Polisario Leader Accuses Aid Donors of “Starving Tindouf Refugees”  

The head of the Polisario, Brahim Ghali, protests against what he calls “the attempts of some international institutions and donor countries to reduce humanitarian aid to the Tindouf camps population” and denounces a “war to starve the refugees” and to “undermine” their resistance.

On January 24, the Polisario leader, in a threatening tone, urged the international community and the UN “to intensify humanitarian aid destined to the Sahrawi refugees” in the Tindouf camps.

In a statement to the Algerian Press Agency (APS), which was relayed by the Algerian and the pro-Polisario media, Brahim Ghali claimed that “some international bodies and some countries are trying to reduce the assistance … in this particular conjuncture to put pressure on the Sahrawi people and undermine their resistance.”

For many observers, this is a very odd way to ask for humanitarian aid, as if these donor countries and NGOs were in the obligation to draw on the money of their taxpayers, to satisfy the requests and whims of Ghali and his cronies.

These observers argue that the Polisario chief seems to have forgotten that many donors have stopped their humanitarian aid after they realized that the Polisario leaders, in connivance with some Algerian civil and military officials, used to divert the assistance on a large scale.

The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) published an overwhelming report in January 2015, which speaks volumes about these large-scale misappropriations. The report revealed the names of the authors of the diversions and documented the amounts siphoned away as well as the dates and places when and where the embezzlements were conducted.

The same observers believe that the new Polisario leader, instead of resorting to threatening remarks to request new aid, should have first held the authors of these diversions accountable.

But the Polisario knows it is in serious trouble as even Algeria, its main supporter, has reduced its assistance following the collapse of its oil revenues, although the Algerian regime continues to use the separatist front to serve its geostrategic interests and blackmail its Moroccan neighbor.

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