World Refugee Day: precarious living conditions in the Tindouf camps, Algeria


The Committee on Special Political Affairs and Decolonization has begun hearing several petitioners registered under the question of “Western” Sahara.

Some speakers deplored the precarious living conditions in the Tindouf camps in Algeria, saying they were in favor of the advanced autonomy solution for the Sahara region proposed by Morocco.

Regarding the living conditions of Sahrawi refugees in the Tindouf camps, which are under the authority of the Polisario front, some speakers affirmed that they were not “refugees”, but “sequestered people, prisoners without status” who, to date, are neither registered nor counted, as requested by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

These speakers affirmed that without a census, doubt continues to exist as to the exact number of people living in these camps, which had immediate consequences on the international aid, particularly food aid, to be provided to them.

Other speakers also accused the Polisario front of diverting humanitarian aid intended for the camps and “turning it into a lucrative business” in disregard of the malnutrition that reigns in the camps.

In their opinion, the precariousness which prevails in the camps makes them fertile ground for the recruitment of terrorists. The very legitimacy of the Polisario as “the sole representative of the Sahrawi people” has been called into question. “The Sahrawis do not constitute a homogeneous bloc of people,” said one speaker, while another described the front as a “despotic” regime, accusing it of corruption, cronyism and human rights violations.

A solid and firm intervention from the representative of the Kingdom of Morocco laid bare all the assumptions of the Polisario when he explained that we could not dissociate these populations of the camps from the question under consideration.

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