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Monday, March 4, 2024

UN SG Slams Human Rights Violations in Tindouf Camps

The UN Secretary General, António Guterres, has slammed, in his latest report to the Security Council on the Moroccan Sahara, the deterioration of the human rights situation in the Tindouf camps, noting, for the first time, the recruitment of child soldiers in these camps.

Indeed, Guterres mentioned the report of the Kingdom of Morocco to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, of July 1, 2022, which presents, with evidence, an exhaustive list of gross and systematic violations of human rights, committed by the separatist armed group of “polisario” against vulnerable populations detained in the camps of Tindouf.

In this context, the UN Secretary General cited the example of the continuous restrictions imposed by the “polisario” on the rights to freedom of expression and association. Similarly, he knowingly shed light in this report on the recruitment of child soldiers in the Tindouf camps by the “polisario”.

This confirmation by the top UN official, for the first time, is in addition to the constant calls of the Kingdom of Morocco and the international community to counter the phenomenon of recruitment, enlistment and indoctrination of children, which is carried out with impunity by the militias of the “polisario” in the Tindouf camps.

On the other hand, the UN Secretary General highlighted the excellent cooperation of Morocco with the United Nations human rights mechanisms. In particular, he stressed that the Kingdom has reaffirmed the respect of its obligations regarding civil and political rights, the protection of fundamental freedoms, the development model in the Sahara and the activities of the National Preventive Mechanism against Torture.

Guterres also referred, in his report, to the information provided by the National Human Rights Council to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, on July 25, 2022, on its activities to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms in the southern provinces, including through its regional commissions in Laayoune and Dakhla.

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