Hundreds of idle young Sahrawi refugees succumb to the temptation and join the ranks of AQIM and MUJAO fighters in the Sahel and especially in northern Mali.
The pan-African Paris-based weekly, “Jeune Afrique”, devoted its editorial and a long story to this hot topic in its latest issue.
In the editorial entitled “Sandstorm”, the editor in chief of the weekly, François Sudan, notes that the absence of bright perspectives eventually drives the young Sahrawis living in the Polisario-controlled camps in Tindouf to rally the ranks of AQIM (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) or Mujao (the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa).
These young people who receive an enticing enrolment bonus of 4,000 Euros upon arrival in Gao, Kidal or Timbuktu are immediately sent to training camps where they are schooled in weapons handling and indoctrinated by Salafist imams who openly advocate the creation of an Islamist state in Western Sahara.
The would-be Sahrawi fighters are welcomed with open arms by their Algerian brothers in Al Qaeda franchise in the Maghreb and other terrorist groups in the Sahel, wrote the editorialist who noted however that entente between these groups seemingly would not last.
The editorialist also voiced concern over the position of Algeria which adopts a wait and see attitude in the face of the terrorist threat in the Sahel as illustrated by the crisis in Mali and stubbornly opposes a foreign military intervention in northern Mali, occupied by AQIM and Mujao Islamists.
François Sudan wondered why this great country (Algeria), which misses nothing of what happens within the Polisario camps, lets the situation crumble, while the Polisario leadership seems to have lost all control over its grassroots in Tindouf in southwestern Algeria.
Jeune Afrique dwelt in its analysis on the precarious situation prevailing in the Tindouf camps and the reasons driving these new jihadists on the trail of war, noting that the reasons are the same as those driving the illegal immigrants crammed into pateras in the Mediterranean Sea: social misery, hope to find an Eldorado.