Polisario-diversions: French MPs exact countermeasures

tindouf-aide-ramThe Curse of the misappropriation of international humanitarian aid destined to the Algeria-based Tindouf camps still haunts the Polisario and Algerian officials who participated in this traffic. French members of Parliament have actually asked the French Foreign Minister to bring this case before the European Commission.

In a letter to the Foreign Minister, several French MPs asked him to refer to the European commission to shed full light on the diversions scandal.

Between 1994 and 2004, the EU “has provided to the populations living in the Tindouf camps humanitarian aid worth € 105 million,” say the French parliamentarians in their letter to Laurent Fabius.

Referring to the conclusions of OLAF, the EU Anti-Fraud Office, the letter denounces the large-scale diversion of part of this humanitarian aid. “This systematic embezzlement was organized by several Sahrawi dignitaries, with the help of some Algerian authorities,” say the French MPs.

The looting of international humanitarian assistance was possible because of the overestimation of the Sahrawi populations living under the control of the Polisario, the Algeria-backed separatist movement contesting Morocco’s sovereignty over the Western Sahara region.

Drawing on this overestimation, the French parliamentarians stressed “the need for France to support any initiative likely to force the Polisario and Algeria to allow the UN High Commissioner for Refugees conduct a census of the populations in the Tindouf camps, as requested by the resolutions of the UN Security Council, in a bid to stop the manipulation of this humanitarian situation for political and financial ends.”

The response of the French Foreign Minister did not take long to come. “The census in the Tindouf camps is a must,” he said in his response to the MPs’ letter. He recalled that the European Parliament had called on the European Commission to reconsider the EU’s assistance to the Tindouf camps.


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