Members of the European Parliament (EP) have triggered the official referral mechanism of the EP regarding the diversion of humanitarian aid intended for the populations held against their will in Tindouf.
A draft resolution has been tabled on Thursday denouncing the continuation of this fraud and calling for an audit of European aid diverted by polisario and Algeria.
It recalls that a report by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) published in 2015 "noted the diversion of humanitarian aid granted by the European Union to the polisario, in particular for the purchase of arms." The said aid amounted to EUR 105 million between 1994 and 2004.
The European Parliament resolution also stresses that "Algeria is said to have levied a 5% tax on this aid and to have refused requests for a refugee census made by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in 1977, 2003, 2005 and 2015.”
It therefore calls on the European Union "to work jointly with the United Nations to supervise a census of the refugees in the Tindouf camps in collaboration with the competent authorities in Algeria".
The resolution also urges the EU to audit polisario's use of European humanitarian aid since 2015.
The diversion of humanitarian aid intended for the populations held against their will in Tindouf has come back to the forefront in recent days after the revelation by several media and MPS that this fraud is continuing despite the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The matter was brought last Thursday before the European Parliament Committee on Development (DEVE) at a meeting with European Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic.
Independent investigations and overwhelming testimony have corroborated MEPs' concerns that the fraud continues despite the measures taken by the European Commission.