High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Vice-President of the European Commission Josep Borrell denied allegations made by Morocco about “the recruitment of children soldiers” by the Polisario Front in the region of Tindouf, stressing that “respect for human rights is a key component of relations between the European Union (EU) and Algeria.”
“The European External Action Service (EEAS) and the European Commission closely monitor the situation of human rights in Algeria, particularly in the region of Tindouf, and have not been informed of the recruitment of children soldiers by the Polisario Front or their participation in military parades,” said Borell in a written response to a pro-Moroccan MP on behalf of the European Committee.
The EEAS is “however ready to inquire if substantive information or evidence are brought to its attention,” he continued.
The EU official recalled that “human rights are a key component of the EU’s foreign policy and its dialogue with partner countries, and EU delegations constantly monitor them.”
“Respect for human rights is enshrined in the Algerian Constitution and is also a key component of relations between the EU and Algeria as evidenced by the Association Agreement and as confirmed by the priorities of our partnership,” said Borell.
Regarding respect for human rights in occupied Western Sahara, UN human rights experts have recently confirmed the systematic and widespread human rights violations perpetrated by Morocco against the Sahrawi people in the occupied territories.