Geneva-based NGO alerts to legal anarchy in Tindouf Camps

A Geneva-based NGO has alerted to the legal anarchy prevailing in the Tindouf camps in Southwestern Algeria, where thousands of sahrawis live in dire conditions in tents or mud houses and depend mainly on international aid.

The NGO, “Promotion du Développement Économique et Social” (PDES), pointed out in its statement at the General Debate on the Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to the 55th session of the Human Rights Council (HRC), that Algeria still refuses to recognize the inhabitants of the Tindouf camps as refugees and to implement the rights arising from its obligations under the Convention and Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees to which it is a signatory.

The population of Tindouf remains “refugees without a refugee card and a census, living in camps with a military character, contrary to the Geneva Refugee Convention, which stipulates that the civilian character of the camps must be maintained,” PDES pointed out.

The NGO explained that the “polisario” leadership continues to run the camps in place of the host country, Algeria, in violation of the rules of international law and away from international scrutiny, as “monitoring operations are at best sporadic or partial and cannot fully uncover the systematic pattern of serious human rights violations committed against the inhabitants of the camps.”—&gpp_sid=-1&client=ca-pub-8553985369607280&output=html&h=280&adk=3879918379&adf=3585290953&pi=t.aa~a.1819290674~i.6~rp.4&w=730&fwrn=4&fwrnh=100&lmt=1709718918&num_ads=1&rafmt=1&armr=3&sem=mc&pwprc=5457628846&ad_type=text_image&format=730×280&

In a statement delivered by human rights activist Aicha Douihi, the NGO also drew attention to the fact that the UN Special Procedures have been unable to visit the Tindouf camps “despite the recommendations we made in this regard in the reports we submitted to them on the occasion of their visit to the host country, Algeria.”

Douihi also called on the High Commissioner for Human Rights “to send technical commissions to the Tindouf camps in South-Western Algeria, to observe the serious violations and abuses, the recurrence of violence, and the alarming lack of security.”

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