DAKAR (Senegal)- Saharawi Foreign Ministers Mohamed Salem Ould Salek said Morocco has once again failed to prevent the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) from taking part in the African Union-United Nations partnership conference, to take place in Dakar.
The Saharawi policy chief told reporters after the postponement of Dakar's meeting that "Morocco has once again failed to prevent the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic from taking part (in an international conference as an AU member) after its failure in Malabo Summit."
The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) confirmed Sunday the postponement of the African Union-United Nations partnership conference that was due to be held in Dakar.
The ECA has taken the decision after it received the legal opinion of the African Union Commission, which refutes Morocco's allegations and backs the position of the Saharawi Republic.
The UN Economic Commission for Africa received legal arguments from AU Commission and most African bodies that support the participation of the Saharawi Republic as a full member of the African Union.
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.
LUSAKA (Zambia)- Zambia did not withdraw its recognition of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), said the Zambian ministry of Foreign Affairs, bringing an official denial to the information published by the Moroccan Press Agency (MAP), relayed by media.
“The ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to confirm that, contrary to recent Media reports, the visit of the King of Morocco has not resulted in Zambia’s withdrawal of recognition of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic,” said the Zambian ministry in a communiqué, published by Zambia Daily Mail.
Moroccan media attributed to the Zambian minister of Foreign Affairs Harry Kalaba false declarations relating to a so-called “withdrawal of his country’s recognition of the SADR,” following the Moroccan King’s visit to Zambia.
Furthermore, Zambia expressed its support “to the efforts of the United Nations to achieve a final solution to the regional dispute on Western Sahara.”
“In this regard, and as is our renowned tradition, Zambia is willing to effectively contribute, constructively, to these efforts (…)” through an active dialogue engaging the relevant parties (Morocco and the Polisario Front), added the ministry.
In addition, Zambia considers Morocco’s accession to the African Union as “an opportunity for the settlement of the conflict” in Western Sahara in a spirit of dialogue and mutual respect.
SMARA (Saharawi Refugee Camps)- The Saharawi State, 41 years after the proclamation of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), has made big steps in its building and the creation of its political, security and administrative institutions, making of the Polisario Front, the nucleus of the State, an enlightening model among the liberation movements worldwide.
Since 27 February 1976, the date of the proclamation of the SADR and the formation of the first Saharawi government (5 March 1976 in Bir Lahlou, under the presidency of Mohamed Lamine Ould Ahmed), the Saharawi Sate has been making to build and boost its institutions, in prelude to the stage of independence.
The former UN secretary general's visit to Bir Lahlou, in the Saharawi territories liberated in March 2016, and which coincided with the anniversary of the installation of the first SADR government, showed the level of international recognition of the SADR as a State that deserves respect and consideration.
This recognition is the result of Saharawi State's historical commitments in spite of Morocco's policy based on manoeuvring and threats, which are intended for concealing the truth and shirking responsibility.
On the political level, the Polisario Front, as the nucleus of the Saharawi State and the only legitimate representative of Western Sahara people, did not rejected the peaceful options in their struggle for independence, aware of the geostrategic challenges facing the region and the world.
The Saharawi people have adopted such options to show the international community the pertinence of the decisions taken within the Saharawi State institutions.
The SADR, through its choices and decisions, has managed to foil Moroccan occupation's media campaign aiming at smearing the reputation of Saharawi institutions.
SHAHID AL-HAFED (Sahrawi Refugee Camps)- The chairperson of the African Union Commission Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma addressed a message of congratulations to the Sahrawi president Brahim Ghali on the occasion of the proclamation of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), affirming her determination “to strength peace in the region.”
Dlamini-Zuma expressed “her sincere and warm congratulations” to the Sahrawi government and people, adding her wishes for “peace, prosperity and progress.”
She reaffirmed, in her message published Sunday by the Sahrawi Press Agency SPS, the firm willingness of the African Union and its Commission to accompany the Sahrawi people in its efforts to strengthen peace in the sub-region.”
The chairperson of the AU Commission also reiterated “her full availability to work together with the President of the Sahrawi Republic for the achievement of the goals and the ideals of the continental organization.”
CHAHED EL-HAFED (Saharawi Refugee Camps)- Saharawi Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohamed Salem Ould Salek said Morocco has been forced to accept what it had rejected before, in order to join the African Union (AU), calling Rabat to respect its commitments and conform to the international legality and allow for the decolonization of Western Sahara, the last colony in Africa.
