Algeria deletes Polisario dissidents from Ross’s agenda

ross-in-marocIf Christopher Ross was not allowed to meet with Polisario dissidents in Tindouf, it was because of the strong opposition of Algerian officials who wanted to avoid a precedent, according to an informed source in the Sahrawi camps.

The UN mediator in the Western Sahara conflict, currently on a visit to the Polisario-run Tindouf camps, was forced to limit his agenda to a minimum. The Algerian military intelligence services (DRS), which have the upper hand in the Sahrawi camps in Tindouf, deleted from Christopher Ross’s program any meeting with the Sahrawi opposition.

Algerian rulers and Polisario leaders fear that the UN Secretary General’s personal envoy be influenced by the Sahrawi opponents’ accusations against Mohamed Abdelaziz and his cronies, the source said.

The opponents’ accusations are countless, starting with the scandal of the international humanitarian aid misappropriation by Polisario leaders and Algerian officials. The revelations on the diversions made early February by OLAF, the European Anti-Fraud Office, were so detailed and documented that those involved could not find any argument to defend themselves.

In addition, the recurrent protests taking place in the Tindouf camps are another subject matter that the opponents to the Polisario and to Algerian officials could have brought up with Ross, the source said.

The dissident movement khat Achahid made a lot of noise in 2014. His chief Mahjoub Salek, a former Polisario leader, repeatedly denounced the worrying situation in the Tindouf camps.

The protest demonstrations in the Tindouf camps staged by Khat Achahid, another opposition association, the Youth Movement for Change, and many other angry Sahrawis have gained in intensity during the past year.

Yet, despite Algeria’s ban, Khat Achahid still hopes that it will meet Christopher Ross during his visit to Mauritania, the last stage of the UN envoy’s current tour in the region, says the same source.


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