The embezzlement of humanitarian aid is endemic among the corrupt Polisario and Algerian officials, despite international outcry by the EU and humanitarian NGOS. This time, aid worth $12 million was derailed to enrich merciless separatist officials in the Polisario-run Tindouf camps.
The aid was offered in April and May by the EU, Canada, Switzerland, Italy, the World Food Program, the UN refugee agency and other NGOs.
As the camps are witnessing a surge in coronavirus cases, Algeria calls for aid while at the same time condoning embezzlement by a military junta that is accustomed to the practice of trading in the suffering of innocent civilians held against their will in abject conditions.
The irony is that the degradation of health conditions in the camps led separatist media themselves to decry an embezzlement that left hundreds of camp dwellers prey to Covid-19.
Doctors in the camps deplored on social media that coronavirus deaths number dozens daily and that a lack of ventilators prevents them to save lives.
Meanwhile, pressure is mounting on the Polisario and its Algerian mentor to show the fate of aid that was supposed to benefit the camps population.
Italian media informazione.campania.it relayed a campaign by several deputies of the European parliament who accuse Algeria and its creation the Polisario of diverting aid and urge the Algerian Red Crescent to issue a detailed report on the aid.
But the same Polisario-Administered Red Crescent was found guilty of sending aid to stores run by the trade division of the militia to be sold instead of being distributed for free to the targeted vulnerable civilians.
The theft of humanitarian aid has showed cracks within the separatists’ edifice after senior Polisario leaders Bashir Mustapha Sayid called for the leadership to step down because of its involvement in what he described as “piracy in Tindouf” amid coronavirus concerns.
Algeria has tried to play down the scale of the chaos within the camps and the risk facing the population held against its will in the camps by imposing a media blackout.
Recently, a movement was created challenging the Polisario’s obsolete stands and ideology and calling for openness to a political and mutually acceptable solution to the conflict breaking away with the stands of the Algerian host and sponsor.
Many Sahraouis have fled the camp lately en masse to Mauritania over fears of the coronavirus outbreak, Mauritanian media reported.