First Published: 2011-09-15

 

Mali security forces hunt desert drug traffickers belonging to Polisario Front

 

Dispute over ferrying tonne of cocaine and hashish between drug dealers from Mali, Niger, Polisario Front through desert leaves four killed.

 

Middle East Online

Terrorism and drug trafficking join ranks

BAMAKO - Malian security forces on Wednesday were hunting a group of drug dealers from Mali, Niger and the Polisario Front ferrying a tonne of cocaine and hashish through the desert, a top Malian army official said.

"We have deployed the necessary troops to track a ton of drugs and the traffickers who have turned part of the Malian desert into a drug market and corridor," said Lieutenant Moussa Diakité from northern Mali.

Diakité said the drug consignment had led to a dispute between two drug networks, one from the Sahel made up of Mali and Niger traffickers, and one from the Sahara with traffickers linked to the Western Saharan independence movement Polisario Front.

A government source said on Tuesday that four people were killed in the desert between Mali and Algeria in a clash between the rival gangs, who did not agree on how to share the spoils from their haul. The same source noted that the traffickers’ photos had been obtained and distributed in the region.

Gangs of drug traffickers, some with ties to the local Al-Qaeda branch and Polisario Front, ply their trade in the vast desert through Algeria, Mauritania, Mali and Niger, with drugs passing through camps in Western Sahara, experts say.

The Polisario Front, supported by Algeria, has demanded that a self-determination vote be held in the territory which Morocco occupied in 1976 after Spanish colonists withdrew. Morocco is only ready to offer greater autonomy.

Posirario’s refugee camps have become hotbeds of drug trafficking and recruitment of al-Qaeda fighters in North Africa.

The war raging in Libya between Moamer Gathafi loyalists and rebels raised concern in the region due to leakage of large quantities of weapons to the gangs that control the remote desert areas.

Tensions have risen between Libya’s National transitional Council and Algeria after rebels captured 556 mercenariesof the Polisario Front movement, who have been fighting for Moamer Gathafi.

 

Iraq recaptures Amerli from Islamic State in biggest success so far

Iran says new sanctions cast doubt on US sincerity

Shebab target intelligence HQ in Somalia

Libyan Islamist militiamen control US embassy compound

Syria ‘guests’ suffer as prejudice grows in Turkey

Israel shoots down drone over occupied Golan Heights

Yemen army suffers heavy losses in new wave of Qaeda attacks

Turkish army breaks silence on Kurdish peace talks

Islamic State offers grim inspiration to African extremists

Israel expropriates 988 acres of Palestinian land in West Bank

Saudi King calls for ‘strong and rapid action’ against jihadists

Jihadists distribute Yazidi women as spoils of war to fighters

Gulf countries resolve six-month dispute with Qatar

Egypt reduces Badie death sentence to life in prison

AU forces liberate former Shebab stronghold in Somalia

Philippines enters war in Syria!

Kurds put aside old rivalries to battle jihadists in Iraq

US imposes new sanctions on Iran

US supplies arms to Lebanon to fight jihadists

Britain terror threat level raised to ‘severe’

Libya conflict takes its toll on migrants

UN chief lashes out at 'brutal' IS killings in Iraq

Over three million Syrian refugees have fled war

Libya's troubled interim government steps down

Obama admits 'no strategy yet' to fight IS

Israel counts losses and gains in Gaza: Heavy cost for 50 days of war

Saudi Crown Prince flies to France next week: Jihadist threat tops agenda

UN confirms capture of UN peacekeepers in Syria Golan

Islamic State executes dozens of Syria soldiers in new atrocity

'Jihad recruiters' arrested in Netherlands, Germany

Saudi Grand Mufti warns youth against ‘perverted’ calls for jihad

Neo-Ottomanism scores new victory in Turkey: From Ataturk to Erdogan

Fire rises up again from under ashes on Lebanon border

Vital aid arrives in war-battered Gaza

Lebanon seeks to tackle child marriage with new legislation

Hollande: Assad cannot be partner in fight against terrorists

Egypt quizzes Morsi for 'giving security papers to Qatar'

Top Saudi envoys hold talks with Qatar emir

Obama's warfare doctrine to be tested in Syria

UN moves to impose sanctions on Libya militias

Mother of US hostage to leader of Islamic State: Please spare my son

Turkey ruling party officially approves Davutoglu as new PM

US spy agencies face difficult task in Syria

Saudi Arabia jails 18 militants on terror charges

Gazans breathe sigh of relief