Press Release: July 14, 2020
The European Parliament resolution is a major step in shedding light on the suffering of the refugees stranded in one of the harshest deserts in Algeria for almost 50 years.
Berlin, Germany., July 14, 2020 -- The diversion of humanitarian aid destined for the refugees in Tindouf camps on the Algerian territory has come back to the forefront in recent days after the revelation by several media and European members of parliament that humanitarian aid has been diverted for decades by the polisario and Algerian authorities. This fraud is continuing despite Covid-19 pandemic. For this reason, on Thursday, a resolution was proposed in the European parliament denouncing the continuation of this fraud and calling for an audit of European aid destined for the Tindouf refugees.
This resolution recalls a report published in 2015 by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF). This investigative report "noted the diversion of humanitarian aid granted by the European Union to the polisario, in particular was used for the purchase of arms." . Between 1994 and 2004, the plisario/Algeria received 105 million euros in humanitarian aid. The OLAF “ report clearly states that the Polisario leaders systematically and methodically adopt misappropriation of humanitarian aid and accumulate colossal fortunes, and they all have luxury real estate in Spain.
The European Parliament resolution noted that " Algiers would charge a 5% tax on the humanitarian aid adding that the population held against its will in the Tindouf camps “are suffering the worst abuses” and that their situation is getting worse in view of the coronavirus crisis. What is more, Algeria still refuses to conduct a census as requested by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees since 1977”. Therefore, the resolution calls on the European Union "to work jointly with the United Nations to supervise a census of the refugees in the Tindouf camps in collaboration with the competent authorities in Algeria". The resolution also urges the EU to audit polisario's use of European humanitarian aid since 2015.
The matter was brought before the European Parliament Committee on Development (DEVE) at a meeting with European Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic. Independent investigations and overwhelming testimony have corroborated MEPs' concerns that the fraud continues despite the measures taken by the European Commission. This is a major step in shedding light on the suffering of the refugees stranded in one of the harshest deserts in North Africa for almost 50 years.
About Friends of Morocco:
Friends of Morocco (FOM), active since 1988, is an organisation of Americans and Europeans, mostly returned volunteers, with experience in Morocco with an interest in promoting political, educational, cultural, charitable, social, literary and scientific exchanges between Morocco and the rest of the world. FOM is a non profit organisation with the headquarter is in the USA and chapters around the world. The main objective of Friends of Morocco is to promote Morocco and to build bridges and connect people who have fallen in Love with this country, adopted its culture and made it their 2nd home. Friends of Morocco is a nonprofit organization with branches around the world.
Elle P. Wolfgang
Friends of Morocco