Polisario Fate Hinges on Outcome of Presidential Vote in Algeria

As uncertainty continues to hover over the presidential elections in Algeria, slated for Dec.12, due to the massive popular opposition to this disputed vote, the polisario leadership are deeply worried that the contested presidential poll takes a dramatic turn.

The polisario leaders have been in a “wait-and-see” mode for several months, as their mentor is entangled in unprecedented political deadlock and fighting for survival.

The Algerian military rulers, though they appear to break away from their outdated discourse in international fora, remain focused on weathering the internal institutional and social crisis. This is their primary goal to keep control and maintain their interests.

In a bid to gain the voters support, the Algerian regime sentenced on Tuesday former Prime ministers Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdelmalek Sellal to respectively 15 and 12 years in jail.

As the Algerian authorities are deeply concerned about ensuring the security of the presidential polls, they could be distracted and lower their guard in the Tindouf camps, where the Polisario trade weapons for money, goods and drugs. Some of these weapons were found recently in the Moroccan city of Tan Tan.

Sensing the serious risks posed by the separatist group, Spain started lately to distance itself from the Polisario by issuing a terror alert advising its nationals against any travel to the Tindouf camps.

According to terrorism experts, it is likely that the Polisario members pass weapons to the Islamic terror groups operating in the Sahel, which are responsible for attacks in Mali, Niger and even Nigeria.

They can also set up “strategic and tactical” alliances with these jihadist groups within the frame of their common terrorist plots aimed at destabilizing the Maghreb countries and the Sahel region.

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