The news coming from the Malian front and from the Sahel leaves no doubt as to the presence of Polisario fighters in the ranks of terrorist groups in Northern Mali. Seven of these fighters, including an Algerian, a Mauritanian and a member of the Polisario were taken prisoner while forty others, including an Algerian emir, Abdelhamid Abou Zeid, were killed. This is the provisional assessment following an air raid launched on February 23 by the French Air Force in the region of In Sensa in Tigharghar mountains in northern Mali. The news, described by the Algerian media as unfounded rumors and lies, are not substantiated by Moroccan sources, but by foreign sources which have no link whatsoever with the Western Sahara conflict opposing Morocco to the Polisario and to Algeria which provides unconditional support to the separatist front. This information leaves no doubt that the Polisario is actually one of the armed wings of terrorism in the Sahel-Sahara region and serves as a guise for Algiers’ policy seeking to destabilize the entire region, and first and foremost, its Moroccan neighbor. The Malian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tieman Coulibaly, had recently reported the presence of Polisario fighters among the terrorist groups hunted in northern Mali. These Jihadi groups which barely numbered 500 fighters in the past have at present 5500 to 7000 members and “were joined by disaffected, hopeless young people, including young Sahrawis from the Tindouf camps,” he said. According to other reliable sources, about 300 Polisario fighters are participating in the Malian war as incorporated elements or active members of MUJOA. Tunisian academic, Alaya Allani, who visited Mali lately to assess the situation in this country, published a long study in “Al Arabiya Institute for Studies” magazine.
The MUJAO, she writes, “is made up of about 1,000 fighters and includes foreign elements, mainly 300 members of the Polisario and 200 militants of the terrorist Boko Haram group.” For his part, Yonah Alexander, director of the Center for International Studies against terrorism (ICTS), an institution of the Washington-based Potomac Institute, said recently that “dozens of Polisario members had rallied MUJAO in northern Mali.” According to this expert, this alliance “is somehow the logical result of the Polisario’s radicalization and of the deterioration of the living conditions in the Tindouf camps, where people are held against their will by separatist militias “. As the Polisario’s collusion and complicity with AQIM and other terrorist groups in the Sahel has been evidenced by many events, including the kidnapping of three Western aid workers from the Tindouf camps, the separatist front “has become a back up force in the war waged by AQIM and MUJAO against the West,” said the US expert.