Rabat - The Mauritanian army has detained a vehicle carrying weapons and ammunition near its northeastern borderfrom the Polisario-run Tindouf camps, according to reports from Moroccan daily Al Ahdath Al Maghribiya.
Rabat – The Mauritanian army has detained a vehicle carrying weapons and ammunition near its northeastern borderfrom the Polisario-run Tindouf camps, according to reports from Moroccan daily Al Ahdath Al Maghribiya.
The incident comes only a few days after Mauritania declared its northeaster border with Algeria and Malia military zone “absolutely prohibited to civilians” because of the activities of traffickers in the area.
Al Ahdath said that the intercepted vehicle came from the camps of Tindouf, saying that the 4×4 vehicle was being chased by armed Polisario elements.
The vehicle, according to the Moroccan daily which cited Mauritanian media sources, was going to escort a drug convoy, likely as part of the partnership between armed groups and drug networks operating in the region.
The provenance of the vehicle from Tindouf camps also confirm reports regarding the growing collaboration between elements in the Polisario-run area and organized crime networks in the Sahel region.
Earlier in July, clashes broke out near the camp of Aousserd in Tindouf between two warring drug gangs.The incident, according to pro-Polisario media, indicated that the security situation in the camps is fragile and cast doubt over Polisario leadership’s willingness and ability to protect local Sahrawis.
Several experts point to the fact that more and more young people from the camps in Tindouf are turning to organized crime because of the lack of opportunities and corruption of Polisario leadership, mostly preoccupied with amassing more wealth.
“Because there is no hope on the horizon, because of the instrumentalization of the misery of the Tindouf camps residents for personal interests, young people in the camps are turning to smuggling and cross-border crimes,” El Moussaoui El Ajlaoui, a researcher at the Institute for Africa and Middle East Studies (IAMES), told Morocco World News previously.
Khat Chahid, a dissident Polisario faction, has on several occasions slammed the organization’s leadership for enrichment at the expense of the local population. Khat Chahid has also accused Polisario leaders of benefiting from the continuous deadlock in the issue of Western Sahara.
“We have said it over and over that Polisario leadership, which benefits from the conflict and thus does not want a solution to it, lives a cozy life in while the people are living in hell,” said the dissident faction in an article published on its website on July 4.