By Samir Bennis
By Samir Bennis
Morocco World News
New York, September 6, 2012
According to the Algerian news website, Algeria Times, Kerry Kennedy’s “inquiry mission” to the Sahara and the Tindouf camps, has been funded by the Algerian government. Algiers is believed to have disbursed $140 million for the one-day visit carried out by the President of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights (RFK Center) to the Tindouf camps, in south Algeria.
According to a deal struck by the Algerian government and the Polisario sympathizer, the latter was bound to produce a damning report against the Moroccan government. In exchange of this report and the lavish budget allocated to the foundation, Kennedy was allowed to include in her “human rights activists delegation” a group of evangelical preachers, who belong to the American Rock of Jesus Church.
Among the conditions posed by Kerry Kennedy, was that of allowing the evangelical preachers to have free access to the Tindouf camps.
According to the same source, the “human right activists” were received by the perennial leader of the Polisario, Mohamed Abdelaziz. The latter is believed to have agreed that the evangelical preachers invite about 500 children for a vacation program in the United States.
Flagrant Bias towards the Polisario
The bias of Kerry Kennedy and her organization towards the Polisario is not a mystery to any observer. In 2008 and 2009, she bestowed Aminatou Haidar, whom she calls the Ghandi of Africa, with the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award and the 2009 Civil Courage Prize respectively.
On Tuesday August 28, 2012, she published an article on the Huffington Post where she alleges that her delegation was the witness of the human right abuses committed by the Moroccan police not only against the Saharawis, but also against her daughter and the other members of her delegation. While she supported her claims by pictures where no blatant signs of abuse are committed, she failed to show any picture of her assaulted daughter.
During her stay, Kerry Kennedy was accused by some NGOs of her bias for the Polisario and for meeting only with the Saharawis who support the Polisario claims, while ignoring the other components of civil society in the city and representatives of the local population. As a matter of fact, out of 800 NGO’s who support the Moroccan autonomy plan, she only met with four. To add insult to injury, all her meetings with the NGO’s supporting the Polisario were held in the home of Amiantou Haidar.
Furthermore, while during her stay in Layoune she was flooding her Facebook page with updates incriminating the Moroccan authorities for their alleged “violations of human rights in the Sahara,” she refrained from posting any updates regarding her one-day trip to the Tindouf camps. More still, she was adamant in deleting from her Facebook wall any comments that do not fit her preconceived notions in favor of the Polisario.
In the preliminary report she issued after her visit to the Sahara and the Tindouf camps, she refrained from leveling any criticism against the Polisario leadership for its repression against the dissenting voices in the camps. What is more striking is her deafening silence regarding the fate of Mustapha Salma Ould Sidi Mouloud, who has been separated from his family for two years when he dared to state publicly, in August 2010, that Moroccan autonomy plan, presented in April 2007, was more likely to put an end to the Sahara conflict. No mention was made either of the embezzlement by the Polsairio leadership of humanitarian aid provided by international organizations and government agencies to the population in the camps, which finds its way to the black market in Mauritania, Mali and other Sub-Saharan countries.
Instead of pointing her finger to the refusal of the Polsairio and Algeria to conduct a census in the camps in order to determine the accurate number of people living there and the established links between drug-trafficking networks, AQIM (Al Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb) and the Polisario, she chose deliberately to accuse Morocco of “committing systematic human abuses in the Sahara.”
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