Sahrawi refugees: Supposed “misuse” of humanitarian aid clearly denied by EU

Brussels, 13 July 2020 (SPS) - Algeria’s ambassador to Brussels Amar Belani denounced Saturday the disinformation campaign led by the Moroccan media on the so-called “misuse of the European humanitarian aid granted to Sahrawi refugees, noting that these unfounded allegations were clearly denied by EU’s top officials in charge of the file.

“The Moroccan media and their satellite media relays are leading for weeks an enraged disinformation campaign aimed at making the public opinion believe that the humanitarian aid granted by the European Union to the Sahrawi refugees was misused by the Polisario Front and our country,” said Belani in a reply to a question by APS on the campaign led by the Moroccan media outlets.

“These baseless allegations, reiterated recurrently since 2015 by this country’s diplomats and their relays in the European Parliament (notably right wing MPs) and which shouldn’t remain unanswered, it is necessary to point out the following facts, as emphasize the official statements of EU’s top officials in charge of this file, notably the official responses of the different officials asked about this issue,” said Belani.

Among these officials, there is European Commissioner for Crisis Management Januz Lenarcic who underlined on 2 July 2020 in a reply to Euro-MP Dominique Bilde that “concerning the misuse of the humanitarian aid, I want to assure you that we have strong guarantees on site.”

“I can assure you that our guarantees are robust enough to avoid any misuse of EU’s aid,” he added.

For her part, former European Commissioner for Budget Kristalina Georgieva underlined, in a debate before the Committee on Budgetary Control of the European Parliament, held on 24 March 2015, that “the accusations of misusing EU humanitarian aid for the Sahrawi refugee camps in Tindouf are unfair, notably following the robust measures taken by the European Committee.”

For his part, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said in his reply on 27 April 2016 to a question “that it is not up to the EU to conduct a census on the refugees” adding that “this issue should be examined as part of a process led by the United Nations.” (SPS)

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