the region, visited the Polisario militant at her home in Boujdour for an interview.

Morocco has long warned about Khaya’s hostile maneuvers in several letters to the UN Security Council.

In November 2021, Ambassador Hilale sent a letter to the UN body, detailing Khaya’s involvement with an armed branch of the separatist Polisario Front, and asking rhetorically: “With regard to the so-called Sultana Khaya, in particular, it is worth wondering since when have human rights activists been in military training, with the Kalashnikov slung over their shoulders?”

Source: Morocco World News

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