Polisario Tarnished by its Fighters’ Involvement in Mali

The war in Mali is definitely turning into a disaster for the Polisario from all points of view. A well informed source in Tindouf said the Front leader’s awkwardness and anxiety are growing as more Polisario members are arrested on the Malian front. There is no longer any doubt that Polisario fighters do participate in terrorist groups’ activities in Northern Mali. This is an unsettling reality not only for the Front leader Mohamed Abdelaziz, but also for other leaders of the separatist Front, which is militarily and financially backed by Algeria. All the Polisario leaders are aware that the announced but not confirmed death of Abdelhamid Abou Zeid and Mokhtar Belmokhtar does not serve the separatist front, according to the same source. The large media coverage of the death of the two main AQIM emirs in the fighting in Mali, has at the same time focused on the Polisario, as some of its fighters have been captured by Chadian and Malian forces.

Mohamed Abdelaziz’s discomfiture actually started when Tieman Coulibaly, the Malian Minister of Foreign Affairs, personally confirmed the presence of Polisario fighters among the jihadist groups roaming in the vast Sahel-Saharan desert. But the coverage of the war in Mali by African and international media and the reporting on the capture or death of Polisario fighters were the blows that hit most severely Mohamed Abdelaziz. The clashes taking place in Northern Mali and the war toll have been commented extensively by the French media, mainly Le Figaro daily and France 24 TV channel, which has a wide audience in the Maghreb and Francophone Africa.

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