Western Sahara: Turmoil in Tindouf Camps

manif-tindouf-2The Polisario’s manoeuvres seem to have boomeranged. The separatists’ leader, Mohamed Abdelaziz, has actually been facing a determined revolt in the Tindouf camps that made him realize that the Polisario’s strategy consisting in fuelling unrest in Western Sahara and denouncing alleged human rights violations in the territory has failed.
Since mid-January, hundreds of Sahrawis from the Rguibate tribe have heightened protest movements against the Polisario leadership. Protesters denounce the abuses committed by the Polisario militia against the Sahrawis living in the Tindouf camps. The demonstrations culminated on January 23 and 24 by the occupation of the headquarters of the security services of what they call the “Smara” camp, reported “Courrier Stratégique”.
Quoting Algerian security sources, the Paris-based e-journal said the Polisario has brutally suppressed the upheaval, injuring several protesters. Meanwhile, informed sources from Tindouf said some members of the Polisario were also harmed and many vehicles were damaged in the violent clashes. The Polisario leader violently reacted to the protests because he was embarrassed to be publicly disavowed by these events, at the very moment the UN envoy for the Sahara, Christopher Ross, was touring the Maghreb.
Mohamed Abdelaziz’s repression against Sahrawis from his own tribe is also a message to senior officers of the Algerian military intelligence services (DRS) translating his determination to crush any revolt attempt, explained the same sources.
Actually, the DRS, which control the Tindouf camps, have been alarmed by the magnitude of the protests and fear to see other tribes in the camps follow suite, all the more so as many women have joined the protest movement staged near the office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Tindouf.


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