Sahara: UN SG Reports on Protests in Tindouf Camps; Polisario’s Violations of Military Agreements & UN Resolutions

The UN Secretary General reported to the UN Security Council the repeated protests taking place in the Polisario-run Tindouf camps in Algeria, with the participation of hundreds of people living in these camps and the continuous violations by the separatist front of the Military Agreements and the Security Council Resolutions as well as its hampering the freedom of movement of MINURSO military observers.

In the advanced copy of his latest report to the Security Council on the Moroccan Sahara, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres revealed that several demonstrations have been staged against the Polisario leadership, including demonstrations calling for clarifications of the case of Khalil Ahmed, who disappeared in Algeria in 2009.

For several months, hundreds of people have been protesting in the Tindouf camps in Algeria against the leaders of the Polisario, asking them to reveal the whole truth about the case of Ahmed Khalil, who disappeared in unknown circumstances, when he was about to disclose the serious human rights violations committed by the Polisario in Tindouf, with the blessing of Algerian officials.

During these protests, which were severely repressed by the Polisario armed militias, hundreds of people also denounced the unfair measures imposed by the Polisario on the camps populations, while advantages exclusively benefit a handful of separatist leaders and their families.

The UN Secretary-General also sounded the alarm about the deplorable humanitarian situation in the Tindouf camps.

The absence of a census, demanded by the Security Council since 2011, and the embezzlement of humanitarian aid, denounced by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and other UN and independent organizations, perpetuate this alarming and worrying situation for a population that has been deprived of its most basic rights for over four decades.

The UN Secretary-General also reported to the Security Council on the repeated violations by the Polisario of the Military Agreements and Security Council Resolutions and how the separatists hamper the freedom of movement of MINURSO military observers.

The Secretary-General’s report slammed the Polisario, in particular for its constructions to the east of the security structure, which are considered a violation of Military Agreement No. 1 and Security Council Resolutions 2414 and 2440.

These resolutions, adopted in April and October 2018 respectively, had called on the Polisario to immediately leave the buffer zone of Guergerat and not to build or transfer any buildings or structures to the east of the security structure of the Moroccan Sahara.

In addition, the Secretary-General informed the members of the Security Council, for the first time, that satellite imagery provided to the United Nations by Morocco has enabled MINURSO to identify and confirm new violations, including the construction of various buildings in the east of the security structure, in clear violation of Resolutions 2414 and 2440.

Guterres warned the Polisario against the major risk of tensions in the region, caused by military exercises by separatists in the demilitarized area.

The UN Chief on the other hand urged the Polisario to receive MINURSO officials in Rabouni, Algeria, and not east of the Moroccan Sahara security structure.

Guterres noted that meetings between the Polisario and MINURSO have not resumed in Rabouni, in accordance with established practice since the establishment of MINURSO in 1991.

The Secretary-General deplored the fact that his previous request to this effect has still not been respected by the separatist front.

By adopting this clear, firm and unambiguous position, the UN Secretary-General is challenging the Polisario’s misleading allegations about its supposed control in the demilitarized zone to the east of the security structure.

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