World Bulletin / News Desk
The foreign minister of the so-called Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), Mohamed Salem Ould Salek, hit out at recent moves by Morocco to rejoin the African Union on Thursday.
In a news conference in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, Salek said: “SADR regrets to note that while applying for the membership of the AU, Morocco is the only African state that does not clearly and publicly admit and respect its own borders, as internationally recognized by the United Nations and the OAU/AU.”
Since 1984, the SADR has been a member of the AU -- formerly the Organization of African Unity (OAU). Morocco withdrew from the OAU in protest and remains the only African nation not within the AU to date.
From the early 1970s, the Polisario Front, a self-proclaimed national liberation movement, has demanded an independent state in Western Sahara and an end to the Moroccan presence there.
However, at a July AU summit held in Rwanda, Morocco’s King Mohammed VI directed a message to African leaders in which he expressed his country’s willingness to return to the union if the 28 states that attended the summit renounced the SADR’s membership in the union.
“The Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, while not questioning the right of Morocco as an African state to ask for admission as a member of the AU does, however, consider that such admission will be in contradiction with the main principles, vision and essence of African unity,” Salek claimed.
Morocco issued a letter of intent to rejoin the AU, submitted to the organization’s chairperson in September 2016. Morocco’s application will be submitted in January to the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government Summit for decision.
Asked by Anadolu Agency if his statement today amounted to a call for the African Union to reject Morocco’s application or to impose preconditions, Salek said: “We are not putting any precondition.”Last Mod: 10 Kasım 2016, 20:34