Rabat – President of Italy’s Research Institute of Economics and International Politics (IREPI) Domenico Letizia has strongly condemned the “crimes against humanity” perpetrated by the Polisario Front leader, Ibrahim Ghali, and other separatists.
IREPI has issued a statement to condemn the Polisario“summer camps,” held every year for the children.
Letizia warned that Polisario’s summer camps initiative is just “political propaganda,” which contrasts with “moral principle and violates the conventions on the protection of children’s rights.”
IREPI added that children in the camps are “often kidnapped from their families to be trained and enrolled in militia ranks.”
In the statement, Letizia asked whether democratic institutions in Italy are “aware of the accusations of crimes against humanity by the secretary-general of the Polisario, Ibrahim Ghali.”
Several international news outlets reported in 2016 that Ghali is on the most wanted list in Spain. He is subject to a warrant for accusations including torture, genocide, and kidnap.
Letizia also warned that more than 28 members of the Polisario Front are subject to an arrest warrant from Spain for human rights violations and homicide.
The Italian researcher recalled the case of Rossella Urru, who was kidnapped along with two other Spanish aid workers at a refugee camp in Rabouni, Algeria in 2011 by Polisario members.
“The situation of degradation in camp has been denounced by many NGOs such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, France Liberté, US committee for refugees and immigrants, and by the European Parliament,” Letizia said.
Radicalization and Extremism
IREPI also warned that there is a high level of radicalization in the camps, especially among youths. The think tank added that the issue “could represent a serious international security problem.”
In February, Italian media outlet Analisi Difesa published a 13-pages analysis by Anna Rita Palamario, claiming that the Tindouf camps serve as the main source of recruitment for several terror organizations.
The report added that the Tindouf camps in southwest Algeria suffer “serious social conditions.” In the camps thousands of Sahrawis live in alleged unbearable living conditions, furthering “the spread of terrorism in the Sahel-Saharan region.”
Moroccan security services have long warned against the serious situation in Tindouf camps. Head of Morocco’s Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ) Abdelhak El Khiame, said that the Polisario Front should also be considered a terror group in the Sahel region.
The BCIJ managed to identify more than a hundred Polisario Front members who are operating in Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and “they have been involved in attacks in northern Mauritania.”
Letizia concludes her statement, saying: “We are convinced that these initiatives – are an attempt to hide the prevailing suffering in these camps, where we have had the opportunity, even from recent meetings, to learn about the violations of the fundamental rights.”