The misery and repression prevailing in the Polisario-controlled Tindouf camps make of these camps a hotbed for radicalization, writes journalist and Italian expert in international relations Mauro Indelicato.
In an article published by the political magazine Insideover, the Italian journalist points to the impossibility for international observers to contact the population in captivity for more than 40 years in Tindouf, where the prevailing high poverty rate, the deprivation of liberty and fundamental rights, and the growing despair have transformed these camps into a breeding ground for radicalization.
The proliferation in the Sahel-Sahara zone of Jihadist groups which recruit young people from the Tindouf camps “constitutes a real threat, as confirmed by the reports of international observers, not only at the local level but for the entire North African and South European zone”, underlines the Italian expert.
He highlights the risks posed by terrorist groups established in the Sahel, recalling the massacre committed by Jihadists on March 21 and which claimed the lives of 137 people in villages in Niger at the border with Mali.
“The desert region of the Sahel, which is fragile and very unstable, is constantly threatened by the growing terrorist activity of separatist groups, militias and Jihadists who carry the ambition to create an Islamic state in the region,” he points out.
In this regard, he draws attention to the proliferation of criminal organizations specializing in drug trafficking, kidnappings, human trafficking, and the embezzlement of humanitarian aid in this region, marked by difficult climate conditions, poverty, corruption and insecurity.
Last November, a video, which had raised many concerns, showed a Polisario activist inciting the crowd, with a rhetoric similar to the one used by the jihadists, to blow themselves up against civilian targets in Morocco, he recalls.
Moreover, one of the most dangerous terrorists in the Sahel region, namely Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi, head of the terrorist organization of the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara, is a member of the Polisario, he says.
The Italian expert also highlights Morocco’s appeal to Algeria, which hosts and finances the Polisario, to come to the negotiating table in order to find a final solution to the dispute over the Moroccan Sahara.