The Fighters of the terrorist groups who occupied northern Mali before being ousted by French and African military troops have taken to their heels. A number of these fighters, who had rallied the ranks of the three terrorist groups based in Mali and in the Sahel, have found refuge in the Tindouf camps on Algerian soil.
According to French News Agency (AFP), which quoted Malian military sources, “many fighters” of the Movement for the uniqueness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) and other Al QAEDA franchises, which had occupied northern Mali for several months in 2012, “returned to the Polisario camps.”
After having suffered heavy losses since January 2013 (400 dead), according to the French army, Mujao fighters, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Ansar Dine continue to flee the battle fields in northern Mali seeking refuge in neighboring countries.
Reacting to a dispatch released by the AFP bureau in Bamako, the spokesperson for the Algerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amar Belani, could not restrain himself and lashed out at the French news agency, qualifying its dispatch of being “a gross enterprise of disinformation.”
Instead of ordering the opening of an investigation, as the custom goes in similar situations, to verify the accuracy of the information circulated by the media, the Algerian authorities prefer to attack directly these media in a vain attempt to discredit them.
It is worth recalling that three Western aid workers- two Spaniards and an Italian- were abducted in October 2011 at only a few hundred meters from the headquarters of the Polisario Front in the Hassi Rabouni camp and were conveyed to Mali through the Algerian desert . The kidnapping took place with the complicity of security agents of the Sahrawi separatist movement in one of the areas that are securely barricaded by the Algerian army.
It is also worth recalling that the leaders of most of the terrorist groups roaming in the Sahel region are Algerian emirs. Why then some sides deem it necessary to deny information on the presence of terrorists in the Tindouf camps, while the Algerians themselves know that they are present everywhere, in the four corners of the country? This is a question that neither Amar Belani nor his chiefs can answer. They prefer to bury their head in the sand.