Tindouf-Diversions: Brussels Commission in the EP’s Sights

tindouf-ueThe European Parliament is readying to bring again to the European Commission the issue of the diversion of humanitarian aid destined to the populations sequestered in Tindouf, said on Tuesday MEP Gilles Pargneaux.

“We will continue, as members of the European Parliament, to press the European Commission to give us the results of the checks it claims to have conducted concerning the distribution of humanitarian aid to the Tindouf populations,” said the MEP.

“We demand concrete actions on the part of the European Commission (…) and we exact that the Commission be effective in the control operations,” added Gilles Pargneaux, President of the EU-Morocco Friendship Group at the European Parliament.

The European Parliament had brought the issue before the European Commission following the publication in January 2015 of a damning report by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF.) The report had unveiled the embezzlement, in a massive and organized way, of the European assistance to the Tindouf camps populations.

According to OLAF, the European humanitarian aid, which had been diverted over several years, was granted on the basis of erroneous data as to the number of the Tindouf inhabitants. The data were supplied by the Polisario and Algeria, in the absence of a census of the Tindouf population.

Senior Algerian and Polisario officials have long benefited from this windfall to build up huge fortunes at the expense of impoverished refugees stranded in the Tindouf camps.

The Director General of the French Observatory of Geopolitical Studies (OEG), Charles Saint-Prot, has also called for an efficient control of the EU humanitarian aid and urged the Commission to shed light on the fate of this aid.

“This systematic looting system is well known in international forums, including in the European Union which is one of the major donors,” said Saint-Prot.

He argued that “this scandal continued for years because of several European states’ laxity or even complicity with the Algerian regime and also because of the ambiguity of the Brussels commission.”

He stressed the need to impose “strict control over the allocation of aid” and to organize “an accurate census by the High Commissioner for Refugees in the Polisario-run camps.”

More specifically, the French expert called on the European Commission to stop being lax regarding the Algerian regime which abuses the human rights of people held in the Tindouf camps and fuels an artificial conflict against Morocco’s national unity,” he said.

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