Western Sahara : Polisario Facing Unprecedented Challenges

dlThe growing revolt of young Sahrawis against the Polisario’s repressive management of the Tindouf camps in Algeria prompts the separatist Front to tighten the noose around its opponents.
Mohamed Abdelaziz, the leader of the Algeria-backed front, which is seeking the independence of Western Sahara, has admitted that the protest movement is growing. “The Front is facing pressure from the youths, who are tired of living in the camps,” recognized the Polisario chief, even though the main reason behind admitting this reality is to justify the Front’s threat to resort to arms again in the Western Sahara conflict.
He did not elaborate on the origin of the weapons at the Polisario’s disposal nor did he disclose that it is Algiers which buys with billions of petrodollars some African countries’ political support to the Polisario.
However, there are very few countries which are still backing the Polisario, and with the disappearance of the Gaddafi regime, Algeria is the sole provider of financial support to the Polisario.
The Sahrawi opponents of the Polisario, who have recently set up an opposition movement dubbed the Youth Movement for Change, are first and foremost fighting for the ouster of Mohamed Abdelaziz. They no longer believe in the promises of the Polisario chief who has been running the front with an iron fist for nearly 40 years, with the support of the Algerian military intelligence services (DRS).
Young people are outraged by the grip of the Polisario and the Algerian DRS on the Tindouf camps and are desperate as they see no prospects likely to end their forced exile.
The Sahrawis living in those isolated camps have no right to free speech or free movement and independent international media are refused any access to the camps. The Sahrawis cannot express their discontent openly and also cannot go outside the camps without the express permission of the Algerian DRS, through the Polisario.
It is in this extremely tense context that “increasing protest movements are targeting the Polisario leadership,” reveals the US magazine Jane’s.