by Khalid Ibrahim Khaled
Since the debacle suffered by the Polisario Front and its mentor, Algeria, at the UN Security Council end of April, the separatist front leader Mohamed Abdelaziz has been at the center of an array of criticism from his opponents.
The critics accuse him of continuing to go in circles and to be captive of Algeria’s narrow interests, while the situation in the Tindouf camps is constantly deteriorating.
The threat to resort to arms again brandished repeatedly by some Polisario leaders does no longer deceive anybody in the camps. Mohamed Bouhali, a former Algerian military, is part of these leaders who multiply maneuvers to satisfy the radicals and the clan of “the Algerians” within the Polisario.
Even the youths to whom these messages are intended no longer believe in the inflammatory statements of Bouhali and the likes. They have realized that at the end of the day the Polisario is a mere instrument in the hands of Algeria. The Generals of the Algerian military intelligence services (DRS) use the front to serve their hegemonic designs in the region and, above all, to maintain pressure on Morocco in the case of Western Sahara.
The hostility of youths in the Tindouf camps towards Mohamed Abdelaziz and his lieutenants is growing by the day, principally since the scandalous revelations about the diversion of international humanitarian assistance.
The revelations were made by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) following long investigations on the ground that evidenced the involvement of Algerian and Polisario officials in these massive diversions.
The pillage of the international assistance, initially destined to the vulnerable populations in the Tindouf camps, lasted for several years. The revelations about the embezzlements have deterred major international donors who reduced their aid.
Under the pressure of the European Parliament, Brussels reduced the amount of its aid from €51 to just €10 million, while Spain has revised down its assistance which fell from €10 to €7.4 million euros.
Meanwhile, the scarcity of goods in the Tindouf camps is exacerbating the discontent of young Sahrawis against the Polisario and Algeria.