In his recent visit to the to the Tindouf camps and the Sahara, Christopher Ross, the Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary-General, is reported to have refused to meet with Sahrawi protesters, who had been demonstrating against the Polisario Front before the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (HCR).

On Sunday, MWN received a statement from the Forum of Support for the Autonomists of Tindouf (FORSATIN), which said that “Tindouf camps in Algerian territory are being impacted by protests and mass demonstrations led directly by the population” against the Polisario, who allegedly violated the refugees’ rights.

Protesters in the Tindouf Camps had been demonstrating before the HCR while awaiting the arrival of the UN’s Personal Envoy, who was expected to begin negotiations with the Polisario leadership after his meeting with the Algerian Prime Minister last Tuesday January 21, to address the situation in the region.

However, upon his arrival, Mr. Ross refused all requests for meetings with the Sahrawi protesters, who have been calling for the improvement of their living condition in the camps.

According to Le Forum de Soutien au Autonomistes de Tindouf (Forum of support for the autonomists in Tindouf), knowsn by its French acronym as FORSATIN, the protesters had expelled the chief of the Polisario militias, who is said to be a relative of the Polisario leader, Mohamed Abdelaziz.

According to news portal Yabiladi, the group of protesters against Polisario Front also included high-ranking officials, one of whom is Abderrahman Zeidou, who is in charge of the Secretariat of Public Service. Zidou has allegedly submitted his resignation to Mohamed Abdelaziz earlier last week.

In the same context, Mustapha Salma, a former commander of the Polisario Front, had sent a personal letter to Christopher Ross, in an attempt to seek relief for his family. Mustapha Salma was separated from his family by the Polisario Front for speaking in favor of the Moroccan autonomy plan.