Mohamed Abdelaziz has left a legacy of struggle, honor, justice, respect and affection. A statesman, a good man and an example that managed to unite a whole people despite the physical separation and dispersion of the Saharawi by various territories and continents.
His journey was arduous, his abnegation known, his absence is painful, but his dream has not died, the struggle will continue until the final victory.
Mohamed Abdelaziz (محمد عبد العزيز) was born in 1948 in Smara in Western Sahara, at that time Spanish colony, later province 53, and died on the morning of May 31, 2016 at 68 years.
He was Secretary General of the Polisario Front and President of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), until the day of his death.
The historical leader of the Saharawi people was one of the founders in 1968 of the National Movement of Saharawi Liberation led by Mohamed Sidi Brahim Basiri, the first movement that used the armed struggle against Spanish colonialism. In 1973 Abdelaziz was one of the founders of the Liberation Front of Saguia El Hamra and Río de Oro (Frente Polisario), being one of the members of the Political Bureau.
In 1974 the second Polisario congress was held, in which he was not only confirmed again as a member of the Political Bureau, but he was also appointed as head of the clandestine political organization of the Polisario Front. After the shameful withdrawal of Spain in 1976 and until 1978, he was head of the military region No.. 1 in the war against Morocco and Mauritania.
In August 1978, during the third congress of the Polisario, he was elected general secretary of the movement, replacing Mahfud Ali Beiba, who had assumed the position of Acting Secretary General after the death of El-Sayed Mustafa Uali. Abdelaziz was also elected president of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR).
He held both positions until his death, having been reelected successively in Congress.
President Abdelaziz lived in the Sahrawi refugee camps in Tindouf, in Algeria.
His political career was characterized as a secular nationalist. He led the Polisario and the SADR after a war for independence, the 1991 ceasefire and negotiations under the auspices of the UN, with the aim of holding a referendum on self-determination.
A loved leader
Known as a quiet men, cultured, multilingual, charismatic, patriotic nationalist, he was loved by all the Saharawi people.
Mohamed Abdelaziz said that the Sahrawis without their homeland had no existence, unfortunately, he did not live long enough to see his country free and independent, his people liberated from the oppressive yoke of Morocco.