Child Soldiers in Polisario

Several U.S. NGOs, who previously operated in the camps of Tindouf (Southwestern Algeria), have denounced the displacement, by the "polisario", of women and children into the buffer zone of El Guerguerat, a move that betrays the separatist group's intent to use these vulnerable people as "shields" in its hostile acts against Morocco.

"The Polisario continues to transport women and children into the area. One can only surmise the intent is for the "polisario" to provoke a war and use these people as human shields," "Teach the Children International" and several other organizations wrote in a letter addressed to the UN Secretary-General and the UN High Commissioner for refugees.

"This is a deplorable action and condemned by all decent people everywhere. This behavior should be exposed and brought to the attention of the world," they said.

According to these NGOs, "the fact that the polisario would do such a despicable act shows the very nature of their intentions. They do not seek peace but seek the will of their rogue regime. And in so doing, they will use any means and go to any extent to achieve their demands."

"The polisario does not stand alone. They would never make such a bold move to disrupt the Guergarate buffer zone's status quo without Algeria’s backing. For years, the polisario has benefited from Algeria’s support," reads the letter.

Polisario’s actions are a blatant disregard for UN Security Resolutions 2414, 2440, and 2548 as they seek to destabilize an area to instigate conflict, the NGOs underlined.

"Polisario’s illegal actions (...) are obvious acts of aggression intended to disrupting peace in the buffer zone to create a presence in what would ultimately lead to their takeover of the area in their false attempt to claim the territory," they warned.

The signatories of the letter also stressed that Morocco has constantly ensured that the requirements of transparency in its cooperation with the United Nations were met. The Kingdom, whose sovereignty over the area is indisputable, voluntarily withdrew from the area in 1991 for the UN to create this buffer, they said.

According to the NGOs, there are reports of the 'polisario' robbing, provoking, and physically and verbally harassing innocent travelers who must travel the road out of necessity.

"These actions demonstrate the polisario intends to provoke to create a hostile environment. They make a defiant statement to the international community," the same source added.

The "polisario" overtook the only road connecting Morocco with Mauritania and thereby deprive decent working people the right to earn their living, the NGOs warned.

The international organizations also reaffirmed that they "stand with Morocco," while applauding the UN’s and Morocco’s efforts "to quell this situation to restore peace where those engaged in commerce and civilian travel on the road through the buffer zone once again feel safe."