The Moroccans are onboard

The Moroccans, according to my sources, sent their intelligence chief to Mauritania to meet with Gen. Abdel Aziz. Abdel Aziz was told that he could count on Morocco’s support, and that he should release members of the former government as a sign of good will. Abdel Aziz refused to release Sidi, warning that it could work against him. The Moroccans conceded him this and promised efforts at procuring assistance from higher powers.

Those who have personal impressions of Abdel Aziz say he is not to be taken for a pawn of the Moroccans or other regional players. However, in his desperation for legitimacy and support, it might be that he hedges toward the Moroccans. If aid from the US, EU, and elsewhere continues to dry up as rapidly as it has, the country will go kaput. So he needs whatever support he can get. Or somebody else needs to supplant him, thereby rendering a situation acceptable enough by international standards to warrant the resumption of international assistance. By offering such enthusiastic support, the Moroccans may want to act as a go between between the junta and the West, bestowing upon themselves the role of regional broker and raising an expectation of reciprocity from the Mauritanians in the future. If this will work or if this will even end up being the case is up in the air. (And it this is, after all, speculation on my part!)


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