Mustafa Salma accused Algeria of violating human rights of ten thousands of Sahrawis in Algeria.
Rabat – Sahrawi activist and former Polisario leading member Mustafa Salma Ould Sidi Mouloud has slammed Algeria for continuously violating “all the basic rights” of distressed Sahrawis in Tindouf.
Mustafa Salma condemned contradictory statements and news published by Algeria’s state media on human rights challenges.
State media in Algeria has a section on “the Sahrawi cause,” which Abdelmadjid Tebboun’s government uses to publish pro-Polisario claims, challenging Morocco’s territorial integrity and sovereignty over Western Sahara.
For Mustafa Salma, however, Algeria sits at the bottom of the list of countries with the right to speak about Sahrawi human rights.
He accused Algeria of violating human rights of tens of thousands of Sahrawis refugees who have been on its territory for 46 years.
He said the country, which hosts Sahrawis in Tindouf, deprives them of their rights and does not “even know their legal status.”
Sahrawis’ “ legal status suspended for decades and their inability to obtain identification documents proving their legal status on Algerian soil. They are not refugees or are foreign immigrants with a residence card, nor are they citizens with [Algerian] nationality,” the activist said.
The activist described Sahrawis in Tindouf as hostages controlled by Polisario and the Algerian regime.
He said most Sahrawis are subject to exploitation and violation of all their basic rights.
The former Polisario officer also cited a long list of rights violations Sahrawis in Tindouf allegedly endured, including lack of freedom of movement in Algeria.
He said that Sahrawis cannot work in the public and private sectors or own property in Algeria.
Instead, the Sahrawis are exploited, recruited, trained, and armed by Polisario, an arm of the Algerian regime, he said.
“Regarding freedom of expression, the ongoing crime of deporting me from the camps and separating me from my family because of my support for the [Moroccan] Autonomy Plan as a solution to the Sahara conflict is a vivid testimony rejectingAlgeria’s claims that it supports the self-determination of the Sahrawis or that it respects their human rights,” he concluded.
Mustafa Salma often publishes brief statements on his official Facebook page to condemn Algeria’s unrelenting hostility towards Morocco’s territorial integrity.
The Sahrawi activist also usually condemns Polisario’s violations against Sahrawis, where over 90,000 live in dire conditions.
Reports from UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and NGOS have long warned about the ordeal of Sahrawis in the Tindouf camps.
According to the UN report, a major challenge for humanitarian NGOs and UN actors in the region is a shortage of resources and the “lack of predictable funding.”
The UN report also addressed the “chronic” shortages of vaccines and key immunization supplies, describing the lack of materials as a “challenge.”