Polisario: Humanitarian assistance request, maneuver to move Madrid

The Polisario’s recent call to Spain asking for an increase of the humanitarian assistance extended by Madrid to the Sahrawis of the Tindouf camps is a mere political maneuver by the separatist movement, according to well informed sources from Tindouf.
By sounding the alarm as to the food situation in the Tindouf camps, located in south-western Algeria, the Polisario actually tries to attract the Spanish government’s sympathy.
The aloofness of Mariano Rajoy, the head of the Spanish government, towards the Polisario, is still upsetting the Front leaders. Mohamed Abdelaziz had pinned big hopes on the coming to power of the Popular Party last November. He was expecting Mariano Rajoy to reverse the difficult relations the Polisario had had with his predecessor, the socialist José Luis Zapatero. But the calculations of the separatists, which claim, with Algerian support, the independence of Western Sahara, proved to be utterly wrong.

According to the same sources, Madrid’s standpoint is not dictated by juncture considerations, but by long-term strategic interests in the region. So, the Polisario’s call is unlikely to be heeded by the Spanish government, which is familiar with the separatist movement’s tricks. Especially so since Madrid is perfectly aware that the international assistance destined to the Polisario-run Tindouf camps is embezzled to fuel trafficking and other illegal trades.
Polisario leaders and dignitaries have gradually set up structured networks that are entrusted with selling a large part of the international assistance in the markets of Sahel and sub-Saharan African countries. These misappropriations of the international assistance were repeatedly uncovered by the European Commission Humanitarian Office (ECHO) as well as by several other international NGOs.


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