Brahim Ghali

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Brahim Ghali
إبراهيم غالي
President of the Sahrawi Republic
Assumed office
12 July 2016
Prime Minister Abdelkader Taleb Omar
Preceded by Khatri Addouh (Acting)
Sahrawi Ambassador to Algeria
In office
5 June 2010 – 12 July 2016
Prime Minister Abdelkader Taleb Omar
Preceded by Mohamed Yeslem Beissat
Succeeded by Vacant
Sahrawi Ambassador to Spain
In office
September 1999 – February 2008
Prime Minister Bouchraya Hammoudi Bayoun
Abdelkader Taleb Omar
Preceded by Omar Mansour
Succeeded by Bouchraya Hammoudi Bayoun
Minister of Defense
In office
5 March 1976 – 1989
Prime Minister Mohamed Lamine Ould Ahmed
Mahfoud Ali Beiba
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Mohamed Lamine Bouhali
Personal details
Born (1949-09-16) 16 September 1949 (age 68)
Smara, Spanish Sahara
Political party Movement for the Liberation of Saguia el Hamra and Wadi el Dhahab (1969–1970)
Polisario Front (1973–present)

Brahim Ghali (/ˈɡɑːli/) is the current president of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and former SADR Ambassador to Algeria.[1][2] Ghali has served as an historic figure and 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, [3] the 1970 Zemla Intifada against Spanish rule, [4] 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, Western Sahara on 16 September 1949 (although other sources claimed he was born in Bu Craa, Spanish Sahara). Gali 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 in 1969, with Gali being the affiliation secretary of the organization. He participated in the AOLS demonstration held in El Aaiun on June 16, 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, Gali 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.[5] In 1974, as El Uali was elected as the new POLISARIO General Secretary, Gali was selected to command the Sahrawi People's Liberation Army, it's military wing.

On October 22, 1975, Gali, 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 Gali do not attending another meeting with Gómez de Salazar on October 29, while the Spanish government declared a curfew on El Aaiun.[6]

On 4 March 1976, he was designated as the Defense Minister of the first government of SADR, proclaimed in Bir Lehlou on February 27. 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 July 9, 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 May 31, 2016. [7]


  1. ^ "Ambassador Brahim Gali condoles family of Abdelhamid Mehri". Sahara Press Service. 2012-02-02. Archived from the original on 2015-01-20. Retrieved 09-05-2012.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  2. ^ "The Polisario accused AQIM of kidnapping 3 Europeans". Ennahar online. 2011-10-23. Retrieved 09-05-2012.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  3. ^ "Declaración de Mohamed Bassir (1970)". Retrieved 09-05-2012.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help) (in Spanish),
  4. ^ "Brahim Gali". Diario Vasco. 2007-07-26. Retrieved 09-05-2012.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help) (in Spanish)
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ "Toque de queda en el Sáhara". ABC. 1975-10-29. Retrieved 10-05-2012.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help) (in Spanish)
  7. ^ "Western Sahara's Polisario Front Elects Leader". Al Monitordate=2016-07-12. Retrieved 11-08-2017.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
Political offices
Preceded by
Khatri Addouh
President of the Sahrawi Republic