Sahara: James Inhofe’s approach dismantled by a humanitarian and an expert

About 20 American senators led by Republican James Inhofe and Democrat Patrick Leahy sent an open letter to United States President Joe Biden urging him to reverse the decision taken by his predecessor Donald Trump to recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over the Sahara.

“The abrupt decision of the previous administration taken on December 11, 2020 to officially recognize the Kingdom of Morocco’s illegitimate claims of sovereignty over Western Sahara lacked insight, undermined decades of consistent US policy, and alienated significant numbers. by nations African “, they said in their letter shared on the social network Twitter by Jim Inhofe.

“We respectfully urge you to reverse this ill-advised decision and to re-engage the United States to pursue a self-determination referendum for the Saharawi people of Western Sahara”, they called. We hope to be able to count on you to be a partner in this effort ”, conclude the senators after a lot of circumstantial blablas. Not here, the idea of ​​recalling that Jim Inhofe is an American lobbyist pro-Algeria and Polisario, whose monthly payments are counted in thousands of dollars.

Only here, at the same time, the American NGO “Teach the Children International” (TCI) a non-profit organization based in Tulsa in Oklahoma stronghold of Inhofe and which helps children at risk in the United States and the United States. foreigner and works with refugee communities around the world, through the voice of its president and founder Nancy Huff, questioned the American senator, James Inhofe, on his support for the Polisario.

We must come back to reason she writes ” even as its leaders continue to make decisions that perpetuate the ordeal endured by the populations sequestered in the Tindouf camps for more than 45 years.

Also in her letter to the Republican Senator, the president of the NGO, highlights the various reasons that encouraged her to express her full support for the autonomy plan presented by the Kingdom, calling on the representative of the State of the ‘Oklahoma to do the same. ” I have a personal connection to this question Nancy Huff writes.

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“For seven years, at the request of the Polisario, I facilitated the shipment of sea containers of food and medical containers to the Tindouf camps managed by the Polisario. These camps located in Algeria are populated by ethnic Sahrawis, who claim the Sahara as their home. My experience in administering this aid has left me convinced that the Polisario is doing very little to help these Sahrawis in the camps and that the best hope for the inhabitants of this region is the Moroccan administration of the Sahara. “.

And back up his words ” The Polisario controls all humanitarian aid intended for the Tindouf camps. Much of the aid I send in the form of wheelchairs, medical supplies and food never reaches the Tindouf camps, let alone the people who live there ”.

In the same vein, she continues: “For the Polisario, keeping this region as it is is good policy – it means decades of more conflict and controversy, which keep the Saharawis in limbo while the separatist rulers prosper “.

The activist also returns to the exploitation by the Polisario leaders of the Saharawi youth for their own ends. Nancy Huff also evokes the proven diversion of humanitarian aid dedicated to the sequestered populations in the Tindouf camps in southwest Algeria. Facts demonstrated in a 2015 report by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).

He reported the diversion of large quantities of humanitarian aid intended for the populations of the Tindouf camps, from the port of Oran under the good indulgence of the Algerian generals and the leaders of the Polisario. The aid was subsequently channeled into the black market. To these calamities Nancy Huff opposes the all-out development of the southern provinces of the Kingdom and living conditions worthy of the inhabitants of the Moroccan Sahara.

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Morocco has invested billions of dollars in Western Sahara and transformed the once nomadic desert into prosperous cities. I spoke with Sahrawis who live in Western Sahara, who told me about the freedom and prosperity of living in the region. This is a distinct difference from the camps run by the Polisario – where the person suffers under the leadership of leaders who only have their personal interests at heart. », She concludes.

For his part, the American political scientist, Robert Satloff, a reference in matters of Arab-Muslim world policy and United States policy in the Middle East, expressed his strong disagreement with Jim Inhofe’s thesis.

“I think this is the wrong approach to the Sahara issue,” responded on Twitter the executive director of the Washington Institute for Policy in the Middle East.

According to him, “there is no contradiction between the recognition of the sovereignty of Morocco and the support for the mediation of the UN to reach a negotiated resolution” of this regional dispute, contrary to the allegations of the senator who s he was made, for years, the mouthpiece of Algeria and the separatists.

And to stress that “moreover, senators who criticize Trump’s renunciation of his predecessor’s commitment to the nuclear deal with Iran should think twice before urging Joe Biden to renounce the pledge. of his predecessor to recognize the sovereignty of Morocco over the Sahara ”.

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