Algeria Refuses to Give License to Truck Drivers with Humanitarian Aid

Rabat – Algerian authorities are refusing to grant permits to truck drivers delivering humanitarian aid from Spain to Sahrawis in the Tindouf camps.Pro-Polisario news outlet Futuro Sahara reported on Wednesday, August 14, that some families “complained about the delay in the arrival of gifts and humanitarian aid coming from Spain.”Humanitarian aid is traditionally sent by Spanish families and members of the Sahrawi community  to the Sahrawi residents of the Tindouf camps before Eid Al Adha. The news outlet reported that truck drivers arrived in the Ghazaouet Port in Algeria on August 1.The truck drivers, however, were not able to deliver the humanitarian aid on time. Algerian authorities are withholding the license, meaning that the drivers have been stuck at the port since August 1.Read Also: Sahrawis Continue Protests Against Polisario’s Oppression, Arbitrary Detention of Activists“The bus drivers spent [ Eid Al Adha] holiday at the Algerian port of Ghazaouet away from their families.”The drivers, according to Futuro Sahara, have all the official licenses granted by the “Sahrawi institutions.”“It became necessary to contact the Algerian Foreign Ministry to find a solution to this ongoing issue.”Throughout the year, Sahrawis have been protesting against lack of freedom of movement.The embezzlement of funds and humanitarian aid has been an ongoing issue in the camp. It remains to be seen whether this shipment of aid will reach the families in the Tindouf camps..Dozens of Sahrawis have been condemning malnutrition in the camps, expressing surprise at finding donated merchandise on display in Algerian shops.In February, The president of the Canary Sahrawi Forum, Miguel Angel Ortiz, condemned Polisario’s embezzlement of aid corruption in an opinion piece published by  La Provincia.The  author said that a new scandal broke within the Tindouf camps following the misappropriation of some €2.5 million of humanitarian aid from the international community for Sahrawis living in Tindouf camps. read more