The systematic diversion of humanitarian aid intended for the populations of the Tindouf camps, which Morocco has constantly denounced for many years to the international community, was once again confirmed by the report of the World Food Program (WFP), in its assessment of the “Algeria 2019/2022 country strategic program”, underlined the Cameroonian expert, Alphonse Zozime Tamekamta.
Thus, adds the university professor, the WFP has irrefutably documented the diversion and sale of foodstuffs from humanitarian aid in the markets of Tindouf, outside the camps, as well as in neighboring countries, even though the population of the camps lives in appalling conditions, marked by chronic undernutrition, especially among women and children.
“Even more seriously, the WFP has once again expressed its concern about the lack of registration and census of the population of the Tindouf camps and the possibilities of diversion that this unique situation makes possible”, he indignantly.
It is also an exceptional situation in the world with regard to international humanitarian law insofar as for nearly 50 years, these populations have never been identified, nor registered as refugees, nor counted, which deprived them of all the rights guaranteed by the Convention of July 28, 1951 relating to the status of refugees, continues the professor of History of international relations (African polemology and irenology) at the University of Yaoundé.
The report also pointed to the impossibility for the specialized UN agencies to access the camps without hindrance, describing the internal control of the distribution of humanitarian aid carried out by the “polisario” as “biased by nature”, it notes. -we.
“This control granted by Algeria to these militias over the distribution of humanitarian aid is part of the broader framework of the illegal delegation under international humanitarian law of authority over the Tindouf camps to an armed separatist group in the close links with terrorist groups operating in the Sahel,” says Alphonse Zozime Tamekamta.
The lucrative opportunities opened up by the systematic diversion of humanitarian aid to the leaders of the “polisario” thus enables them to maintain a luxurious lifestyle, at the expense of the European taxpayer and at the expense of the women and children of the Tindouf camps, delivered to the throes of chronic anemia, regrets the Cameroonian expert.
Long before, he raises, the Anti-Fraud Office of the European Union (OLAF) had pointed out in a report made public in 2015, a methodical diversion for more than four decades of the humanitarian aid granted to the sequestered Sahrawis in the Tindouf camps on Algerian territory.
This report, based on an investigation carried out by OLAF, we continue, highlights the responsibility of Algeria, an active accomplice in the diversion of this aid, which usually begins as soon as the cargo arrives at the Algerian port of Oran.
“These diversions have been reported by other inspection reports from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, as well as other intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations,” notes the expert.
The European Parliament had, in turn, adopted a resolution noting that “Algeria would have levied a tax of 5% on this aid and would have refused requests for a census of refugees formulated by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in 1977, 2003, 2005 and 2015”, he recalls, noting that the said resolution also asks the EU to audit the use of European humanitarian aid by the “polisario” since 2015.
In 2021, mentions Alphonse Zozime Tamekamta, the report of the UN Secretary General drew attention to the embezzlement of funds and food aid intended for the population sequestered by the “polisario”.
All Security Council resolutions since 2011 call on Algeria to authorize the census of the populations of the Tindouf camps, in accordance with international humanitarian law, it is pointed out.
The new Security Council resolution 2654 has, (in the preambular paragraph n°23), “re-urged” Algeria that the populations of the Tindouf camps “be duly registered”.
Algeria has never ceased to defy the firm and irrevocable injunctions of the Security Council, hiding behind fallacious pretexts, without foundation, we continue.
Algeria has a moral and legal responsibility to stop exploiting the situation of the sequestered population and using it as a goodwill, even as it pays colossal sums to maintain the luxurious lifestyle of a handful of leaders of the “polisario” and provide them with military equipment, he emphasizes.
“Worse still, Algeria has a legal, political, historical and moral responsibility to engage in good faith in the search for a definitive political solution to this regional dispute which has lasted too long, in accordance with the resolutions of the Security Council, in order to allow a dignified return of the populations of the Tindouf camps in the Moroccan Sahara”, concludes Alphonse Zozime Tamekamta.