Satellite images shared on Moroccan media showed a sand wall built by Algerian authorities around the Polisario-run Tindouf camps where thousands of Sahraouis remain hostage.
The Polisario and its mentor Algeria have restricted access by independent rights groups to the camps and prevented the UN refugee agency from conducting a head count.
The recent move to build a sand-wall, probably sown with landmines, will further complicate the lives of thousands of Sahraoui youth, disenchanted with Polisario’s separatist chimera.
The sand wall also confirms fears amid the Polisario and their Algerian paymasters of a potential exodus from the camps where unbearable living conditions, political repression, slavery and lack of prospects are pushing annually hundreds to take the risky escape which often exposes them to being targeted by live ammunition.
Any attempt to flee the camps may lead to death, as happened in recent years, when Algerian army shot Sahraouis dead. To mention but a few, in March 2018 Algerian soldiers fired without warning at a car leaving Tindouf camps killing Kari Mohamed Ali Elouali and his friend Ahmed Lebouiya Sahraoui. Two others, Mohamed Alyine Bih and Khadri Hamadha Khandoud, were previously killed in 2014.
The reinforcement of the Algerian siege on Tindouf camps also comes against the backdrop of mounting tension and protests in the camps against the Polisairo’s corruption and their perpetuation of their ordeal as well as against the crackdown of dissent.