New Setback for Polisario Proponents at European Parliament

Polisario proponents at the European Parliament have suffered a new setback with the rejection of an amendment to include a new aid to the Algerian-based separatist group in the 2017 EU draft budget.

Three extreme left MEPs presented the amendment to add 150 million euros in support of the Polisario sugarcoating their arguments with defending “the cause of the refugees in the Sahara”, before receiving a heavy blow with a rejection of their proposal by an overwhelming majority.

Before the vote, the Polisario advocates were already losing the battle at the European Parliament. Euro-deputy, Gill Neena, Rapporteur for the committee on Foreign Affairs at the European Parliament, made it clear that the amendments to the draft budget will only benefit credible EU partners in promoting sustainable development and fighting terrorism as well as countering illegal immigration and radicalization.

Echoing her, MEP Cristian Dan Preda said, in a statement to the Moroccan news agency MAP, that the desperate attempts by the extreme left to distort the nature of the conflict over the Sahara are inacceptable, adding that on the ground Morocco spares no effort in favour of the development of this region.

“We should respect our partner Morocco and appreciate the effort it leads in the region,” said Dan Perda of the European People’s Party (EPP).

Dan Preda recalled that it is inconceivable for the EU to continue funding a movement whose involvement in embezzlement and dilapidation is well established, notably following the disclosure in 2015 of a report by the EU’s anti-fraud office (OLAF) blaming the Polisario and Algeria for diverting humanitarian aid.

The OLAF report documents “well-organized, years-long” embezzlement by the Polisario Front of humanitarian aid designated for Sahraouis held in the camps of Tindouf in Algeria. The document states that aid theft “begins in the Algerian port of Oran, where the sorting between ‘what should arrive and what can be diverted’ takes place.”

On the need to undertake a census of the Tindouf camp’s population to determine actual humanitarian needs and bar the road to embezzlers, the report explains that ”One of the reasons that made these diversions possible is the overestimation of the number of refugees and therefore aid provided.”

Recently MEPs drew the attention of the European commission to the “inacceptable” imposture by Algeria of a tax on the humanitarian aid sent to the population in the polisario-run Tindouf camps.

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