Opposition to the Polisario inside the Tindouf camps is stiffening. After the violent protests staged last week and the burning down of a building used as headquarters by a local Polisario leadership, the Youths’ Movement for Change (MJPC) announced it was determined to create a military wing.
Many young Sahrawis from the Tindouf camps gathered in the MJPC are readying to take action. They explain that their decision is dictated by their disgust of the Polisario and the Algerian military intelligence services (DRS) which have been crashing down on the Tindouf camps with a leaden shroud for 40 years.
For the MJPC, the Tindouf camps are surviving in permanent arbitrary rule and in an almost total isolation from the rest of the world. No freedom of thought or expression is allowed other than the Stalinist line drawn by the Polisario leadership. Worse, the Sahrawi population is even prohibited from any unauthorized movement.
The camps are surrounded by a double security fence. The first is guarded by the Polisario-controlled militias while the second is under the control of the Algerian DRS, which actually keep the camps under constant surveillance, the MJPC argues.
It is within this confined site that the Tindouf young Sahrawis grew up and it is against this confinement that they are protesting today, for the MJPC is the product of these decades of deprivation, denial of freedom and calculations that led to a deadlock. The young Sahrawis do no longer believe the Polisario and Algeria which have vainly and for years promised them the advent of a republic in Western Sahara.
The Sahrawi youths’ grievances find an echo among the rest of the population in the Tindouf camps which have started to call into question the Polisario’s legitimacy and to support more openly the Moroccan autonomy plan. The 38 year long authoritative rule of the Front leader, Mohamed Abdelaziz, has been repeatedly decried by many Sahrawis, who know perfectly well that it is Algeria which is maintaining him in power to serve its own interests.