Tindouf : The fate of a city, an exchange and fraternity land becoming a famous penal colony.

In the South of the Hamada of Drâa, dominated by an immense Sebkha, and in a valley full of water, the first city was built in the XVI century in the Tindouf site. The caravans of the South of Morocco, of Chenguit and of Timbuktu met around this water point for trade exchanges and sometimes for conciliating disputes among tribes. It is by virtue of a residential decree dated August 5th, 1933 that the pacification plan of the Moroccan South comprised the Tindouf occupation, which was at the early 50’s of the last century officially Moroccan.
Despite the occupation and its afterwards attachment to Algeria, which has inherited it as part of the borders limited by the Evian agreements in 1962, Tindouf has kept, until the end of the 60’s of the last century, its mission as a cooperation Maghrebian and Sub-Saharan point. An annual fair had been organized with the participation of the neighboring States and a line of trucks and four wheels engines of all kinds had replaced camel caravans, stretching on tens, or else hundreds of kilometers. Once the storm, caused by the conflict of the year 1963, has been brought down, Algeria and Morocco have become apparently conscious that there is no solution other than cooperation. Unity and reconciliation factors are more numerous than those dividing them.

Once again, Tindouf had to play its role as a convergence point, and thus, it is  the first embryo of the Algerian-Moroccan integration. The agreements signed between the two countries in Ifrane on January 15th, 1969, concerning the frontal delimitation and the common exploitation of the iron deposits of Gara Djebilet South of Tindouf, have sealed the good neighborhood and the cooperation. It is in 1975 and within an atmosphere of regional and international crisis that the late Boumediene thought that the United States, approved by many western countries, want to break down, or at least to neutralize, the progressive regimes. The Sahara issue would aim in this regard at strengthening Morocco to the detriment of Algeria. In few weeks, Tindouf’s face has been transformed, militarized and edified in back basis in order to destabilize Morocco, and in concentration camps created by an exodus caused by the Polisario, Algeria and some elements of the Spanish army. Thousands of poor Moroccan Sahrawi, victims of a cruel deportation and transplantation, uprooted and cut of their origins, are still sequestered and inhumanly treated in the camps of shame in Tindouf .

But why Tindouf ?
If we believe Paul Balta, world correspondent in Algiers in the 70’s, Boumediene did not exclude, at the time, that his plan aimed at creating, via the interposed Polisario, a balance pole in order to oppose Morocco in the South. This pole falls within the Moorish traditional circle of influence, stretching from Wadi Drâa to the Senegal River, where Tindouf will be included as a dominant basis, and why not as a capital. This Balta’s statement reflects a plausible answer to the question aroused about the reasons behind Algeria’s eagerness to create its (SADR) in Tindouf from the beginning of the Saharan conflict in 1976, a unique act in the international law annals. However, the short sights are not always gainful. Yesterday, historically a land where we find a multitude of races and ethnical affinities between the Tadjakants, the Ouled Bousbâa, the Ait Moussa, the Rguibats, the Ouled Dlim and others, today Tindouf’s history is stained with the horrible crimes committed on its territory and the city saints cry in their tombs this sad fate.
According to the official number of the UN  Refugee Agency, 90 000 sequestered Moroccan Sahrawis are detained as hostages in order to be exchanged, their executioners as wrote by Mr. Karl Addiks, a German deputy, in his article published in the Internet, are like the ASTASI (Secret Police of the ex ADR). The sequestered of Tindouf are compelled to resort only to the controlled media, as it was the case, during the camps visit by the Geneva Committee on the human rights in 2006, of which the report publication by the Polisario, despite its confidential character, is another act against the law.
The recognition by the international community and the official reports of suffering would represent for hostages of Tindouf a kind of justice, while waiting for liberation.
Politics is an action for an ideal via facts and there is nothing more demanding than the truth. It is deceitful and evidently illusionary to try to hide it as the history will decide who failed in what and will hence affix its seal.

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