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.

 

Vote or boycott: Grim record of self-serving politicians puts off voters in Tunisia

For Sudan President: Promises are something and re-election is something else

Egypt universities tighten security to avoid new Islamist violence

Rise of Shiite militias challenges government authority in Iraq

How to overcome Qatar heat? FIFA boss prefers winter World Cup in 2022

Protests over IS turn Istanbul University into war zone

Turkey eyes stricter punishment against lawbreakers at protests

Iran returns Abadi to ‘house of obedience’

From traditional military to counterinsurgency force: Syria army grows more capable

South Sudan rivals accept 'responsibility' for civil war

British drones in Iraq also used for Syria surveillance

Turkey launches new wave of wire-tapping arrests

Syria Kurds show impressive resistance to ‘Islamic State’ in Kobane

Iran forces inside Iraq as Abadi rules out foreign ground intervention!

South Sudan rivals meet in new bid to end civil war

From Morocco into Spain: Crowd of African migrants charges to border fence

Deadly suicide attack targets Shiite mosque in central Baghdad

Turkey gives Iraq Peshmerga forces passage to Kobane

Israel to supply Egypt with natural gas despite sabotage

Kerry seeks help of Southeast Asia in anti-Islamic State push

Qaeda inflicts heavy losses on Huthi rebels in central Yemen

US carries out first weapon airdrops to Kurd fighters near Kobane

Benghazi violence kills 75 people in five days

Morocco accuses Algeria of firing on civilians across border

Australia finalises deal for deployment of Special Forces to Iraq

Tunisia calls on Libya authorities to locate missing journalists

Turkey rejects calls to arm ‘terrorist’ Kurdish party in Syria

Western powers threaten sanctions against hostile actors in Libya

New deadly terrorist attack targets Egypt army in Sinai

‘Islamic State’ suffers heavy losses in Syria battleground of Kobane

After full formation of Iraq government, time comes to visit Iran

UN appeals for four-day truce in Western Libya

Gaza tunnel collapses before demolition: At least 3 Egypt soldiers dead

Erdogan begins one-day visit to Afghanistan

After weeks of delay, Iraq gets new security ministers

Diplomats scold Turkey over ambiguous relation with Islamic State

Lebanon pleads for Iran military aid to fight Islamic State

Kurds repulse new jihadist attempt to cut off Syria town

Huthi rebels meet fierce resistance in Yemen Sunni areas

Former Iraqi pilots train IS to fly Syria fighter jets

Two Millstones Drowning America into Premature Oblivion

Iraqi forces launch anti-IS operation north of Tikrit

Ben Ali cohorts planning comeback in Tunisia polls

Battle for Libya's Benghazi heats up

Kurdish fighters still holding out in Syria's Kobane