Name of leader          Mohammed Abdelaziz

 

Organization                    Frente Popular de Liberación de Saguía el Hamra y Río de Oro (POLISARIO)

English Translation         Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Rio de Oro            

Popular Org. Name        Polisario Front

 

Conflict Country              Morocco

 

Gender                              Male   

    

Year of Birth                     1947/1948 [1]        

Place of Birth                  Marrakech, Morocco or Semara, Spanish Sahara [now Moroccan-controlled Western Sahara][2]    

Year of Death                  2016 [3]

 

Deceased

 

Yes, he died in 2016 of natural causes.

 

Birth order

 

His birth order is unknown.

 

Age at start of rebel leadership

 

He became Secretary General of Polisario in 1976, which would have made him 29 years old.[4]

 

Leader entry method

 

He was likely elected since he was later reelected as secretary general.[5]

 

Powersharing

 

No, there is no evidence of powersharing.

 

Education (also name universities attended, if any); note any relevant experiences while a student

 

“In the early 1960s he did his primary and secondary schooling in Smara and Bou Izakarn. By the late 1960s he had moved to Casablanca and then Rabat, where he continued his university undergraduate education at Mohamed V University.”[6]

 

Ever married? If yes, age of first marriage

 

Yes, he was married.[7]

 

Children

 

Yes, he had children.[8]

 

Religious identification

 

He was Muslim.

 

Family background

 

Yes, his father was a member of the royal advisory council for Saharan Affairs[9]

 

Political affiliations and intellectual circles; note any relevant social connections made

 

No, there is no evidence of political affiliations.

 

Physical and mental health

 

No, there is no evidence of poor physical or mental health.

 

Pre-militant leader occupation

 

He was an activist.[10]

 

Experience in a state military, and role; any relevant social ties

 

No, there is no evidence of experience in a state military.

 

Experience in a nonstate military, and role; any relevant social ties

 

No, there is no evidence of experience in a nonstate military.

 

Combat experience prior to assuming resistance organization leadership?

 

No, there is no evidence of combat experience.

 

Held government position prior to assuming leadership?

 

No, there is no evidence he held a government position.

 

Lived in exile?

 

Yes, his exiled SADR government was based in Tindouf, Algeria.[11]

 

Study abroad?

 

No, there is no evidence he studied abroad.

 

Did the leader receive military training abroad?

 

No, there is no evidence of military training abroad.

 

Did the leader have extensive work experience abroad?

 

No, there is no evidence he had extensive work experience abroad.

 

Serve time in prison? Social connections during that time?

 

No, there is no evidence he served time in prison.

 

Was there an assassination attempt on the leader by the state?

 

No, there is no evidence of an assassination attempt by the state.

 

Cause of Death?

 

He died of natural causes.[12]

 

Primary language, and other languages spoken as adult

 

He likely speaks Arabic as his primary language and he also speaks French. [13]

 

 

Image Credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fa/Mohamed_Abdelaziz%2C_2005.jpg

[1] Melinda C. Shepherd, “Mohammed Abdelaziz,” Encyclopedia Britannica, August 8, 2016, Accessed May 16, 2018, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Mohammed-Abdelaziz.

[2] Melinda C. Shepherd, “Mohammed Abdelaziz,” Encyclopedia Britannica, August 8, 2016, Accessed May 16, 2018, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Mohammed-Abdelaziz.

[3] Melinda C. Shepherd, “Mohammed Abdelaziz,” Encyclopedia Britannica, August 8, 2016, Accessed May 16, 2018, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Mohammed-Abdelaziz.

[4] Melinda C. Shepherd, “Mohammed Abdelaziz,” Encyclopedia Britannica, August 8, 2016, Accessed May 16, 2018, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Mohammed-Abdelaziz.

[5] “Morocco: Polisario Front - Mohamed Abdelaziz Re-Elected Secretary General By Overwhelming Majority,” allAfrica, December 23, 2015, Accessed May 16, 2018, http://allafrica.com/stories/201512240529.html.

[6] “ʿAbd al-ʿAziz, Muhammad,” Oxford Reference, 2011, Accessed May 16, 2018, http://www.oxfordreference.com.proxy.lib.ohio-state.edu/view/10.1093/acref/9780195382075.001.0001/acref-9780195382075-e-0010?rskey=pdcfp3&result=1.

[7] “Mohamed Abdelaziz obituary,” The Guardian, June 6, 2016, Accessed May 16, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/W/2016/jun/06/mohamed-abdelaziz-obituary#img-1.

[8] “Situation of the Sahrawi youth-Lehbib Mohamed Abdelaziz, Saharawi Student Union member,” YouTube, September 14, 2011, Accessed May 16, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JYr4NeeP9o.

[9] Western Sahara A Spy Guide (Washington: International Business Publications, 2013), 31.

[10]  “ʿAbd al-ʿAziz, Muhammad,” Oxford Reference, 2011, Accessed May 16, 2018, http://www.oxfordreference.com.proxy.lib.ohio-state.edu/view/10.1093/acref/9780195382075.001.0001/acref-9780195382075-e-0010?rskey=pdcfp3&result=1.

[11] Melinda C. Shepherd, “Mohammed Abdelaziz,” Encyclopedia Britannica, August 8, 2016, Accessed May 16, 2018, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Mohammed-Abdelaziz.

[12] Melinda C. Shepherd, “Mohammed Abdelaziz,” Encyclopedia Britannica, August 8, 2016, Accessed May 16, 2018, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Mohammed-Abdelaziz.

[13] Western Sahara A Spy Guide (Washington: International Business Publications, 2013), 31.