Home » UNSC Reiterates Call on Algeria, Polisario for Census of Tindouf Camps Population
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UNSC Reiterates Call on Algeria, Polisario for Census of Tindouf Camps Population


The UN Security Council deplored the abject living conditions and rights violations in the Polisario-run Tindouf camps in Algeria and urged a headcount of the population held there.

The Council strongly reiterated its “request for a refugee registration in the Tindouf refugee camps,” reads the resolution 2703 adopted following a vote of 13 in favor and two abstentions.

The resolution urged Algeria to be positively involved in the political process to find a realistic, practicable, enduring and mutually acceptable political solution to the regional conflict over the Sahara.

“Noting with deep concern the continued hardships faced by Sahrawi refugees, their dependency on external humanitarian assistance, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and further noting with deep concern insufficient funding for those living in Tindouf refugee camps and the risks associated with the reduction of food assistance; and strongly encouraging donors to provide additional funds in light of the deteriorating humanitarian situation and for aid agencies to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance in accordance with United Nations best,” it said.

In contrast, the resolution welcomed “steps and initiatives taken by Morocco, and the role played by the National Council on Human Rights Commissions operating in Dakhla and Laayoune, and Morocco’s interaction with Special Procedures of the United Nations Human Rights Council.”

Embezzlement and inflated figures

Recently the World Food Program, in its latest report on the region, deplored the malnutrition in the Tindouf camps and the fact that the Algerian regime denies it control of food distribution, hinting at the practice of embezzlement of foodstuff, echoing EU alerts a decade ago.

Algeria’s obstinacy to refuse a head-count of the population of the Polisario-run camps prompted the EU to reduce aid sent to these camps in a bid to curb humanitarian aid diversion.

The decision was taken following a report by the EU anti-fraud office (OLAF) denouncing the embezzlement of humanitarian aid by the Polisario leadership and Algerian officials.

Therefore, the European Commission decided to cut aid commensurately with the estimated number of 90,000 people instead of the inflated 165,000 people put forward by the Polisario and Algeria in an attempt to sell the idea of the existence of a “Sahraoui People” with a “republic” in exile.

Polisario defectors estimate the figure of the population in the camps at around 40,000 including many non-Sahrawis.

Carrying out a head-count of the population held in Tindouf will enable international aid agencies to assess the needs of the population and will also pave the way for the camps’ dwellers to obtain refugee status. This status will grant them the right to return to their homeland Morocco or at least the right to freely choose their country of asylum, options that Algeria and the Polisario dread the most as they continue to trade in the suffering of Sahraouis living in abject conditions.

Source: North Africa Post

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