The Peruvian press has pinpointed the scandal of "systematic embezzlement of humanitarian aid to the people of Tindouf camps", which Morocco has been denouncing for years to the international community.
Guik, the first digital newspaper in Peru, which takes up the findings of the evaluation report of the the World Food Program (WFP) in Algeria between 2019 and 2022, says that "the embezzlement has been denounced by other inspection reports of the UNHCR (Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees), as well as other intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations.
The publication notes that "WFP has documented the misappropriation and sale of food from humanitarian aid in markets in the city of Tindouf, outside the camps, and in neighboring countries, while the population of the camps lives in undignified conditions, marked by chronic malnutrition, especially among women and children.
"Even more seriously," adds Guik, " WFP has reiterated its concern about the lack of a census of the population of the Tindouf camps and the risk of embezzlement that this unique situation makes possible," stressing that this is "an exceptional situation in the world from the point of view of international humanitarian law, insofar as for nearly 50 years these populations have never been identified, nor registered as refugees, nor censused.
The Peruvian publication denounces the fact that Algeria is ceding control of the camps to Polisario militias, which is a "separatist armed group closely linked to terrorist groups operating in the Sahel.
Prensa21 stresses that the lucrative misappropriation of humanitarian aid to Polisario leaders, has allowed them to "maintain a luxurious lifestyle, at the expense of European taxpayers and at the expense of women and children in the camps of Tindouf, who suffer from chronic anemia.
The newspaper recalls that the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) had highlighted, in a report published in 2015, "methodical embezzlement, over more than four decades, of humanitarian aid granted to Sahrawis, held hostage in the camps of Tindouf, on Algerian territory.
OLAF report highlighted "the responsibility of Algeria, an active accomplice in the embezzlement of this aid, which generally begins when the shipments arrive at the Algerian port of Oran.
Similarly, the European Parliament noted that "Algeria levied a tax of 5% on this aid and refused requests for a census" of this population submitted by the UNHCR.
In 2021, says the same source, the report of the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, had drawn attention to the embezzlement of funds and food aid intended for the population taken hostage by Polisario.
In addition, all Security Council resolutions since 2011 have asked Algeria to authorize the census of the population of the Tindouf camps, in accordance with international humanitarian law.
The same request has been addressed to UN agencies to comply with the "best practices" of the UN in the delivery of humanitarian aid to the populations of the camps.
Prensa21 deplores that "Algeria has consistently defied the firm and unquestionable demands of the Security Council, hiding behind false unfounded pretexts," adding that this country has "the moral and legal responsibility to stop exploiting the situation of the sequestered populations on its territory and use them as a bargaining chip, while spending huge sums of money to maintain the luxurious lifestyle of a handful of Polisario leaders and providing them with advanced military equipment.
-News on the Western Sahara issue/Corcas