A group of Sahrawis are protesting to make the international community aware of the recruitment of children in armies and terrorist groups after being taken away from their families by the Polisario front.
Rabat – The Moroccan Sahrawis Alliance in Europe for Development and Solidarity organized a sit-in at the United Nations Square in Geneva on Saturday to denounce what it described as the “crimes committed by the Polisario militia in the Tindouf camps.”
Through the sit-in that is organized on the sidelines of the 40th session of the Human Rights Council, the grass-roots organization condemned “the silence of the international community and the United Nations about the crimes committed against children soldiers in the Tindouf Camps.”
In the Tindouf Camps, children from 7 to 14 years old were taken from their families and sent to different countries for training on the use and handling of firearms and explosives.
The participants said that many children have died as a result of handling explosive devices and been buried in anonymity, while survivors are enlisted in armies, guerrillas or terrorist groups.
The secretary-general of the Alliance, Ali Jeddou, stressed that the sit-in seeks to alert the international community about the “massive violations of human rights” in the Tindouf camps and to call the forces of peace, democracy, and freedom to intervene and exert greater pressure to end the ordeal of children associated with armed forces or groups.
In a statement to the press, Jeddou said the participants in the rally urge “the international community and international humanitarian organizations to urgently intervene to put an end to the plight of our families confined to the repressive Tindouf camps under the implacable control of the Polisario that violates the most basic human rights.”
He also noted that the abuse committed by the Polisario and supported by the Algerian military push more and more young people in the Tindouf camps to throw themselves in the arms of the terrorist groups and the criminal networks which skim the Sahelo-Saharan zone.
The sit-in is part of a large awareness campaign called “White Dove”, initiated by the Alliance in order to draw the attention of the public opinion on the “human rights violations committed by Polisario front.”.
On March 6, several Sahrawi MPs staged a sit-in in front of Polisario’s secretariat to protest widespread corruption in Tindouf camps.
In a public statement, the MPs said they were protesting the waste of public money, abuse of authority for personal purposes, absence of accountability, and the prevalence of all kinds of corruption.