The Center for International Relations and Sustainable Development (CIRSD), a benchmark Serbian think tank, has looked into the security threat posed by the “polisario” and its connivance with the Algerian regime to destabilize the Sahel region.
To shed light on this threat, the think tank, chaired by former Serbian foreign minister Vuk Jeremić, published an analysis in the latest issue of its quarterly review “Horizons”.
In this article entitled “The security threat of ‘polisario'”, the director of the Moroccan Center for Strategic Studies, Mohamed Benhamou, discusses the security challenges of Africa, a continent which “remains weakened by the persistence of various crises and conflicts intrastate”.
“Inter-regional interference, amplified by globalization, encourages the proliferation of new threats that further fuel violence and drag the region into a vicious circle”, he writes in this article, published in a book by the Coalition for the Autonomy of Sahara (AUSACO), entitled “Rethinking the Sahara conflict: Contemporary history and perspectives”.
According to Mr. Benhamou, two major particularities mark the new African security landscape: on the one hand, there is the strong participation of non-State actors who take advantage of the bankruptcy of certain States and the porosity of borders to operate freely and with impunity, and on the other, there is the proliferation of separatist movements exploited by other powers to wage proxy wars for hegemonic ends.
In this context, the security landscape of the Sahel remains particularly worrying, said the expert, noting that this region, a vital space between the Mediterranean and sub-Saharan Africa, is a privileged route for the passage of illicit trafficking between Africa and Europe and “a gray area that is difficult to control, given the endemic conflicts”.
The article discusses in detail Morocco’s “real added value” in the fight against illicit trafficking in the Sahel, as well as its role in stabilizing the region.
“Aware of this threatening security situation, Morocco is contributing significantly to efforts aimed at preserving peace and stability in the region”, noted Mr. Benhamou, detailing the Kingdom’s African strategy, which is based on an assessment of the vulnerabilities of Africa and the strengths of Morocco with the common thread “the need to face the risks of terrorism and transnational organized crime as well as to develop new approaches to resolve the issue of migration”.
However, continued the expert, the Kingdom’s efforts come up against the artificial dispute over the Moroccan Sahara.
Driven by hegemonic ambitions and making the weakening of Morocco the central objective of its strategy, the Algerian regime is exploiting the conflict through unprecedented financial, military and diplomatic support to the “polisario”, he noted.
“The dazzling failure of the separatist thesis of this armed movement, the diktats of its leaders and the precarious living conditions in the Tindouf camps push its members to criminality”, noted Mr. Benhamou, adding that in addition to their involvement in illicit trafficking, favored by the porous borders and the anarchy in the camps, “its members become easy prey for extremist groups”.
In other words, the “polisario” has long been a source of instability and insecurity in the region, he said, demonstrating Algeria’s deep involvement in maintaining the artificial conflict around the Moroccan Sahara and the proven links that the “polisario” maintains with criminal and terrorist networks.
Mr. Benhamou also highlighted the role of Algeria in the destabilization of the Saharo-Sahelian region, in the sense that “the Algerian regime seeks by all means to weaken Morocco”.
To achieve this strategic objective, Algeria exploits the conflict around the Moroccan Sahara, through its contribution to the creation and the multifaceted support of the “polisario”, he pointed out, noting that a thorough analysis of the political Algeria reveals a glaring inconsistency between the official discourse of its diplomacy (which supposedly rejects any direct interference by referring to respect for international law) and the flagrant reality of Algeria’s multifaceted and tireless support for the “polisario”.
“The centrality of the question of the Moroccan Sahara in the Algerian doctrine and its declared, but not concretized, will to try to neutralize Morocco, was manifested through its financial, military and diplomatic support to the +polisario+”, continued Mr Benhamou.
CIRSD is a public policy think tank registered in Belgrade and New York. Its mission is to provide quality independent analysis and propose practical and innovative recommendations with the aim of strengthening peaceful cooperation between States, encouraging a more inclusive and equitable international system and advocating sustainable development as the foundation of the Agenda. United Nations 2030 for sustainable development.
Launched in September 2014, the quarterly English-language journal ‘Horizons’ serves as a high-level platform for influential voices from around the world to provide informed analysis and reasoned exchanges on the range of issues shaping developments. international.