HRC Urged to Address Tindouf Camps Tragedy

The UN Human Rights Council (HRC) was urged on Tuesday to address the dire situation of the Sahrawi population living in the Polisario-run camps in Tindouf and to end the violations committed there by the Polisario militia.

aicha-douihi1Sahrawi activists, member of two international NGOs, unveiled before the HRC ongoing plenary session in Geneva damning details about the ordeal of the Sahrawis who have been held hostage for decades in the Algerian desert.

Activists from the International Development Agency (IDA) and the International Action for Peace and Development (AIPD) appealed to the Council to get more involved and to see to it that these Sahrawis enjoy their full rights and freedoms.

“No one can ignore or deny the alarming situation prevailing in the Tindouf camps where the population does not enjoy its rights as recognized by international law,” said Ms. Aicha Douihi, on behalf of the IDA.
The situation is “exacerbated by the international community’s many failures and the breaches of its obligations” towards the thousands of Moroccan Sahrawis forcibly held on Algerian soil, she argued.
She also deplored the Algerian authorities’ refusal to allow a population census in Tindouf, despite the repeated requests made in this respect by the UN and its specialized agencies.

Sahrawi activist and member of AIPD, Mohamed Khaya, also denounced the “inhuman and degrading” treatment reserved to the people surviving in the Tindouf camps that are under the control of the Polisario, with the blessing of the host country authorities.

On behalf of the AIPD, Khaya Mohamed called the Human Rights Council to pressure the Polisario and Algeria to engage earnestly in negotiations for a consensual political solution to the Western Sahara conflict.
“The autonomy plan remains the most appropriate means to secure a political win-win solution likely to end the conflict that has lasted far too long and to put an end to the sufferings of the so many families arbitrarily sequestered on Algerian soil,” he said.

He also recalled that the silent majority of Sahrawis who reject the separatism advocated by an Algeria-backed minority have been involved for a long time in the large scale development process initiated in Morocco’s southern provinces as in the rest of the country.

Both Sahrawi militants appealed to NGOs and to the international community to conduct independent investigations to shed light on the violations and abuses committed by the Polisario torturers in the Tindouf camps.