|3rd President of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic|
|Assumed office |
12 July 2016
|Prime Minister||Abdelkader Taleb Omar|
Mohamed Wali Akeik
Bouchraya Hammoudi Bayoun
|Preceded by||Khatri Addouh (interim)|
|Sahrawi Ambassador to Algeria|
5 June 2010 – 12 July 2016
|Prime Minister||Abdelkader Taleb Omar|
|Preceded by||Mohamed Yeslem Beissat|
|Succeeded by||Abdelkader Taleb Omar|
|Sahrawi Ambassador to Spain|
September 1999 – February 2008
|Prime Minister||Bouchraya Hammoudi Bayoun|
Abdelkader Taleb Omar
|Preceded by||Omar Mansour|
|Succeeded by||Bouchraya Hammoudi Bayoun|
|Minister of Defense|
5 March 1976 – 5 March 2005
|Prime Minister||Mohamed Lamine Ould Ahmed|
Mahfoud Ali Beiba
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Succeeded by||Mohamed Lamine Bouhali|
|Born||19 August 1949|
Smara, Spanish West Africa
|Political party||Movement for the Liberation of Saguia el Hamra and Wadi el Dhahab (1969–1970)|
Brahim Ghali (/ˈɡɑːli/) (Arabic: إبراهيم غالي, romanized: Ibrāhīm Ġālī, born 19 August 1949) is a Sahrawi politician, military officer and current president of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), formerly its ambassador to Algeria and Spain.
Ghali played a key role in the struggle of the Sahrawi people for self-determination and independence from Morocco. He was instrumental in the creation of the Movement for the Liberation of the Saguia el Hamra and Wadi el Dhahab, the 1970 Zemla Intifada against Spanish rule, the foundation of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Río de Oro (Polisario Front) in 1973, and the Sahrawi Republic in 1976. He also played a major role in the Western Sahara War and establishment of MINURSO, the UN peacekeeping mission for the Western Sahara.
Ghali was born in Smara on 16 September 1949 (although other sources claimed he was born in Bu Craa). Ghali joined the Spanish-led Nomadic Troops in the late 1960s and was subsequently dispatched to Smara for administrative work. After several meetings with Mohamed Bassiri and other Sahrawi political leadership, they decided to create the AOLS[clarification needed] in 1969, with Ghali being the affiliation secretary of the organization. He participated in the AOLS demonstration held in El Aaiun on 16 June 1970, which passed to be known as the Zemla Intifada. Detained that same night by Spanish soldiers, he was sentenced to one year in prison for his political activities. He was freed in 1971 but was briefly detained again in 1972 for taking part in demonstrations.
Ghali was one of the original founders and leaders of the Polisario Front in 1973 and was elected as the first General Secretary of the movement at its constitutive congress. Alongside El Uali Mustapha Sayed, Ghali led the El-Khanga raid, the first military action of the POLISARIO against a desert post of the Spanish Army, overrunning the position and gathering weapons and equipment. In 1974, as El Uali was elected as the new POLISARIO General Secretary, Ghali was selected to command the Sahrawi People's Liberation Army, its military wing.
On 22 October 1975, Ghali, El Uali, and Mahfoud Ali Beiba met General Federico Gómez de Salazar, the Spanish governor of the territory on the first official encounter between representatives of the Spanish government and the POLISARIO. Negotiations broke off shortly thereafter, with Ghali do not attending another meeting with Gómez de Salazar on 29 October, while the Spanish government declared a curfew on El Aaiun.
On 4 March 1976, he was designated as the defense minister of the first government of SADR, proclaimed in Bir Lehlou on 27 February. He remained in that post until 1989 when he was chosen as Commander-in-chief of the Second Military Region.
At an election held on 9 July 2016, in the Sahrawi refugee camps in Tindouf, Ghali was chosen as the next President and Secretary-General of SADR. Ghali replaced longtime leader Mohamed Abdelaziz, who died on 31 May 2016. Ghali paid a presidential visit to the Nigerian President, President Mohammadu Buhari on Thursday, 13 June 2019, at the villa in Abuja, Nigeria.
