After having denied the existence of positive Covid-19 cases in the Tindouf camps, the Algerian regime and the Polisario now admit the situation is “critical”, calling for an emergency international aid for the Sahrawis sequestered in these camps where the spread of the coronavirus pandemic is making things worse.
Through its official news agency, Algeria, which is battered by a deep economic and political crisis, has called lately on the international community to send urgently food aid to the Tindouf camps.
According to Yahya Bouhoubeini, a Polisario member and Head of the Algerian Red Crescent chapter in Rabouni, the Polisario has received only 20 pc of the food aid needed, increasing the pressure on their food stockpile which will be gone in three months, while some basic commodities are no longer available.
But what is most striking about the latest international appeal launched by Algiers through its state-run news agency is that this time it cites the coronavirus pandemic and recognizes the presence of covid-19 in the Tindouf camps in Algeria, requiring an urgent aid from the international community.
“We appeal, once again, to donor countries for rapid delivery of aid against the coronavirus pandemic which has now reached the refugee camps”, because the situation “requires many measures and precautions, and we desperately need these contributions and donations at this very critical time”, the Polisario member told Algerian News Agency.
However, Algeria has always denied the existence of Covid-19 cases in the camps and has even repeatedly belied the remarks of Polisario leaders, who confirmed lately positive cases that were identified two months ago.
After months of denial, the Polisario and Algerian rulers have changed their mind and stand regarding the epidemiological situation in the Polisario-controlled camps. They think that they can use the coronavirus as a tool to get more humanitarian assistance after the EU had decided to reduce its aid to these camps following the release by EU anti-fraud office (OLAF) of a report confirming the embezzlement of humanitarian aid by Polisario leaders and Algerian officials.