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Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Written Press

The Swiss daily 'Tribune de Genève' echoed Monday the European report on "organized hijacking" of humanitarian aid to populations in Tindouf camps, saying that "the volume of goods embezzled leaves no room for doubt".


"Leaders the upper hand in running camps," the paper said in an article entitled "Report denounces Polisario tricks". The correspondent of the newspaper to the European UN headquarters in Geneva focused on conclusions of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), as well as testament by Brussels lawyer handling the case, Stéphane Rodrigues.

 He highlighted OLAF investigation by the European Commission on this matter, noting that the Office examined all contracts on the delivery of aid.

The investigators, he added, counted the number of rotations of trucks between the camps and the port of Oran and were interested in deliveries slips. "The center of El Jazhouani, 26 Km from Tindouf, is identified as one of the places where transfer of food aid happens,"  the newspaper said.

 "First surprise, the survey reveals that the number of people living in the camps was overstated by Algeria, who estimated their number at 155,000, while the count made by the EU's Joint Research Center gives only 90,000," notes the publication.

The article’s author notes that investigators discover that some of the food aid to the Tindouf camps can be found in the markets of Nouakchott, Mauritania, 1,500 Km from their destination.

"That's not all, they discover that the money from some donors to finance major projects is also hijacked," he said, adding that the subsidized infrastructure is not built by a workforce but paid by prisoners.

Citing Mr Rodrigues, the daily says that "the revelations of the report on the practices within the camps is overwhelming." The report dated 2007 could not be obtained only in 2014 at the end of a procedure of a Brussels office under the principle of transparency. "We read in the writings of inspectors that people identified in the report are suspected of personal enrichment in the form of real estate," concluded the source.

- News and events on Western Sahara issue / Corcas-

 

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