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Customs in Mauritania and Algeria impose strict regulations on Sahrawis in the Tindouf camps

Authorities in Algeria and Mauritania have been imposing strict regulations on Sahrawi merchants and NGOs wishing to enter the Tindouf camps for humanitarian reasons.

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The trucks of Sahrawi merchants stuck in Bir Moghrein in Mauritania./Ph. Futuro Sahara

Sahrawi merchants were prevented from leaving Bir Moghrein, a city in northern Mauritania, by the country’s customs, reports pro-Polisario online newspaper Futuro Sahara on Monday.

Speaking to the same source, these merchants who were carrying goods in their trucks were forced to pay an «enormous» amount of money in order to leave the area and deliver their merch.

According to Futuro Sahara, the Sahrawi merchants refused to pay the unexpectedly «heavy taxes» and were forced to stay in the city’s border crossing as a result. «The Sahrawi merchants believe that it is illegal and unfounded to pay these taxes», stressed the same source.

Sahrawi merchants trucks that have been prevented from leaving Bir Moghrein in Mauritania./Ph. Futuro SaharaSahrawi merchants trucks that have been prevented from leaving Bir Moghrein in Mauritania./Ph. Futuro Sahara

The merchants who are expected to join the Tindouf camps, have official licenses to pass through the Mauritanian territory, recalled Futuro Sahara.

Humanitarian aid to the camps

On the same day, Futuro Sahara reported that a Podemos member alongside a humanitarian group, composed of 21 people, have been stopped at the Oran port by the Algerian authorities. The group was on its way to the Tindouf camps for a humanitarian operation targeting Sahrawis.

The Spanish group has been prevented from entering the Algerian territory since Saturday, 27th of October. According to the same source, the Spanish nationals are expected to receive a permit from the Algerian Foreign Affairs Ministry to enter the Polisario camps.

Members of the Soanish humanitarian group stuck at the Oran port in Algeria./Ph. Futuro SaharaMembers of the Soanish humanitarian group stuck at the Oran port in Algeria./Ph. Futuro Sahara

During the same month, authorities in Algeria have been imposing strict regulations on humanitarian aid sent to the Polisario Front. Last week, the Front’s representative in the Iberian country, Khaira Boullahi, and the president of the «Sahrawi Red Crescent», Bouhbini Yahia, gave their instructions to different sections of the Polisario to reject all the aid sent through express delivery companies by Spanish NGOs to the camps.

The decision was taken to preserve the interests of some influential figures in both Rabouni camps and Algeria. The small express delivery trucks have done serious harm to their activities, knowing that aid is now sent directly to Sahrawi associations, hospitals and schools. In addition to that, photos are taken when these aid supplies are delivered as a proof of transparency.

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