An NGO has urged the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) to address the blockade imposed on the populations forcibly held in the Tindouf camps for nearly forty years.
The Organization for Communication in Africa and the Promotion of International Economic Cooperation (international Ocaproce ) called the UNHRC to pressure the Polisario and the Algerian authorities to lift the blockade on these camps and to allow the thousands of Sahrawis to exercise their basic rights and to enjoy freedom of movement and expression.
“Our organization is particularly concerned by these rights denials and we are here today to convey the sequestered populations’ complaints to the international community,” said activist Daoudi Mahjouba, member of the Swiss-based NGO.
Ocaproce is dedicated to the defense of economic, social and cultural rights of underprivileged women, children and youth in Africa and contributes to fulfilling the Millennium Development Goals.
The scrutiny of the situation in the Tindouf camps “prompts us to urge you to endeavour to open these makeshift camps and help families and women rebuild their social life,” Mrs Daoudi said at the HRC plenary session in Geneva.
For the African NGO, women and children are the most vulnerable victims of these breaches to human rights. Besides they are the ones who suffer most of poverty and who depend on humanitarian aid to survive.
“Our sisters are at the mercy of the separatist leaders who subject them to the heinous crime of forced pregnancy,” said the activist.
In this open-air prison, Sahrawi women “are often raped, separated from their children and forced to keep silent,” she said, deploring that the international community and international NGOs remain unaware of these abuses and inhuman treatments that have lasted for nearly four decades. It is high time to put an end to these wrongs and to make reparations for the damage caused to the camps populations, she pleaded.