Speaking Wednesday to the forum of the Sahara Libre (free Sahara) newspaper, Ould Salek said "Morocco has been forced to accept to sit beside the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), a full and founding member of the African Union, which means recognition of the reality of the African organization where the SADR is AU's 39th member."
"All Morocco's attempts to expel the Saharawi Republic have failed due to the solidarity of African Union members with Western Sahara people's right to self-determination and independence and their struggle to recover their legitimate rights," Ouled Salek said, cited by the Saharawi news agency SPS on Thursday.
"Morocco, by signing the African Union constitutive act, has officially acknowledged its internationally recognized border."
Morocco must abide by its commitments and conform to the international reality to allow for the decolonization of Western Sahara, the last colony in Africa, the Saharawi official stressed.
NOUAKCHOTT (Mauritania)- President of Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) and Secretary General of the Polisario Front Brahim Ghali has called on the United Nations to assume its responsibilities and puy an end to "Morocco's provocations in the region of Guerguerat."
In an interview to the Mauritanian independent news agency "El-Akhbar," the Saharawi leader said the "United Nations and its Security Council must assume their responsibilities and exert pressure on Morocco to get it to abide by UN decisions and resolutions, which provides for holding a referendum on Western Sahara people's self-determination."
The UN "should also get Morocco to respect the ceasefire agreement and allow MINURSO to immediately resume work," the Saharawi official said.
Ghali denounces the "shameless complicity" of France, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, "through its support of the intransigent position of Morocco, which refuses to abide by the international legality."
"Morocco's provocations in the region of Guerguerat and its violation of the ceasefire" have also been condemned by President Ghali.
ADDIS-ABABA – The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) is ready to negotiate with Morocco to end the occupation of the Sahrawi territories, Sahrawi Foreign Minister Mohamed Salem Ould Salek said Monday in Addis-Ababa.
"The Sahrawi Republic is willing to negotiate with Morocco to put an end to the colonization of our territories in accordance with the international law and the respect of the Sahrawi people’s rights," Ould Salek told APS on the sidelines of the 28th Summit of the African Union (AU), being held in the Ethiopian capital.
He said that Morocco’s admission into the African Union represented "a victory of the Sahrawi people since Morocco had finally accepted to sit alongside its neighbor, Western Sahara."
The Sahrawi official insisted on the fact that the Moroccan government had ratified the AU Constitutive Act, an act which respects the borders inherited from the independence period and the acquisition of territory by force, which are "sacrosanct principle."
SADR president, Brahim Ghali, who is taking part in the 28th Summit of the AU Heads of State and Government said that the time was right to organize Western Sahara self-determination referendum, regretting that MINURSO remained the only UN mission without human rights monitoring component.
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)- The ambassador of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) in Ethiopia and permanent representative at the African Union, Lamine Baali, welcomes African countries' positions over Western Sahara people's just struggle for their right to self-determination, noting that the African States are "in line with the principles and foundations" of the African Union.
Saharawi ambassadors speaking at the meetings of the AU Committee of permanent representatives, to wrap up on Wednesday, said "African countries' consensus on supporting SADR's right to participate in the African Union-Arab League partnership summit, held (last November) in Malabo, shows AU's deep, common position over the rights of African peoples."
The Saharawi official praised the continental organization's position at the fourth Arab World-Africa meeting, as it refused to boycott the summit and defended the right of an AU full and founder member, namely the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, to take part at the meeting's works."
The works of the 33rd session of the Committee of AU Permanent Representatives opened Sunday in Addis Ababa, as part of the preparation for the 28th AU summit on January 30-31.
The meeting of the heads of State and Government will be preceded by a Foreign Affairs ministers meeting.
BIR LAHLOU (Saharawi Liberated Territories)- Polisario Front will officially lodge a complaint with the European and French authorities, denouncing the illegal shipment of marine oil by a European tanker, Key Bay, from occupied Western Sahara's town al Ayun, the Front said Tuesday in a statement.
The Polisario Front "will, within 48 hours, lodge a complaint with the European Commission and the French customs authorities for the enforcement of the European law," Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR)'s under-secretary of state for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (RASD), Mhamed Khadad, said in the statement.
"We seek dialogue, but we are determined to uphold the decision of the European Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU)," Khadad added.
The Polisario Front calls on the European Commission and customs authorities to report this illegal export operation and seize the shipment, in line with the requirements of the European customs law."
Mhamed Khadad, also a Polisario Front leading member, noted that Morocco is the military occupying power, which is under the fourth Geneva Convention, and has no right to issue export licences.
