Western Sahara : One Way Ticket from Tindouf to Bordeaux

tindouf-bordeauxSud-Ouest, a daily based in the French city of Bordeaux, has recently published a reporting on migrants waiting to be regularized in Bordeaux. Through this reporting, the newspaper inadvertently covered another story and revealed the extent of distress experienced by the Sahrawis in the Polisario-run Tindouf camps in Algeria.
The reporter from Sud-Ouest describes the squalid conditions in which forty Sahrawis live “in ramshackle, overcrowded wagons” in a corner of the large Bordeaux railway area. Forced to leave Spain because of the unprecedented economic crisis in the country, the migrants went northwards searching for a job and better living conditions, the journalist recounted.
However, while interviewing one of these castaways of modern times, the reporter learns and unveils to readers an aspect of the human tragedy unfolding in the Tindouf camps. “In Western Sahara, there is nothing, absolutely nothing! We live exactly as we live here, in refugee camps and we live on the assistance granted by donors from around the world,” Bata, 40, candidly told the French regional daily’s reporter.
“There is no work. The only work available is the one offered by the army, which makes you work for free! I’m 42 and I’ve never had a job in my life, do you realize this? There are no businesses, no work … There is nothing to do there!”
The journalist makes a confusion between the Western Sahara and the Tindouf camps but he reveals the sufferings endured by the Sahrawis living in the camps, which are controlled with an iron fist by the Polisario and the Algerian military intelligence services (DRS.)
The story of these Sahrawi migrants who sought refuge in France may be related to the mounting rebellion against the Polisario separatist front in the camps, where an increasing number of disillusioned youths are just waiting for the first opportunity to go elsewhere.


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