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Europe

At the UN, Morocco exposes human rights violations in the Tindouf camps

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In response to the fallacious allegations of the Algerian representative regarding the situation of human rights At Moroccan Sahara and its biased reference to the inclusion of human rights monitoring mechanisms in the mandate of the MINURSO during the general debate of the Commission on peacekeeping operations, Mouna OuazzaniAdvisor to the Permanent Mission of Morocco to the United Nations, stressed that Algeria’s insistence on raising the issue of the Moroccan Sahara among all the other points discussed within this Commission, demonstrates that this country is indeed a main party to this conflict created from scratch.

Citing official data from the Department of Peace Operations of theUNthe speaker indicated that Algeria does not contribute in any way to UN peacekeeping operations.

“No blue helmet. No blue berets. No contribution other than two experts on mission,” she noted, stressing that “it is not, however, the personnel or the resources that are lacking on the Algerian side, but the political will and confidence in the role of the “UN in the maintenance of peace and security”.

Inviting Algeria to be careful not to interfere in the debates on an issue to which it hardly contributes and of which it does not understand the stakes, the Moroccan diplomat made a point of recalling that the mandates of peacekeeping missions are defined by the Security Council.

“In the specific case of the MINURSO mandate, the Security Council reaffirmed its position and that of the international community earlier this week, with the adoption of resolution 2703, which not only does not call for the implementation in place of any human rights monitoring mechanism, but welcomes the measures and initiatives taken by Morocco to ensure the promotion and protection of human rights in its Sahara, as well as the interaction of the Kingdom with the special procedures of the United Nations Human Rights Council,” she explained.

Stressing that the human rights situation in the Moroccan Sahara is much better than in Algeria and in its Tindouf camps, the speaker challenged the Algerian delegation to answer the following question: “If your country is really concerned about the promotion and protection of human rights, why not only does it do nothing to improve the situation in the Tindouf camps, of which it is the host country, as requested by the Security Council, but continues to violate the fundamental human rights of populations held against their will in these camps?”

She continued by asking “why does this country allow an armed group the “Polisario” to recruit children among these populations? Why does he authorize the abuses, sexual abuse and rape against women and girls in the camps by the leaders of the separatist group, including the so-called Brahim Ghali? Why does his army commit extrajudicial and summary executions against these populations? Why does he allow the arrest and torture of dissidents from the corrupt “Polisario” leadership in the camps?”

She also asked “why does Algeria still refuse to register the populations of the Tindouf camps, in violation of Security Council resolutions and the provisions of international humanitarian law and why does it continue? Is she with the “Polisario” to steal and divert humanitarian aid intended for populations sequestered in these camps, as highlighted by the World Food Program in its January 2023 report?”

“Worse still, why did Algeria, in violation of the norms and provisions of international law, in particular the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, devolve its sovereignty and its prerogatives, including its jurisdictional powers, to the “ polisario” in the Tindouf camps, thus depriving the victims of the violations of any possibility of recourse to justice to seek reparation and prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes?”, added the diplomat.

For her, the answer to all these questions is clear and simple: “Not only does Algeria not care about human rights, but it is unfortunately one of the worst countries that violate them”.

Recalling that the human rights situation in Algeria is a “black stain” in the history of the United Nations, the speaker indicated that in September 2023, the UN special rapporteur on rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association, Clément Voule, said: “urgent attention must be paid to the current situation of legal restrictions and legal proceedings against individuals and associations in Algeria”.

In February 2023, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Mary Lawlor, expressed concern about the increasing repression against civil society by the Algerian authorities, following the dissolution of important associations for the defense of human rights in Algeria, added the diplomat.

She also recalled that in March 2022, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, reiterated, in her oral statement to the Human Rights Council, her serious concerns about human rights violations. Man by the Algerian authorities, indicating: “In Algeria, I am concerned by the increasing restrictions on fundamental freedoms, including the increase in arrests and detentions of human rights defenders”.

In September 2022, the Working Group on Forced or Involuntary Disappearances criticized Algeria for its serious human rights violations. Indeed, Algeria stands out by appearing in the top 3 countries with the most forced disappearances, she recalled.

Still in response to the fallacious allegations of the Algerian delegation regarding the Moroccan Sahara, Ms. Ouazzani affirmed that this issue is not a matter of decolonization but of completing the territorial integrity of Morocco, definitively sealed and recognized by the UN. through the Madrid Agreement, deposited with the Secretary General of the UN on November 18, 1975.

She also stressed that the referendum, “which the Algerian delegation never ceases to dream of”, is definitively dead and buried, noting that the Security Council has no longer mentioned it in its resolutions for the last two decades.

“The only solution to the question of the Moroccan Sahara can only be the realistic, pragmatic, lasting political solution based on compromise, in this case the Moroccan autonomy initiative whose seriousness and credibility, including in its latest resolution 2703,” she insisted.



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