US, French intelligence services fear the worst in the Sahel

Major world powers, in particular the United States and France, are again pointing fingers at the Polisario leadership. The US and French intelligence services actually fear that the whole Sahel region would be dragged in more violence especially that rumors are being circulated about an alliance of reason between members of the Polisario and members of Al Qaïda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
The Polisario elements, who are well-trained to the guerrilla warfare techniques and who know every inch of the region, need money.
For their part, the AQIM emirs who have in their possession a heavy war arsenal brought from the Libyan front and a lot of money derived from the ransoms paid following the kidnapping of western hostages, need reinforcement and in particular the backup of well trained people to help them monitor the whole  Northern parts of Mali and neighboring regions. And this is enough to breed the worries of several western capitals which fear the worst, namely the destabilization of the whole Sahel-Sahara region.
The same fears were moreover expressed in a damning report that was published recently by a renowned American think tank, “The Atlantic Council”, and the Soufan Group, an international strategic consultancy.
This report recalls from the outset the kidnapping in October 2011 of the three Western humanitarian workers from a Polisario-run refugee camp near Tindouf in Algeria, reportedly with the complicity of camp-insiders. The authors of the report entitled: “Islamist extremism forfeits Africa’s Renaissance “, explain that this kidnapping was not a surprise to anybody, because all knew that the frustrated and idle young people living in the Tindouf camps were an easy prey for the recruiters of terrorist groups.

The situation in North Africa risks becoming explosive. Because of the weapons and of the Tuareg and Sahrawi fighters recovered at their return from the Libyan front, AQIM managed to lead operations against Mauritania, Mali and Niger, the report notes,  quoting the commander of Africom, General Carter Ham who had also warned against the increasingly clear collusion between the terrorist groups operating in Mali, Nigeria and Somalia. Terrorist cells are currently trying to band together and to merge their financial resources and war arsenal, to reinforce thus their power and to establish their control on the whole Sahel region.



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