Swiss Expert Warns of Repercussions of Aid Embezzlement in Tindouf on Peace in Maghreb

The embezzlement of humanitarian aid sent to Tindouf by Algeria and the Polisario separatists represents a “source of conflict” and casts a shadow on peace in the Maghreb, Swiss regional expert on MENA region, Jean-Marc Maillard, said on Monday.

The embezzlement of humanitarian aid “is reflective of a sad reality that can only be a source of conflicts,” he was quoted by Maghreb Arab Press (MAP) as sayong.

While expressing “concerns regarding peace in the Maghreb,” he deplored that the humanitarian aid is perpetrated in full connivance between the “Algerian regime and its polisario henchmen.”

Maillard pointed out to the disclosure of a report by the European Anti-Fraud office (OLAF) which laid bare the “fraudulent diversion” of humanitarian aid by Algeria and the polisario leadership to the detriment of the population held against their will in the camps of Tindouf.

The Swiss expert also raised questions about the repercussions of the fall in oil prices on the Algerian financial resources and its hydrocarbon-based economy, saying that “the opportunist practices, that were denounced in the OLAF report, reflect a lack of vision with regard to the future in the Algerian regime and the impasse in which it is currently trapped.”

The 2007 OLAF report, which was made public last week, slams the Polisario leadership and Algerian authorities for organized embezzlement of aid which is diverted from the port of Oran.