The UNHCR questioned once again on Algeria’s full responsibility for the persistence of the suffering of the populations of Tindouf

Hibapress / MAP

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was arrested once again on Wednesday on the full responsibility of Algeria in the persistence of the plight of the populations of Tindouf and “their sequestration for nearly half a century , for political and ulterior motives ”.

Speaking within the framework of the general debate of the 72nd Session of the Executive Committee of the UNHCR Program, the Moroccan delegation drew attention to “the unacceptable situation of the populations of the camps of Tindouf, in Algeria, where the miserable and inhuman conditions are worsening. , every day, as a direct consequence of their sequestration for nearly half a century, for political and ulterior motives ”.

“The Algerian regime, which is the main party to the regional dispute over the Sahara, is responsible for maintaining the suffering of the populations of the Tindouf camps, in contradiction with its obligations under international humanitarian law”, observed Abdellah Boutadghart, deputy permanent representative at the Moroccan mission in Geneva.

The real facts are that these populations for which the Algerian leaders have required international humanitarian aid for half a century, represent less than 2% of the inhabitants of their capital, and moreover aid which has been as documented, often diverted for the sole benefit of the leaders of the separatist militias, said the Moroccan diplomat.

And to continue: “The Algerian regime is not qualified to attack Morocco on the subject of the Moroccan Sahara, which moreover had neither near nor far any responsibility, in the emergence of the deplorable situation in which are the populations of the Tindouf camps ”.

This situation is also illustrated “by serious violations of human rights”, he continued, denouncing in particular the devolution by the Algerian authorities of powers to an armed and separatist group and the militarization of the Tindouf camps.

Regarding the number of these populations, the only certainty that should be established is that which will result from their formal census according to the criteria and standards established by the UNHCR, and by its long experience and practice in this area, underlined the Moroccan delegation.

She recalled in this sense that the populations held in the Tindouf camps have never been the subject of any registration. In 2005, this situation was already qualified by the Office of the Inspector General of the UNHCR in an investigation report, as “an abnormal and unique situation in the history of the UNHCR and the United Nations”, recalled Mr. Boutadghart.

During this general debate, the Moroccan delegation also reiterated the commitment of Morocco, a pioneer in international humanitarian action, under the leadership of HM King Mohammed VI, to continue its contribution to collective efforts of solidarity and cooperation for the benefit of refugees, displaced persons and vulnerable populations.

“In order to mitigate the effects on host countries and achieve a fair and equitable sharing of burdens and responsibilities, Morocco continues to provide humanitarian assistance and support to cope with crises and alleviate the suffering of people displaced, both in its regional environment, and more broadly, ”stressed the Moroccan delegation.

She also highlighted the actions deployed by Morocco for the benefit of many countries, through real humanitarian aid airlifts and the deployment of field hospitals to face not only the consequences of the Covid-19 but also to the disasters that have occurred.

Emphasis was also placed on measures taken by Morocco to offer refugees a wide range of possibilities in terms of protection, assistance, socio-economic support, and integration into the education system.

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