Morocco World News
Morocco World News
June 9, 2011
Representatives of several NGOs and former Polisario officials highlighted, on Wednesday at a conference in Geneva, Algeria’s responsibility regarding the deteriorating human rights situation in the Polisario-run camps of Tindouf (south-western Algeria).
The conference was held on the sidelines of the 17th meeting of the UN Human Rights Council.
According to the Maghreb Arab Press news agency, the participants urged the international community to mount pressure on Algeria to uphold its responsibilities concerning the implementation of a head-count of the population surviving in dire condition in Tindouf camps for over three decades.
In this connection, the panelists denounced that Algeria, the host country, “fell short of meeting its international responsibilities regarding the sequestrated population” in the Polisario-administered camps.
The participants deplored that population continue to be deprived of the freedom of movement inside and outside the camps, where they are held captive by Polisario militias, adding that denying them the right to return to their homeland, Morocco, only exacerbates their suffering.
The panelists shed light on the cruel living conditions endured in the camps, such as the proliferation of illnesses and malnutrition in addition to the lack of health services, decrying that substantial humanitarian aid sent to the camps is subject to embezzlement by the Polisario administration.
They also called upon Algeria to meet its obligations concerning this population as stipulated in the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol.
The participants also called on Algeria to show serious engagement to find a settlement to the Sahara issue on the basis of Morocco’s Autonomy Initiative, which, they said, will spare the region instability and proliferation of armed groups.