Algerian soldiers have reportedly burned two Sahrawi gold diggers alive. The third, who served as their guard, fled before the arrival of an Algerian patrol on the spot.
The tragedy occurred on Monday in the «Dakhla camp», located 200 km away from the Tindouf camps. Scared of getting arrested by Algerian soldiers, the men hid inside the seven-meter-deep pit in which they were digging. After seizing the equipment left behind by the gold diggers and a few bottles of water, the soldiers allegedly sprayed the place with gasoline and set it on fire.
Surrounded by flames, the two Sahrawis requested the assistance of the soldiers in order to rescue them. However, the Algerians are said to have left.
Other Algerian soldiers who went to the crime scene, announced the death of the two Saharawis and then handed their remains over the Polisario leadership. Nevertheless, an organization close to the Front released this morning a statement claiming that the Algerians did not know that the gold diggers were hiding inside the pit.
This tragedy gave the Sahrawi Movement for Peace the opportunity to demand Tuesday the opening of an international investigation into this tragedy.
This incident is not the first of its kind. In 2014, an Algerian army patrol killed Sahrawi traders without eliciting the slightest reaction from the Polisario.
Faced with the closure of borders with Mauritania, young people from the Tindouf camps are forced to search for gold.