Morocco is particularly concerned over the situation in the Tindouf camps concerning the transfer by the host country of its powers to a non-state and separatist actor, on its territory, thus maintaining an unprecedented situation in international law, said on Wednesday Permanent Representative of Morocco to the United Nations Office in Geneva Ambassador Omar Zniber.
Speaking at a meeting on the "Update on the operations by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the Middle East and North Africa", within the framework of the 77th meeting of the Standing Committee on the UNHCR Program, Zinber once again denounced the militarization of the Tindouf camps, in violation of the conclusions of this committee stipulating that the host countries assume the responsibility of ensuring the civil and humanitarian aspect of asylum.
Regarding the number of the population in captivity in the Tindouf camps, and despite the existence of reports refuting the biased official figures put forward by Algerian authorities, in particular the UNHCR press release of September 28, 2018, "the representative of the host country persists in providing random, fictitious and exaggerated figures, which are politically motivated and at odds with the humanitarian nature of discussions within the Standing Committee," noted the Moroccan diplomat.
In this context, it is important to emphasize that the only figures to be considered will result from the formal census of this population according to the standards and criteria established by the UNHCR thanks to its long experience and its practice in this field, he said.
Morocco reiterates its calls on the UNHCR to conduct a census of this population, in accordance with its mandate and in conformity with the relevant Security Council resolutions, taking into account that a headcount improves the integrity of UNHCR operations by reducing the risk of fraud and embezzlement, he added.
During this meeting, Zniber recalled the relevant efforts of Morocco in the management of the migration issue, noting that the Kingdom made last year significant efforts in terms of dismantling trafficking networks of migrants and foiling attempts of illegal migration, in addition to rescue operations for migrants in distress at sea.