The Commission of the European Union responded to a written question from MEP Brice Hortefeux on the funds it sent to the Saharouis.
In his written question, the elected official was concerned about the situation in the Sahel and the Sahara. According to him, it has deteriorated sharply in recent years and now constitutes a threat to regional and international stability. To support his argument, he said that the region “is facing a very worrying proliferation of illicit weapons, smuggling and terrorism. “Some information points to possible connivance between lawless areas under Polisario control and terrorist groups, as the ‘independence movement’ provides arms and logistical support, including fuel, to terrorist groups” , adds the MEP.
Recalling that the links between the Polisario and terrorist groups “are not new”, the founders of the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (EIGS), Abou Walid and Abou al-Sahraoui, being Polisario fighters, Brice Hortefeux asserted that the EU Commission has paid “significant sums to the Saharawi camps controlled by the Polisario. And to wonder: “Does the Commission intend to carry out an audit of the funds intended for the Sahrawi camps, in order to ensure that they only meet humanitarian objectives? What measures will it take to prevent possible cooperation between the Polisario and terrorist groups? »
In response, High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell i Fontelles assures that the EU “finances”, through the Commission, “humanitarian aid provided to Sahrawi refugees exclusively through United Nations agencies and international non-governmental organizations” and that accountability is “essential for the Commission, which carries out regular audits. He also assured that the Commission “regularly organizes monitoring visits to the camps and only funds projects for which a rigorous monitoring system is in place” and the Commission “has not found any evidence of misuse to date. help. »
“The EU remains firmly committed to preserving stability and security in the Sahel and the wider region. It does not have information on a possible collaboration between the Polisario and terrorist groups in the region. The EU will continue to closely monitor the development of the situation,” concludes the senior EU official.
This article is originally published on bladi.net