Covid-19: Polisario leaders divert humanitarian assistance to line up their pockets
The total blockade imposed by the polisario leaders on the Sahrawis sequestered in the Tindouf camps under the pretext of the coronavirus pandemic has boosted the million-dollar smuggling business of the corrupt Polisario chiefs.
Six trucks loaded with 25 tons of flour, semolina or pasta, four tank trucks filled with 100 tons of diesel and gasoline and two trucks carrying 750 propane gas bottles have left the Rabouni camps under the pretext that they are heading to the “populations in liberated zones” in the buffer strip between Morocco and Mauritania.
But it’s a lie which neither the sequestered Sahrawis nor the international relief agencies believe. They are convinced that this humanitarian aid has been hijacked by the polisario leaders and will be resold as usual in the black markets in Southern Algeria and sub-Saharan countries.
Several NGOs have decried the corruption of the Polisario separatists and their embezzlement of the international aid destined for the Sahrawis of Tindouf Camps.
The anti-fraud office of the European Union (OLAF) had conducted a very thorough investigation on the massive diversions of humanitarian aid and released in 2015 a report documenting the involvement of the polisario and Algeria in these diversions.
OLAF had managed to track down the whole system put in place by the Polisario leaders with the complicity of Algerian officials, from the unloading of international humanitarian aid in the port of Oran until it is displayed for sale in markets in Algeria, Mauritania and even Mali.
Trapped in lamentable living conditions, the Sahrawis of Tindouf camps, who are held against their will by polisario armed militiamen, have been used and abused by the separatists for political and criminal gains.
It is high for time for the international community to shoulder its responsibilities and to hold Algeria accountable as it hosts these Sahrawis on its territory.