"This applies to all waters under the Saharawi sovereignty and all boats setting sail from (occupied) El Ayun coast."
The Polisario, according to the statement, follows "with the utmost attention" the conditions in which the tanker Key Bay will be forced to abide by the European law, as stipulated in the decision issued by the Court of Justice of the European Union on 21 December 2016, an enforceable decision that must be fully respected.
LUANDA (Angola)- Angola's War Veterans Minister Candido Pereira Dos Santos has reiterated his country's strong support to western Sahara people's just struggle for self-determination and independence.
The leader of the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) has reiterated, in a meeting with the ambassador of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), Bah Cheikh, his country's unwavering supportive position of Western Sahara people's struggle for independence, the Saharawi news agency SPS said Sunday.
The meeting focused on the development of Western Sahara issue, including the next African Union summit and the challenges the AU is facing, according to the source.
The two officials also tackled the historical relationship between the two movements (the Polisario Front and the MPLA), and examine ways and methods to develop and boost them.
The Saharawi Republic has diplomatic relations with Angola at the level of ambassadors.
JOHANNESBURG (South Africa)- The secretary-general of the African National Congress (ANC), Gwede Mantashe, expressed his party's unfailing support to Western Sahara people in their fight for the independence of their territory occupied by Morocco since 1975, Saharawi news agency SPS reported Monday.
In a meeting with President of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) Brahim Ghali, who wrapped up a visit to South Africa on Sunday, Mantashe said the "African continent will not be free as long as an African country is still occupied by another, in a blatant violation of the African Union's constitutive act."
The South-African official called on "the Kingdom of Morocco to withdraw from Western Sahara" and to "abide by the resolutions of the international legitimacy.
The ANC leader called for "allowing Saharawi people to exert their right to self-determination and independence."
Concerning Morocco's demand to adhere to the African Union, Mantashe said "Morocco cannot be an AU member if it does not comply with the African Union Charter."
Mantashe, in addition, urged for an international campaign for the protection of Saharawi people's natural resources and for boycotting Moroccan and foreign companies operating in the occupied territories of Western Sahara.
The president of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, and secretary general of the Polisario Front, Brahim Ghali, was on a three-day working visit to South Africa at the invitation of his South-African counterpart, Jacob Zuma.
MADRID (Spain)- Dozens of people, members of the Spanish movement for solidarity demonstrated Tuesday outside Morocco's embassy in Madrid, Spain, to demand "the immediate release of Saharawi political prisoners in Morccan jails."
The protesters, who responded to the call to demonstrate launched by Spanish coordination for associations friends of Saharawi people (CEAS-Sahara) demands "the immediate release of Saharawi political prisoners detained by Moroccan prisons," and especially those of Gdeim Izik group, unjustly and illegally incarcerated since 2010.
Carrying flags of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), the demonstrators denounced the "systematic violations of human rights in Western Sahara territories."
They chanted various slogans like "Struggle will continue and Polisario will win" and "Morocco guilty, Spain responsible."
All "Gdeim Izik" Group prisoners are "human rights defenders who struggle for the freedom of their people," said Jose Taboada, the Spanish coordinator of associations supporting Western Sahara people.
ALGIERS-"Ledjouad" documentary film broaching culture and Sahraw people's link to their homeland through famous poets from this country colonized by Morocco was screened Sunday part the International Cinema Festival of Algiers (FICA).
First film produced by the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), directed by three documentary makers in 2016, "Ledjouad" the initiatory travel of Imam Boisha, a Sahrawi poet exiled in Spain, who accompanies two other poets to "Ledjouad," a mythical area in desert "in which the poetry of this people was born."
The quest of this Spanish-speaking poet whose verve was "dried up" by exile makes the spectator see the figures of Badi, a mystic poet from Belga who has a perfect knowledge of the Sahara and its secrets, in addition to Sidi Brahim, the guest of travellers under the tent pitched on the surroundings of Ledjouad's mysterious rocks.
The documentary also reflects an identity and a culture having millennial traces, and highlights the beauty of hassanya-speaking poetry.
BOUJDOUR (Sahara Refugee Camps)- Saharawi Prime Minister Abdelkader Taleb Omar said Saturday in the refugee camp of Boujdour that "the Kingdom of Morocco must understand that the African people are not subjects of the king and that the African Union is not an organization under the makhzen."
The African Union "is a continental organization that deserves respect, and Morocco, like the other African countries, must abide by its rules and not seeking to submit it to its control," Taleb Omar said in an opening address at the eighth congress of the Saharawi Workers Union, he read on behalf of the president of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) and the secretary general of the Polisario Front, Brahim Ghali.
