Sahara: UN Petitioners Denounce Polisario Embezzlement of Foreign Aid; Back Morocco’s Autonomy Plan
Several petitioners took the floor before the fourth committee of the UN General Assembly to denounce the corruption of the Algeria-backed Polisario separatists and their embezzlement of the international aid destined for the sequestered Sahrawis in Tindouf Camps, Algeria.
One petitioner said the sequestered Sahrawis in the Tindouf camps are held against their will by the mercenaries who are armed, funded and sheltered by the Algerian regime.
“Trapped in a desperate situation inside the Tindouf camps, the sequestered Sahrawis, have been used and abused for political and criminal gain by the separatists”, he added.
Describing the disillusionment of young people in Tindouf, another petitioner said that the lamentable situation suffered by these vulnerable people push them “to clandestine activities such as smuggling of arms, people and drugs, and embracing terrorism as a way of life.”
Another petitioner said that for years, the Polisario secessionists have promised Sahrawi youth, sequestered in the camps, a resolution of the Sahara conflict, but failed their void promises. The disappointed and disenfranchized Sahrawi youths became vulnerable to recruitment by terrorist groups.
Some petitioners decried the diversion of humanitarian assistance intended for the Tindouf camps populations and called on the UN to carry out a census of the inhabitants of these camps, deploring Algeria systematic refusal to allow such a census.
One petitioner described the diversion of provisions as a web of deception, while another equated it to a “mafia operation” circumventing the established legal structure in place to provide aid.
Eric Cameron, World Action for Refugees, deplored the inaction surrounding the Tindouf camps, saying that a political solution can be achieved through the Moroccan initiative for autonomy, which guaranteed good governance and fundamental rights. He also stressed the need to crack down on racketeers who embezzle supplies of food and medical resources.
For Nancy Huff, Teach the Children International, had simple steps been taken to stop the theft of humanitarian aid 43 years ago, the Sahara issue could have been settled many years ago.
Donna Sams, petitioner, Antioch Community Center, warned that the Tindouf camps could become a magnet for countries and leaders with an agenda of war and destabilization.
Jonathan Huff, Safety and Security Instructional Services, said the Begin Sadat Center for Strategic Studies accuses Hezbollah of purposely seeking out people like the Tindouf Sahrawis who are vulnerable to terrorist ideologies.
French Senator Francois Grosdidier has affirmed that Morocco’s autonomy plan for the Sahara will “promote stability and security” in the region, saying that the Moroccan initiative fulfills the democratic aspirations and sustainable development needs of the Sahrawi population.
Speaking on the behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the ambassador of El Salvador said this regional bloc “continues to strongly support the efforts of the UN Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy to reach a fair, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution” to the Sahara conflict.