The recent testimony made by a Polisario dissident on the Stalinist practices of the Algeria-backed separatist front says a lot about the humanitarian tragedy that continues to unfold in the Tindouf camps.
Mahjoub Salek, head of Khat Achahid (the Path of the Martyr), a Sahrawi movement fiercely opposed to the Polisario, has denounced what he described as “the hell of Tindouf.”
In an interview with the Spanish magazine “Atalayar entre dos orillas” Mahjoub Salek said thousands of Sahrawis living in the Algerian desert-based camps are prey to the iron fisted Polisario which commits all kinds of crimes and human rights violations with the collusion of the Algerian military intelligence services (DRS).
The Polisario disregards “the suffering of children, women, elderly and sick people who have been living for years in hell in Tindouf,” he told the Spanish magazine. Actually, “Mohamed Abdelaziz and his cronies only defend the strategic interests of the Algerian government.”
The Sahrawi dissident further accused the Polisario leaders of “crimes against humanity” because of the persecution, torture and murders they committed against many Sahrawi opponents.
These accusations are corroborated by the growing protest movements staged by the Sahrawi population in the Tindouf camps. These Protests climaxed with the burning of a building used by the Polisario and the attack against the local representative of the Front.
According to Mahjoub Salek, anger against the Polisario is widespread in the Tindouf camps. Up to “80% of Sahrawis are against the Polisario leadership” and no longer hesitate to publicly voice their support to the morocco proposed autonomy plan for Western Sahara, he said.
Despite the omerta imposed by the Polisario and the Algerian DRS in the Tindouf camps, increasing numbers of Sahrawis dare criticize the Polisario more openly. The Front leaders are accused of having traded away the Sahrawi cause to serve the Algerian political agenda in the region.