The Moroccan consulate in Brussels organizes an exhibition denouncing the tragedy of women kidnapped in the Tindouf camps
Rabat – The Consulate General of Morocco in Brussels organized an exhibition dedicated to discussing the situation of Sahrawi women in the camps of Tindouf, in Algeria.
The initiative coincided with international women’s day, which served as an opportunity to discuss challenges women in the Tindouf camps face.
The consulate organized the exhibition around the theme “The Moroccan Woman in Belgium in solidarity with kidnapped[women] in the Tindouf camps.”
The ambassador of Morocco in Belgium and Mohamed Ameur and the Consul General of Morocco in Brussels, Abderrahmane Fyad attended the event.
The “OMMI” association and “The World of Humanity” association co-organized the event to shed light on the “serious violations of fundamental rights” in Tindouf.
Activist Saadani Malainine, member of the Royal Consultative Council for Saharan Affairs (CORCAS), and Aicha Douihi, president of the Sahrawi Observatory for Peace, Democracy and Human Rights provided testimonies on the suffering of Sahrawi women sequestered in the “camps of shame.”
In addition to frequent kidnappings, torture, forceful silencing of dissent and the absence of status for the population kept in the camps, the Sahrawi people are struggling with food scarcity, resulting in the prevalence of anemia among them, as reported by the US Secretary-General in his latest annual report.
Women in particular are disproportionately affected by malnutrition, with over 50% of women of reproductive age diagnosed with anemia.
Women in the camps are also victims of frequent rapes, forced births, and kidnappings.
With prevalent foreign aid embezzlement, the financial assistance rarely reaches the population.
Promote Sahrawi heritage
This event, which is part of the cultural activities organized by the consulate for the benefit of the Moroccan community in Brussels in coordination with civil activists in Belgium, also aims to emphasize the different facets of rich heritage of the southern provinces through a “Sahrawi Khaima” (Sahrawi Tent) installed at the headquarters of the consulate.
The Consul General of Morocco in Brussels, Abderrahmane Fyad, told state media that the objective of this exhibition is to show the attachment of Moroccan women, wherever they may be, to the national cause and Morocco’s territorial integrity.
The event also sought to emphasize the importance of Moroccan women’s contribution to the country’s development.
Fyad vowed that the consulate will also organize activities dedicated to young people, by inviting students from schools, colleges, and high schools within his constituency to come and discover the exhibition which is intended to be a symbolic cultural trip from Laayoune to Brussels.
The aim of such events is to promote the heritage of the southern provinces of Morocco, and raise awareness on the issues the area faces.
Such initiatives also seek to enable the youth of the Moroccan community in Belgium to explore the distinctive features of the Moroccan Sahrawi space and its characteristics over history, as well as to strengthen their attachment to their home country and reinforce their awareness of the hurdles in the way of Morocco’s territorial integrity.
Mariam El Hamidine, mayor of the Brussels municipality of Forest, noted that this initiative intends to highlight the important role Sahrawi women hold in their community .
It also aims to celebrate Moroccan women’s achievements in general, in different fields, in light of the great progress made by Morocco on the economic, social and diplomatic levels respectively, as part of the process of promoting gender equality in Morocco.
El Hamidine said that “Moroccan women occupy more and more senior positions and shine in many crucial sectors at a time when several countries in the MENA region are lagging behind in terms of gender equality.”