The lawlessness and chaos prevailing in the polisario-controled Tindouf camps in southwestern Algeria pose a serious threat to the security and stability of neighboring countries and the entire region, international experts warned.
Meeting in a virtual panel on human rights in Algeria’s Tindouf camps, organized on the sidelines of the ongoing 50th session of the Human Rights Council, the experts drew attention to the situation of insecurity and systematic violations of human rights in the camps of Tindouf, a closed field that evades any international control. They stressed that the responsibility for these violations falls mainly on the host country, Algeria.
The panel highlighted by the adoption of a communiqué in which the participants “express their deep concern about the increasing violations committed against the population of the camps of Tindouf, by the polisario and the Algerian security forces.”
During the debates moderated by the Chairperson of IOPDHR, Aicha Douihi, lawyer and human rights defender, Naoufel Bouamri, described the camps population’s general discontent, frustration, terror and uncertainty due to insecurity, repression and inhumane practices of the Polisario militias against these populations squared in the middle of the desert in the camps of Tindouf, in a bid to stifle, by all means, the protest and popular anger, in defiance of the charters and rules of international humanitarian law.
In the same vein, the president of the International Center for Diplomacy, Karima Ghanem, denounced the refusal of the polisario and Algeria to cooperate with the United Nations mechanisms on the subject of enforced disappearances, abductions, extrajudicial executions, torture in detention centers and other cruel, inhuman or degrading practices in the Tindouf camps.
She criticized, in this sense, the attitude of the Algerian regime which opposes the census of the population of the camps of Tindouf, despite the requests made to this effect by the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees and the resolutions of the Security Council on this issue.
For his part, the researcher in business law, Badr Zaher Al Azrak, noted that the Tindouf camps are “in reality areas of forced military recruitment where the armed militias of the polisario sequester a civilian population, with the complicity of the Algerian state.”
Professor of political science, Mohammed Al-Zahrawi, denounced the evasion of Algeria of its international responsibility towards the Tindouf camps population.
In this regard, he noted that these camps escape the criteria for classification as refugee camps, especially in view of the lack of a census of inhabitants, in addition to their military character, in total contradiction with the terms of the Geneva Convention on refugees.
Other speakers, including Noureddine Oubad, president of the NGO PDES, and experts in human development and human rights, Matteo Dominici and Damien Reggio, called for intervention to end the plight of the people of the Tindouf camps, who are deprived of their most basic rights, including the right to travel, expression and work, in violation of the charters of the United Nations and procedures of the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees.