ALGIERS- The ambassador of the Sahrawi Democratic Republic (SADR) to Algeria, Bouchraya Hammoudi Bayoune called on the African Union (AU) to invest more in the resolution of the Sahrawi cause, considering that Morocco’s absence from the meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council is “a failure for a first test” following its accession to the African Union.
“The United Nations has still not been able to find a just solution to the Sahrawi conflict, which has been going on for 40 years,” said Bouchraya Hammoudi Bayoune in a press conference organized by the Sahrawi Commission on Human rights.
“The Sahrawi authorities are ready to negotiate again with the Moroccan occupier to get the Sahrawi conflict out of the impasse,” he added. A situation which led the Sahrawi leaders to demand an acceleration of Western Sahara’s decolonization process, said the ambassador.
Bayoune said that the UN Security Council is responsible for the Human Rights violations in Western Sahara and the despoilment of its natural resources because of France’s right of veto that prevents any resolution of the conflict in order to protect its own interests and those of Morocco.
According to the ambassador, the Sahrawi authorities consider that the Sahrawi cause is now an “African” rather than a UN one, which requires an increased involvement of the African Union in the resolution of the conflict.
Considering Morocco’s absence from the AU Peace and Security Council, Bouchraya Hammoudi Bayoune said that it is a “failure” for its first test following its accession to the Pan-African organization, and that is shows its unavailability to cooperate for the resolution of the conflict out of fear of the pressures that the AU could apply.
ADDIS ABEBA- Saharawi Foreign Minister Mohamed Salem Ould Salek said the absence of Morocco at the meeting of the African Union's Peace and Security Council (PSC), held Monday in Addis Ababa, did not prevent the AU from maintaining its positions in favour of the settlement of the conflict of Western Sahara, occupied by Morocco since 1975, Saharawi news agency SPS has reported.
"The absence of Morocco at the meeting, which was the first test, did not prevent the African Union from maintaining its constant position in favour of the end of occupation of Western Sahara," Ould Salek, adding that Morocco's policy is contrary to the goals and principles of the AU.
Morocco's "empty chair" policy, since its adherence to the African Union "as the 55th member, has not prevented the Council from taking decisions relating to the Saharawi cause."
The Saharawi FM, who took part to the PSC meeting alongside the other Council's members, said the absence of Morocco at the African meeting shows Rabat's "stubbornness" as it "escapes its commitment to African joint action, beside the United Nations, for a solution to the conflict of Western Sahara, the last colony in Africa," SPS said.
AU Peace and Security Council's members said "the absence of Morocco in spite of the official invitation it received to attend the meeting is contrary to the statements of King Mohamed VI, at the last AU summit in January."
In his statements, the King of Morocco expressed his country's intention to cooperate, in a constructive manner, with the African Union to achieve peace, security and stability in Africa."
Morocco had committed to abiding by AU Constitutive Act, by virtue of which it must attend such meetings, alongside the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), to respond to the concerns of the African Union PSC members.
The Peace and Security Council, in addition, strongly condemned Morocco's violations in Western Sahara during the opening of the trial of 25 Saharawi political prisoners (Gdeim Izik group).
PRETORIA (South Africa)- South Africa's ruling party African National Congress (ANC) pledges Sunday to make of 2017 a year of support to the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) at the African Union (AU) and to intensify efforts in this respect at both continental and international levels, media reported.
In a document about the party's foreign policy for 2017, which will be presented at the next annual meeting, the ANC stressed that "Western Sahara people's struggle for self-determination and independence will remain one of the party's priorities."
South Africa's ruling party announced the launch of an international campaign to "denounce Morocco's hindrances to the implementation of the resolutions issued by the United Nations and the African Union" in relation to Western Sahara conflict.
The ANC added that "all options are possible, including the isolation of the Moroccan regime."
The African National Congress expressed wish that Morocco's joining of the African Union would "contribute to the intensification of efforts for the decolonization of Western Sahara."
Western Sahara was added in 1966 to the UN list of non-autonomous territories, about which the UN General Assembly issued Resolution 1514 that includes the Declaration on Granting Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.
Western Sahara is the last remaining colony in Africa, as it has been under Moroccan occupation since 1975 with the support of France.
ADDIS ABABA (Ethiopia)- Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal stressed Tuesday, in Addis Ababa, the major advances the African Union (AU) has achieved in all fields, noting the multiple and complex challenges facing the pan-African organization.
In an address he made in his capacity as a personal representative of president of the Republic Abdelaziz Bouteflika, at the ceremony for the handover of positions between the ongoing and incoming members of the African Union Commission, Sellal said the AU is henceforth a "reliable and real partner," which is able to deal with the changes and developments the world is experiencing.
He noted that such advances "would have not been possible without the strong and renewed commitment of the member states."
Sellal also stressed the "quality contribution" and "relentless" efforts made by the member countries for an effective implementation of the decisions taken by African Union bodies.
The prime minister noted "the personal and renewed commitment of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to support Africa's efforts and boost Algeria's contribution to meeting the continent's expectations and major goals, centred on the top priorities of African Union's Agenda 2063 for strategic development.
ADDIS-ABABA (Ethiopia)- Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal took part Tuesday, in Addis Ababa, in a ceremony for the handover of positions between the ongoing and incoming members of the African Union (AU) Commission, in his capacity as the personnel representative of President of the Republic Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who is also deputy chairman of the AU.
The ceremony was attended by a number of heads of state and government, especially of the countries elected on Jan 2017 as members of AU Conference's office, including President Alpha Conde of Guinea, President Mussevini of Uganda and the prime minister of Swaziland.
President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger and many Foreign ministers also attended the ceremony.
During the African Union Summit of January 2017, the heads of state and government elected the former Foreign minister of Chad, Moussa Faki Mahamat, as chairman of the AU Commission, taking over from Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, who had been chairwoman of the commission since 2012.
Algerian ambassador Smail Chergui is the only ongoing AU Commission member to be re-elected chairman of the AU Peace and Security Commission.
ALGIERS- The President of the Republic Abdelaziz Bouteflika assigned Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal to represent him at the works of the first meeting of the Bureau of the conference of the African Union (AU) which will take place Tuesday and Wednesday in Addis-Ababa (Ethiopia) said Monday, the Prime Minister’s office in a communiqué.
This meeting, which takes place following the holding, in January 2017 in the Ethiopian capital, of the 28th Ordinary Summit of the AU and which saw the election of the president of the Republic Abdelaziz Bouteflika as vice-president of the organization “should address the union’s agenda and the agenda of the organization’s upcoming summit scheduled for the end of the first half of 2017 as well as the installation of all the newly elected representatives of various commissions,” said the source.
The minister will be accompanied by the minister of Maghreb Affairs, African Union and the Arab League Abdelkader Messahel.
ALGIERS- Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Security Mohamed El Ghazi has received, Tuesday in Algiers, Oumar Diop, the head of the African Union Commission's delegation, in charge of preparing for the 2nd session of the AU Specialized Technical Committee on Social Development, Labour and Employment, to be held in Algeria from 24 to 28 April.
"We have come here to make of the forthcoming session a successful event for both Algeria and Africa," the AU official told the press following his discussions with El Ghazi.
"All has been set to ensure that the works of the session of the AU Specialized Technical Committee on Social Development, Labour and Employment would be a success," he added.
He said "the Algerian side has made proposals, which will be examined and included in the session's programme," adding "this would enrich the quality of the programme and themes that would be addressed."
"All African countries share the same concerns and same challenges," said Diop, adding that he listened to a presentation given by El Ghazi on Algeria's experience in the sector.
In this regard, he added that the second session in Algeria would be an "opportunity for exhaustive presentation of its extensive experience."
Diop hailed Algeria's efforts, especially through the creation of the National institute of Social Security and through the scholarships granted to students from other African countries.
He added "this kind of contribution to the social and economic development in Africa is very appreciable."
The first session of the AU Specialized Technical Committee on Social Development, Labour and Employment took place in Ethiopia's Addis Ababa in 2015.
ALGIERS- Experts and specialists in international relations affirmed that Morocco needed the African Union (AU) for its weight and its influence on the international scene just as it is confined to international isolation because of its obstinacy that it showed throughout the process of political settlement of the conflict in Western Sahara.
The African Union was founded on intrinsic principles that are the identity of the African people and the history of their fight, said the experts.
In this regard, the professor at the National Higher School of Political Sciences Mohamed Said Mekki said that Morocco has done everything to reintegrate the AU because of its position increasingly vulnerable at the international level particularly concerning the conflict in Western Sahara. “This accession is absolutely normal for geographic considerations,” he said.
“The Western Sahara issue raises growing international interest,” said the expert, underlining that “all the regional and international organizations all over the world became aware of the correctness of the Sahrawi fight. Thus, Morocco finds itself isolated and forced to resort to the African Union, whose influence on the international scene is increasingly strengthened.”
Morocco needs the AU, not the opposite
“Morocco has now become aware that its withdrawal from the Organization of African Unity (OAU), 32 years ago was a mistake that had to be corrected,” said the professor of political sciences at the University of Mostaganem and specialist in African and Strategic studies Absir Ahmed Taleb, adding that “Morocco understood that it can no longer act independently of this continental institution, now more influential at the international level.”
“It is Morocco that needs the AU, not the opposite,” he added.
At the very beginning, Morocco tried to set out conditions as a prelude to its accession to the African Union, to which it finally renounced to sign the constitutive act without reservations “which indicates Morocco’s concern to adhere, at all costs, to this continental body,” he added.
Adoption of AU texts, recognition of Sahrawi Republic
From a legal point f view, Lenouar Faycal, professor of International Law at the Algiers Law School stressed that the adoption of the Constitutive Act of the AU is a sort of recognition of the Sahrawi Republic, a founding member of the AU.
Furthermore, he noted the existence of a contradiction between the content of the AU statuses and the Moroccan Constitution, adding that this contradiction cannot impact the AU action because its actions are governed by the constitutive act and therefore, Morocco is forced to respect the provisions of this law, placed above its internal Constitution.
LONDON (U.K.)- The representative of the Polisario Front in the United Kingdom Mohamed Limam Mohamed Ali said Thursday, in London, that Morocco’s accession to the African Union and the abandonment of the conditions previously issued, and which were the source of its withdrawal in 1984 from the Organization of African Unity, were a “victory for the Sahrawi cause.”
Morocco’s accession to the African Union “following a laborious process without preconditions, is a victory for the Sahrawi (SADR) cause because it recognizes the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, which is a full founding member,” Limam told APS.
LONDON (U.K.)- Morocco’s admission to the African Union (AU) does not change the fact that the Polisario Front, the only legitimate representative of the people of Western Sahara “has already won” by being recognized by the Union, said Wednesday, the director of the Arab Centre for Social and Political Research (CARAPS) based in Geneva (Switzerland), Riadh Sidaoui.
“The Polisario has already won. The fact that it is recognized by the African Union, it is already a victory for the Polisario,” Sidaoui told British Television BBC, from Geneva.
He said that the fact the Morocco re-integrated the AU “will certainly provoke confrontations and clashes between Sahrawi and Moroccan diplomats in debates,” but it will not change the fact that Western Sahara “has already won.”
Furthermore, the BBC also had an interview with the ambassador to the Sahrawi Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sidi Mohammed Omar, who said that Morocco’s return to the African Union will now make it possible to revive the decisions taken by the AU concerning the referendum in Western Sahara.
Sidi Mohammed said that “Morocco cannot change the AU’s position on the Sahrawi issue,” explaining that “a member of the Union cannot unilaterally change the AU’s constitutive act, which is opposed to colonization.
ADDIS ABABA (Ethiopia)- The Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU), who met Monday and Tuesday in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), denounced the “prohibitive and inconsiderate” broadcasting rights of the African Football Cup of Nations, currently taking place in Gabon.
In a motion adopted in the 28th AU Summit, the African leaders denounced and condemned “with utmost firmness and vigour the injustice made to the African youth, as they celebrate one of the most federative events with global impact, the African Football Cup of Nations.”
“Our populations, everywhere in African, are unfortunately unable to watch and live with joy these African moments of jubilation because of the monopolistic position with purely mercantile interests, of the international financial lobbies and powers on the direct control of broadcasting rights,” they said.
The African leaders called for a “law relating to broadcasting conditions of sporting events of major importance, to be adopted at the continental level and at the level of each Member State.”
They also called for measures and actions to be taken “to put an end to the current unfair and discriminatory order of broadcasting rights’ markets on the continent, which deprives the majority of the continent’s youth to watch the competitions.
ADDIS ABABA- The Guinean president and incumbent chairman of the African Union, Alpha Conde paid glowing tribute, Tuesday in Addis Ababa, to President of the Republic Abdelaziz Bouteflika and his unfailing commitment in favour of African causes.
In his closing address of the 28th AU Summit, the Guinean president underlined that Abdelaziz Bouteflika (Algeria's Foreign minister at that time) was the youngest president of the United Nations General Assembly and had greatly contributed, in his position, to the liberation of the African continent and the defence of its just causes.
In this regard, he recalled Abdelaziz Bouteflika's strong support to South Africans under the aegis of the African National Congress, in their struggle against the Apartheid regime.
ADDIS ABABA – Morocco has been admitted to the African Union as its 55th member state on Monday during the works of the 28th AU Summit in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
Morocco left the Organization of Africa Unity (OAU), current AU, to protest against the admission of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) as a full member of the AU.
In a statement to the press, Sahrawi Foreign Minister Mohamed Salem Ould Salek said that "since Morocco has not set a condition and has not expressed reservations on the AU Constitutive Act, we take it seriously and we accept that it joins the AU on the basis of its Constitutive Act."
"The Sahrawi Republic welcomes Morocco, whose seat will be next to SADR's, and all African States, including those which are Morocco's friends, said that they will work so that the Sahrawi Republic and Morocco resolve their conflict," said Ould Salek.
He underlined that there were a "consensus" on Morocco's admission to the AU and on having a seat next to SADR's, adding that this is "a major diplomatic victory for the Sahrawis."
ADDIS ABABA (Ethiopia)- Chadian Moussa Faki Mahamat was elected Monday, in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), as chairman of the African Union Commission during the works of the 28th Conference of Heads of State and Government of the African Union, taking place in the Ethiopian capital.
Mahamat succeeds to South African Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, who was the chairperson of the AU strategic body since 2012, and who did not wish to run for a second mandate.
This election was supposed to be held during the African Union Summit held in July 2016 in Kigali (Rwanda), but it was postponed to the Addis Ababa Summit.
The new chairman of the Commission was up against four other candidates, namely Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed, that of Botswana Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, that of Equatorial Guinea Agapito Mba Mokuy and Senegalese diplomat Abdoulaye Bathily.
Mahamat becomes the 5th personality to be elected to this position after Ivorian Amara Essy (2002-2003), Malian Alpha Oumar Konaré (2003-2008), Gabonese Jean Ping (2008-2012), and South African Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma (2012-2017).
Mahamat, 57, has been minister of Foreign Affairs since 2008.
ADDIS ABABA (Ethiopia)- Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal said Sunday, in Addis Ababa, that the reform process of the African Union (AU) “ is a necessity,” underlining the “particular importance” that Algeria attaches to this process.
“The reform process of the African Union that we decided to entrust to President Kagamé is a necessity. It comes in a particular context, marked by the need to meet integration and development imperatives of Africa, and also the ongoing global changes,” said Sellal in his speech in the meeting of the heads of State and government of the African Union on the issue of the Union’s reform.
The Prime minister underlined the “particular importance” that Algeria attaches to AU’s structural and institutional reform process, reiterating on this occasion Algeria’s “full willingness” to “contribute to its success.”
He also pointed out that President of the Republic Abdelaziz Bouteflika has recently, on two occasions, officially expressed this interest to Rwandan President Paul Kagamé.
For Sellal, the scale of this task (AU’s reform) as well as its implications “calls us to intervene for a better appropriation of this reform process that we hope effective and focusing on addressing real challenges.”
He added that this reform initiative “is not only the prerogative of the State members” but “is incumbent upon our organization’s bodies and mechanisms which are called to make their contribution.”
ADDIS ABABA (Ethiopia)- Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal arrived Saturday afternoon in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), to represent president Abdelaziz Bouteflika at the works of the 28th ordinary conference of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU), scheduled for Monday and Tuesday in the Ethiopian capital.
This 28th summit is held this year under the theme “Harnessing Africa’s Demographic Dividend by Investing in Youth.”
In the same way as the other issues on the agenda, the African Heads of State and Government will also designate a new chairperson for the continental organization, and all the officials of statutory commissions.
During his stay In Addis Ababa, Sellal will be accompanied by the minister of State, minister of Foreign Affairs and international Cooperation Ramtane Lamamra, and the minister of Maghreb Affairs, African Union and the Arab League Abdelkader Messahel.
Lamamra has been in the Ethiopian capital for some days to represent Algeria at the works of the AU Executive Council, preparatory to the Summit.
BRAZZAVILLE- Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal called on Friday, in Brazzaville (Republic of Congo), the African Union (AU) to “get more involved,” alongside the United Nations, in getting the Libyan parties and the international community to support the political process in this country.
“AU, which spared no effort in 2011 to save this brotherly and neighbouring country (Libya) the throes of military intervention in consultations with the neighbouring countries, must get more involved, alongside the United Nations, in getting the Libyan parties and international community to support the political process for the restoration of peace, stability and security in this country,” said Sellal in his speech at the Summit of African Union High-Level Committee on Libya, held in Brazzaville.
In this regard, Sellal who is representing President of the Republic Abdelaziz Bouteflika in this summit, said that the neighbouring countries, whose next meeting, the 11th of its kind, will be held in Algiers, are committed to continuing their efforts to help settling the crisis in Libya and accompany the Libyan parties to reach consensual solutions for a lasting peace and stability in Libya.
“Our meeting takes place at a time when the crisis settlement process in Libya is facing difficulties and deadlocks. It offers the opportunity to assess together the ongoing efforts for the return of peace, security and stability in Libya,” added Sellal.
Sellal said that since the outbreak of this crisis, Algeria “has made a lot of efforts for its settlement and had significantly contributed to the conclusion of the Libyan political agreement in a decisive way by holding several meetings of political parties and Libyan activists.”
He also pointed out that Algeria “has encouraged the rapprochement of the Libyan parties and privileged dialogue and reconciliation, the only guarantors of a lasting peace in this country.”
BRAZAVILLE – African Union High Level Committee on Libya will meet Friday in Brazzaville, in the Republic of Congo, with the participation of its five members in addition to the heads of state and governments of Libya's neighbouring countries, including Algeria.
Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal, who will represent President of the Republic Abdelaziz Bouteflika at the meeting, will be accompanied by Minister of Maghreb Affairs, African Union and Arab League Abdelkader Messahel.
The meeting will also bring together AU and European Union envoys for Libya.
The AU High Level Committee will examine the situation in Libya and means to reach a rapid and consensual solution to the conflict.
The Committee is made up of five countries, namely Mauritania, Niger, Congo, Ethiopia and South Africa and has been expanded, at Algeria's request, to include Libya's neighbouring countries.
In a statement to the press in Algiers few days ahead of the Summit, Messahel underlined the "urgent need for Libya to build strong institutions, especially an army and a government of national accord to combat terrorism and organized crime," adding that "Libyans have the capacity to rebuild their country."
In this regard, Messahel reiterated Algeria's position in favour of the resolution of the Libyan crisis with the respect for the sovereignty of Libya, the non-interference in its internal affairs and the inter-Libyan dialogue.
"Algeria enjoys the trust of the different Libyan parties," said Messahel.
"The political solution to the crisis should not be imposed but should come from Libyans themselves, through an inclusive inter-Libyan dialogue," he added.
ADDIS ABABA- Minister of State, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Ramtane Lamamra met Wednesday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he is taking part in the African Union (AU) many of his African counterparts.
The Algerian policy chief held discussions with the minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Isselkou Ould Ahmed Izid Bih.
The two ministers examined the prospects of boosting cooperation between Algeria and Mauritania in the light of the results of the 18th session of the high joint bilateral commission held in Dec 2016.
They also tackled the different issues on the agenda of the African Union summit.
Lamamra praised Mauritania's contribution and constructive role in the settlement of the crisis in Gambia, through mediation conducted by President Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz.
The economic cooperation and the prospects of stepping up African Union's action at the continental and international level have been on the agenda of the discussions between Lamamra and Angola's Foreign Minister Georges Rebelo Chicoti.
The two ministers stressed the success of the fourth high-level Seminar on Peace and Security in Africa, held last December in Oran (432-km west of Algiers), attended by Angola's foreign minister.
Lamamra and Zimbabwe's minister of Foreign Affairs, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, broached bilateral relations in the light of the implementation of the decisions taken in March 2015, by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and Zimbabwen's Robert Mugabe, during the visit of Zimbabwe's President.
The minister holds talks with Malian Foreign Minister, Abdoulaye Diop, about the implementation of the Peace and Reconciliation Accord in Mali, and which was the outcome of Algiers Process.
ADDIS ABABA- Minister of State, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Ramtane Lamamra has participated Wednesday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in the 30th ordinary session of the African Union Executive Council.
The morning session was devoted to the report of the AU Commission's Chairperson, Nkosavana Dlamini Zuma, on the actions of the African organization in different fields.
In her report, she said that the uncompleted decolonization of Western Sahara was a cause of concern for the AU and the OAU.
"The AU remains committed, through its political and diplomatic efforts, to the peaceful resolution of the conflict, in accordance with the principles of the OAU Charter/the AU Constitutive Act and the United Nations Charter," she added.
Lamamra also participated in the meeting of the ministerial Committee on International Criminal Court (ICC), devoted to the relations between Africa and the ICC.
During the meeting, Lamamra underlined the "significant progress" made thanks to the joint African strong action to make the voice and the legitimate interests of Africa heard.
He also recalled Africa's commitment to fight against impunity and African States' attachment to their independence and their sovereignty as well as the requirement for African solutions to African problems."