Christopher Ross’s Warning

Christopher Ross’s warning as to the urgent necessity to reach a solution to the Western Sahara issue in the context of the war in Mali, has not gone unnoticed.
The UN mediator for the Western Sahara who is touring the North African countries concerned by this conflict, namely Morocco, Algeria and Mauritania, has actually echoed the same warning issued by the spokesperson of the UN Secretary-General in New York few days earlier.
The two warnings came at a time Morocco is tightening control at its southern border to prevent infiltrations of jihadists fleeing the fighting in Mali.
Chased by the French, Malian and Chadian armies, dozens of Al Qaeda- affiliated fighters are fleeing the desert areas of northern Mali. These escapees include many fighters of the Algeria-based Polisario front which is claiming the independence of the Western Sahara region.
At this stage, the warning expressed by American Christopher Ross is an echo of Washington’s own fears about what is happening in the region. The United States are indeed very concerned about the proliferation of jihadist operations in the region.
The bloody episode in In-Amenas in Algeria has heralded a noteworthy change. Washington is now convinced that the Algerian DRS (military intelligence service) has lost any control over some jihadist groups that it had manage to handle in the past but that have gradually become independent from the DRS.

The U.S. government now fears to see the terrorists grow bolder and attack strategic oil and raw material extraction sites in the countries of the region. If such a scenario was to materialize, the whole Sahel-Sahara zone would plunge in a chronic instability. The situation would then go out of any control.



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