Centre-Rgional-dInvestissment-de-Layoune-925x430-696x324 Sahrawi NGOs highlighted to the President of the UN Security Council the heavy record of "polisario" in terms of human rights violations. - Embassy of Morocco in South Africa | Embassy of Morocco in South Africa

Some 1,028 NGOs from the regions of Laâyoune-Sakia El Hamra and Dakhla-Oued Eddahab sent a letter to the President of the UN Security Council, Ambassador Abdou Abarry, in which they drew attention to the heavy record of the "polisario" and Algeria in terms of human rights violations, while underlining the "normal aspect" of the human rights situation in the southern provinces of the Kingdom. 


"Algeria and the +polisario+ both have a heavy record in terms of mass violations of human rights and human dignity as well as the immoral and despicable manipulation of the suffering of our sisters and brothers captivated" in the Tindouf camps in Algeria, said the Sahrawi NGOs which are active in the fields of human rights and development in the Moroccan Sahara.


Those held captive in Tindouf are used by the "Polisario" and its sponsor, Algeria, as "tools of political blackmail, which deprives these two parties of any credibility" in the matter, added these non-governmental organizations in this letter.


"As Sahrawi organizations operating freely on their soil and in their country, Morocco, we underline the normal nature of the human rights situation in the Moroccan Sahara", they said, noting that they are working "in a promising context and that we also have an area of freedom governed by an evolving and credible legal and institutional framework".


They also expressed their "deep concern" and "firm condemnation" of the "deplorable conditions of our brothers and sisters in the Tindouf camps in Algeria, where tens of thousands of innocent civilians have been in an abnormal situation for more than four decades, in places which are beyond any real legal scope of protection, in the absence of conditions or guarantees to ensure to these besieged populations the preservation of their dignity and their rights".


The presidents of these NGOs regretted the fact that the populations of Tindouf are left at the mercy of "an irresponsible armed group who is itself a hostage of objectives and plans which exclusively serve the interests of Algeria, guilty and accomplice of this terrible human tragedy", deplored the presidents of these NGOs.


While describing this situation as an "anomaly", these NGOs recalled that in July 2018, the HRC expressed its concern over Algeria's contempt for its obligations and responsibilities in accordance with the requirements of international human rights and international humanitarian law, by placing its judicial powers in the hands of the "polisario".


The HRC also expressed concern about the inability of Sahrawis, victims of human rights violations in the Tindouf camps, to access justice in the courts of the state party, the letter added.
The Sahrawi NGOs pointed out that the testimonies of Sahrawi survivors have reported thousands of victims following summary and extrajudicial executions, arbitrary arrests and enforced disappearances, torture and rape, which have affected men, women and even children by the separatist militias.

In addition, they denounced the adoption by the "polisario", just like its Algerian sponsor, of a contradictory approach on the question of human rights, which they use for political ends and see it only as a tool of propaganda and pressure to promote their separatist project.


While spreading an offensive propaganda against Morocco and promoting false allegations on the human rights situation in the Moroccan Sahara, the "polisario" and Algiers paradoxically refrain from providing the most basic data on the situation of human rights in the Tindouf camps.
Should we believe that Algeria and the Polisario are more aware than us, the NGOs working in the field and living with the Sahrawi population, of the human rights situation in the Moroccan Sahara? they wondered.


They noted that "all these elements are irrefutable proof that the attitude of Algeria and the Polisario vis-à-vis the question of human rights is mainly motivated by propaganda considerations and political pressure in the context of the regional conflict over the Moroccan Sahara". These 1,028 human rights organizations noted that they are engaged in close and constructive interaction with the National Human Rights Council (CNDH), as a national institution in full compliance with the Principles of Paris and which has regional commissions operating in the field.
Indeed, the CNDH and its regional branches "support our work to promote the enjoyment by all citizens of their rights", they explained, highlighting the positive interaction with their national, local and regional officials and their sincere will to promote and protect human rights.


The letter regretted that the other parties to the conflict "do not hesitate to multiply the attempts to destabilize our southern provinces by manipulating some of our young people to push them into a violent confrontation with the security forces, so that they can use them in sordid media campaigns exploiting the freedom of expression and movement inside and outside the country - without any obstacle - enjoyed by all Sahrawis in their country, Morocco".


The NGOs drew the attention of the President of the Security Council to the fact that "some of our brothers supporters of the +polisario+ in the Moroccan Sahara move freely abroad with Moroccan passports and organize activities hostile to the Kingdom before returning to Morocco without any problem". They asked in this context: "How many opponents from inside the Tindouf camps have had this same luck?"


These non-governmental organizations noted that the reality on the ground cannot be measured by propaganda or the proliferation of false allegations to influence or even deceive public opinion.
"In this regard, and given our closeness to the reality on the ground and the feelings of local society, we can assure you that there is a broad and firm conviction that the interests and future of the peoples of the region go through the strengthening of unity and national links as well as the achievement of integration and complementarity between the peoples and countries of the Maghreb", they pointed out.
"The time is now for mediation, conciliation and reunification of our families," they insisted, expressing their firm support for the autonomy plan presented by the Kingdom, considered as the one and only solution capable of putting an end to this artificial conflict between brothers and guarantee dignity and freedom for all Sahrawis.


In addition, the presidents of the NGOs expressed their "satisfaction" with the anticipatory and effective approach adopted by the public authorities for the management of the Coronavirus pandemic.
"We warmly welcome the sustained efforts made by the national authorities as well as the wise and effective measures taken to protect our citizens throughout the national territory and in particular in our southern provinces", they underlined.


They also expressed their "astonishment" and "condemnation" of the slanderous allegations by "the Polisario" aimed at manipulating the pandemic to promote its false propaganda, while it should deal with the dire situation prevailing in the Tindouf camps in Algeria.