A 2018 report from the UN Secretary-General on Western Sahara addressed malnutrition and the steady reduction in humanitarian aid for the Tindouf camps.
Anti-Polisario activist Mustafa Salma Ould Sidi Mouloud shared a letter on Wednesday that Hamoudi Bshari Al Saleh, the father of the family, addressed to Horst Kohler, the personal envoy of the Secretary-General, to cry for help.
Al Saleh said that his family had protested before, on October 17, 2018, against the situation of Sahrawis in Tindouf camps “after being surrounded by the Polisario forces who assaulted our comrades who fled from refugee camps on the Algerian soil due to the systematic restrictions.” Al Saleh said his comrades had fled Tindouf only to be assaulted by Polisario.
The father added that the first sit-in was the preliminary step to “show the whole world that there is a marginalized third party in the Sahara issue,” which is oppressed and exploited by the Polisario leadership. He said Polisario has been serving its own interests in Algeria for more than 40 years.
Al Saleh added that he and others committed to “spare no effort to defend the rights” of the “vulnerable majority in the camps, which are close to 80 percent of the refugees which the Polisario take advantage of.”
Al Saleh said that they did not end their protest until they me Deputy Councillor Adam and the security advisor and the military adviser of MINURSO, who promised to convey their demands to the UN Secretary-General.
According to the Sahrawi activist, the MINURSO officials promised that they would “study possible solutions with the competent authorities.”
However, the Sahrawi said that nothing has been done for the families who contested Polisario’s exploitation.
He added that since the families had no one to resort to, he and his family decided to speak out and announce a sit-in at MINURSO’s Mijek headquarters to inform the public of their situation.
“We appeal to all free people of the world to call for the relief of our family and children who have been displaced.”
He added that he and his family have been in the desert region of Mijek for a year now, “besieged by the Polisario regime,” and suffering a “systematic siege of all kinds of humanitarian aid, donated by some international bodies.”
Al Saleh also cried for help, emphasizing that his family will be protesting in the open air and waiting for a “humanitarian gesture from the international community.”
“We will continue to fight with all the peaceful means available,” waiting for the international community to “meet our demands and the demands of the silent and vulnerable majority like us.”
In October 2018, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addressed in his report to the Security Council “the lack of progress in the political process,” as well as “persistent difficulties, such as malnutrition, brought about by the steady reductions in humanitarian aid.”
In the sixth section of the report, the UN chief spoke further about malnutrition. “Malnutrition and anaemia prevalence remained public health concerns,” he wrote.
Throughout the years of the conflict, Sahrawis in Tindouf have condemned the embezzlement of humanitarian assistance directed to the refugees.
Pro-Polisario news outlets, including Futuro Sahara, reported that Sahrawis were surprised to find popular aid products on display in Algerian grocery shops.