Tindouf : the shadow of Mustapha Salma hovers over the exchange of family visits

The exchange of visits between the Sahrawi families separated due to the persistence of the Western Sahara conflict, happens regularly under the HCR supervision. The HCR is in charge of organizing the trip of the families which members are separated between Tindouf camps, Algeria and the South of Morocco.
The last operation which took place on September 9, has concerned 34 Sahrawis whose families are settled in the one side or the other of the frontiers between Algeria and Morocco. Usually, many beneficiaries from the operation choose to remain among their families in the Sahara and refuse to return to Tindouf camps.
Thus, if this operation has a praiseworthy humanitarian aspect, it shows also the cruel side of the extravagant situation where thousands of families are obliged to live since more than 35 years in the hard conditions of the desert. A situation which has become more painful with the strict control of the Polisario, under the protection of the Algerian authorities which welcomes the movement on its territory and assures its  political, military, financial and diplomatic protection, as well.

The Sahrawi population in Tindouf camps does not benefit from any liberty of movement or expression and repressive measures against the protesting voices are very common. Arrested and tortured by the Polisario in September 2010 for having publicly declared its adhesion to the Moroccan autonomy plan for the Western Sahara, Mustapha Salma has been turned back, afterwards, out of Tindouf camps.
From his forced exile in Mauritania, Mustapha continues his struggle for his right to return to his family and children in Tindouf. The Polisario, on his side, continues turning a deaf ear to these claims, while Algiers authorities adopted the same knowing silence.


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