A complaint was filed against Ghali in 2013 for the alleged rape and sexual abuse of Khadijatou Mahmoud Mohamed Zoubeir. In addition, the ASADEDH (Spanish: Asociación Saharaui para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos) filed a lawsuit against him in Spain for alleged torture. The ASADEDH was criticized as its chairman, Ramdane Messaoud, is a member of the Moroccan Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairs. Provisionally dismissed, the lawsuits were reopened after Ghali's arrival to Spain in 2021 to recover from a critical health state due to COVID-19. Then, on 19 May 2021, the Spanish Audiencia Nacional summoned him to testify as a defendant in the case presented by the ASADEDH and Fadel Breica; Ghali testified via videoconference from the Hospital San Millán-San Pedro in Logroño as he was recovering from COVID-19 on 1 June 2021. Judge Santiago Pedraz determined the accusing parties had not brought any evidence whatsoever (not even indicative) hinting at Ghali's culpability.
Ghali was re-elected as president and Secretary-General of SADR on 20 January 2023, obtaining 1,253 congressmembers' votes to opponent Bachir Mustafa Sayed's 563. A total of 54 votes were invalid and 227 members were absent. At this time, Ghali's vote percentage was the lowest of any winning Sahrawi presidential candidate, while Mustafa Sayed's was the highest for any non-winning candidate.
- ^ González, Miguel (24 September 2021). "El documento que acredita la nacionalidad española de Gali desde 2004" (in Spanish). El País. Archived from the original on 24 September 2021. Retrieved 24 September 2021.
- ^ "Ambassador Brahim Gali condoles family of Abdelhamid Mehri". Sahara Press Service. 2 February 2012. Archived from the original on 20 January 2015. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
- ^ "The Polisario accused AQIM of kidnapping 3 Europeans". Ennahar online. 23 October 2011. Archived from the original on 20 January 2015. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
- ^ "Declaración de Mohamed Bassir (1970)". Desaparecidos.org. Retrieved 5 September 2012. (in Spanish),
- ^ "Brahim Gali". Diario Vasco. 26 July 2007. Retrieved 5 September 2012. (in Spanish)
- ^ Bárbulo, Tomás (2002). La historia prohibida del Sáhara Español. Barcelona: Ediciones Destino / Colección Imago Mundi vol. 21. pp. 110–115. ISBN 978-84-233-3446-9.
- ^ "Toque de queda en el Sáhara". ABC. 29 October 1975. Retrieved 5 October 2012. (in Spanish)
- ^ "Western Sahara's Polisario Front Elects Leader". Al Monitor. 12 July 2016. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
- ^ Television, Oak (13 June 2019). "Buhari receives Saharawi President, Brahim Ghali". OAK TV. Retrieved 14 June 2019.[permanent dead link]
- ^ a b "Manuel Ollé, el abogado que logró el procesamiento de doce militares y policías marroquíes por genocidio". Tercera Información. 29 May 2021.
- ^ Qui est Brahim Ghali, le candidat unique à la succession de Mohamed Abdelaziz?. Huffington Post, 5 juillet 2016
- ^ Western Sahara-Polisario: New Leader Wanted by Spanish Justice, MedAfrica Times, 12 juillet 2016
- ^ Atlasinfo (22 October 2017). "#BalanceTonPorc : Khadijatou Mahmoud dénonce son viol par le chef du Polisario, Brahim Ghali". Atlasinfo.fr (in French). Retrieved 12 December 2017.
- ^ "Procès à Madrid contre des tortionnaires du Polisario" Archived 9 April 2019 at the Wayback Machine, La Nouvelle Tribune, 11 mars 2014.
- ^ "El promotor de la querella contra el líder del Polisario fue nombrado por el rey de Marruecos para su Consejo sobre el Sáhara". www.publico.es. Retrieved 9 March 2022.
- ^ "El avión que partió de Argel con destino Logroño dió la vuelta por instrucciones de los controladores militares". eldiario.es. 1 June 2021.
- ^ "Gali prepara su salida inminente de España en plena crisis con Marruecos". La Vanguardia. 1 June 2021.
- ^ @AfricaElect (20 January 2023). "Sahrawi Republic, presidential election: Congressmembers' votes Ghali (POLISARIO, left-wing to centre-left): 1,253 Mustafa Sayed (POLISARIO, left-wing to centre-left): 563 Invalid votes: 54 Absentees: 227 ➤ africaelects.com/sadr #CongresoPolisario16" (Tweet). Retrieved 24 January 2023 – via Twitter.
- 1949 births
- Living people
- Ambassadors of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic to Algeria
- African socialists
- African democratic socialists
- Sahrawi rebels
- Sahrawi nationalists
- People from Smara
- Polisario Front politicians
- Presidents of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
- Sahrawi Sunni Muslims
- Muslim socialists
- Members of the Reguibat tribe