In the address, at the event attended by 600 delegates, the Saharawi official said "the only solution is Morocco's respect of African Union's principles, laws and decisions and giving up hostile expansionist methods, otherwise it will become a heretic State that violates the Union's Charter."
"Morocco carries on occupation and its criminal practices through squandering of Western Sahara's natural resources and increasing moves to involve other partners in this illegal operation and Saharawi people's deprivation of their right to their land and resources."
Concerning Morocco's withdrawal from Malabo Summit, in November, the Saharawi Prime Minister said Africa "has adopted Western Sahara issue as a scared African cause and has given a historic lesson (to Morocco) in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea."
"African countries, gathered together at the summit, showed an honourable position against Morocco's constipations, manoeuvring and devious methods and sided with the rights, justice and law."
BIR LAHLOU- Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) greeted Wednesday African Union (AU) countries' support and solidarity with Western Sahara government and people, who should enjoy their inalienable right to self-determination and independence.
"Saharawi Government expresses to all the states and bodies of our (African) Union its deep gratitude and that of Western Sahara people for their support and solidarity with the Saharawi State," the SADR's ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
This position "is in line with the common values of the African Union which rejects any attempt to undermine the intangibility of post-independence borders, forcibly annexing territories and expansionism, and regards as sacred peoples' rights to self-determination and independence."
The Saharawi ministry of Foreign Affairs also greeted the unanimity and unity of AU members against Morocco's attempts to undermine the Africa-Arab Summit meeting in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, by demanding the removal of the flag and sign carrying the name of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic."
The African Union's 54 members expressed, "in a single voice, their commitment to the values and principles of the African Union, the statement said.
MALABO (Equatorial Guinea)- Minister of Maghreb Affairs, African Union and Arab League Abdelkader Messahel on Wednesday, in Malabo, said the "cohesion" that marked the fourth Africa-Arab Summit in the face of Morocco's attempts to expel the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) from the Summit meeting "shows that the African continent remains unified against any attempt to undermine the stability of Africa and the Africa Union."
Messahel, who represents Algeria at the fourth Arab-African, told International Algeria Radio that Morocco's attempts to expel the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic "were vain in the face of the resistance of all African countries."
"No African country made reservations about AU Charter principles."
The Algerian official stressed that this attitude "shows Africa's cohesion" and its determination "to thwart any attempt to destabilize the continent."
"It is a scathing response to all those who seek to sow division in the continent."
"Morocco's manoeuvring was doomed to failure in the face of Africa's determination," Messahel said.
"Morocco as a neighbouring country wants to join the African Union, however, it, once again, has just shown that it has no real willingness" to be an AU member.
CHAHED EL-HAFED- Saharawi government on Sunday called the secretary general of the United Nations and the world leaders participating at the UN conference on climate, held in Marrakech, to save UN-sponsored talks to reach a just and peaceful solution to Western Sahara conflict.
"The Kingdom of Morocco, which hosts the summit, violates the international law as it occupies by force parts of the Saharawi Republic territories," the Saharawi ministry of Information said in a statement.
"The fight against pollution is indissociable from peace and the end of all hostilities, to restore rights and combat injustice and tyranny."
According to the Saharawi government, such an international conference, held under the aegis of the United Nations, "is an opportunity to intervene with the kingdom of Morocco to get it to abide by the international law requirements, to respect the recognized international borders, to fully cooperate with UN efforts and stop its blatant violations of human rights against defenceless Saharawi people and the plunder of Western Sahara's natural resources."
MADRID (Spain)- The 41st European conference for support and solidarity with Saharawi people (EUCOCO) is to be held on November 18-19 in the Spanish city of Vilanova, Barcelona, organizers said on Thursday.
"This annual event organized every year, since 1975, in different European cities (like Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Brussels, Valence and Madrid) is undoubtedly the most important international movement for solidarity with the Saharawi people, as it brings together participants from every parts of the world," organizers stressed.
EUCOCO meeting will be attended by "representatives of the governments that recognize the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) as well as national and international representatives of Spanish regional, provincial and municipal governments.
It will also be attended by "political figures, unionists, men of culture, NGOs and associations of the friends of Saharawi people, who come every year show their solidarity and commitment to the Saharawi cause and try to find the maximum of political support to reach a political solution to Western Sahara issue."
The 2016 edition of the EUCOCO will be an opportunity to look for a "definitive and democratic solution to the conflict and to right the injustice made against the Saharawi people more than 40 years ago."