UNSG Slams Polisario for Human Rights Abuses in Tindouf camps

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres slammed, in his latest report on the Moroccan Sahara to the Security Council, the leaders of the “polisario” for their serious and systematic violations of human rights in the Tindouf camps. In this report, the Secretary-General listed the demonstrations, marches and sit-ins that have multiplied in the Tindouf camps from April to June 2019 to protest against the blockade and restrictive measures on freedom of movement imposed by the “polisario” in the Tindouf camps. In this regard, the report said that the groups of demonstrators protested several times a month in the camps of Tindouf in Algeria and also called for freedom of movement and general reforms.

Guterres did not fail to highlight one of the protesters’ demands to obtain information from the leaders of “Polisario” and Algeria on the fate of El Khalil Ahmed Braih, who has been missing in Algeria since 2009. On July 15, Braih’s wife and children started a sit-in in front of the complex of UN agencies in the region.

The report also underlined the numerous information received by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights concerning the excessive use by the Polisario security forces of harassment, arbitrary arrests and ill-treatment against human rights activists and bloggers involved in documenting human rights breaches in the camps. The report stated that these human rights defenders and bloggers only denounced on social networks the management by the “polisario” of the Tindouf camps.

They were arrested in June 2019 by the Polisario security forces following a sit-in in Rabouni to protest against the disappearance of El-Khalil Ahmed Braih, said the UN Secretary General. The ultimate goal of the “polisario” is to silence, desperately and by any means, any dissenting voices in the camps and put an end to the many peaceful demonstrations of the populations in the said camps. These polisario’s actions have been strongly condemned by civil society and international NGOs.

+ Sahara: UNSG Underlines Real Risk of Terrorist Threats in Region +

In his latest report on the Sahara to the Security Council, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned against a real risk of terrorist attacks in the region, and expressed great concern over these threats due to the prevalence of malicious actors in the Sahel-Saharan region. The report of the Secretary General underlined that the Sahel-Saharan region is the scene of many trafficking of all kinds (drug, firearms, smuggling), and noted the collusion of several terrorist groups with separatist movements in this area, which undermines international peace and security.

Several experts and international think tanks have repeatedly underscored the increasingly obvious links and complicity between members of the “polisario” and terrorist organizations operating in the Sahel-Saharan region. Last Friday, the US Department of State announced a reward of up to 5 million dollars for information to identify or locate Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi, war name of Lehbib Ould Ali Ould Said Ould Joumani, leader of the terrorist organization “Islamic State in the Greater Sahara” (ISIS-GS), and former member of the polisario.

The ISIS-GS group claimed responsibility for the October 2017 ambush of a joint US-Nigerian patrol near the village of Tongo Tongo, Niger, which resulted in the death of four US soldiers.

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