I apologize for the slowdown in posting, which unfortunately looks to be permanent (nothing to do with the strike). Let us note with a yawn that a fourth pointless ceremony of the Manhasset cargo cult is beginning soon, and that:
- Anna Theofilopoulou has written yet another must-read article on why the UN’s peace process is in fact neither peace nor process.
- International recognition of Kosovo’has spawned a lot of comparisons with Western Sahara, pro and con, good and bad, but most of them awesomely uninformed (like when a UPI “expert” speaks of the Western Sahara as a problem of “Berber unrest”).
- A policeman has been killed in Morocco, in unclear circumstances. The government predictably blames Polisario, which denies any involvement. Either way, a group of Sahrawis have been arrested, and while Polisario probably doesn't want to go back to armed struggle, a lot of their sympathizers do. If things finally do go boom, in the absence of a credible peace process, don't look to Abdelaziz -- it'll be the angry young men wearing masks and making Molotov cocktails.
- The ASM’s sightseeing trip into hostile territory is supposedly still on for March 16, the day of the Manhasset talks.
- Morocco, meanwhile, is furious about Polisario's (previously mentioned) strategy to repopulate the areas east of the wall with Sahrawis returning from the refugee camps. Not that it poses any sort of military threat, or is legally different from Morocco's own construction in the parts of W. Sahara under its control, but it does undermine Rabat's official line that Polisario's territories are simply a UN "buffer zone" -- which Minurso insists they are not -- and embarrasses the government in the eyes of its people. Hence the sabre-rattling.