“This is where corruption crosses the line into a threat to security”, writes Michael Rubin, an expert at the American Enterprise Institute and lecturer at Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations.
The expert notes that “Polisario smugglers are taking relief supplies given by the international community and indirectly subsidized by U.S. donations to the United Nations and selling them for profit,” recalling that “many security analysts have already pointed out the growing interplay between the Polisario Front and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which uses the Polisario camps for recruitment and may increasingly cooperate with the Islamist terrorist groups wreaking havoc across the Sahel.”
“Like so many other regional countries, smuggling of international relief in response to the Polisario Front’s tenuous claims, therefore, has now crossed the line into a security problem as AQIM co-opts the smuggling routes enabled by fraudulent relief to expand its coffers and fund its operations.”
Rubin goes that “Algeria now seems to acquiesce to the bargain: turn a blind eye toward jihadists so long as they conduct their operations outside Algerian borders, no matter what the cost to Mali, Libya, Tunisia, or Morocco.”
The observer who underscores that the camps have become “lucrative” for the Polisario who won’t let the population go home (in Morocco), insists that “it behooves everyone to ensure that no money goes to the Polisario camps until there is basic accountability.”
“Ignoring corruption is no longer a question of preventing waste; increasingly, it is a matter of national security”, he warns.
News and events on Western Sahara issue/ Corcas