Rabat – Tents – given as aid to Sahrawis in the Tindouf refugee camps by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) – are being illicitly sold to Sahrawi refugees in Tindouf camps by smugglers, with approval from the Polisario, reveals a video published by pro-Polisario outlet Futuro Sahara.
In the 25-second clip, shot on a smartphone by an unidentified Sahrawi woman, another middle-aged woman shows a number of packaged tents she says will be sold, including hers.
The women, who live in the camp of Aousserd, point to a car driven by two men, who they say are “brokers” who will buy the tents.
The clip, recorded on September 28, is another example of the prevailing corruption in the Tindouf camps, where humanitarian aid is often misappropriated to be sold in the camps or in the Algerian city of Tindouf.
Futuro Sahara said that the video is “proof” that the officials of the local ministry of equipment are denying camp residents their rights, adding that corruption is not limited to the misappropriation of tents.
Second hand clothes, given as aid by UNHCR, find their way to local markets in Tindouf and the camps, while local residents find themselves with no choice but to buy them with their own money.
The website slammed the so-called Sahrawi parliament for not holding the minister of equipment accountable.
The corruption of Polisario leadership in the Tindouf camps is long-standing.
The leaders of the separatist group have been accused by Khat Achahid, a dissident Polisario faction, of accumulating fortunes at the expense of the local population.
In 2015, Ingeborg Grassle, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Budgetary Control at the European Parliament, spoke to the parliament about about the embezzlement of international humanitarian aid sent to Tindouf, calling a “scandal.”
“It is outrageous to charge people in Tindouf camps to get the humanitarian aid that the EU grants them for free,” she said.