Ould Souilem, former Polisario leader and founder confirms that their actual number does not exceed 50,000
The refusal by Algeria and the Polisario separatists to conduct a census of the population held in Tindouf camps, southwestern Algeria, impedes the mission of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, on a visit to the region, Ahmedou Ould Souilem,former Polisario leader, said.
Ould Souilem, who has recently returned to Morocco from Tindouf camps, denounced Algeria's and separatists' tendency to deliberately inflate the number of the population held against its will in the camps, adding that the Polisario says the number amounts to 160,000 where in fact the number does not exceed 50,000.
The separatists inflate the number of the population in order to receive more humanitarian aid, in which they trade, he told MAP.
"If the UNHCR provides aid for 160,000 people, we have the right to ask where does the surplus go," he said, calling on the UN body to shed light on this issue so that the international humanitarian organisation can understand the tragic situation of the population held captive in the camps.
In this regard, Ould Souilem urged the UNHCR and other humanitarian organizations to put pressure on Algeria and the Polisario in order to allow a count of the camp's population, who live under harsh conditions.
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