Rabat - The former headquarters of the African Union in the Ethiopian capital hosted a meeting Monday, March 20 of the African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC) devoted to Sahara. On the question of the Sahara, the PSC was far from neutral.
Rabat – The former headquarters of the African Union in the Ethiopian capital hosted a meeting Monday, March 20 of the African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC) devoted to Sahara. On the question of the Sahara, the PSC was far from neutral.
The meeting, presided by the Algerian Ismail Chergui, turned out to be an opportunity to lash out against Morocco, which it accused of being a “colonizing country.” The PSC published a 12-page document criticizing the Kingdom and called for the AU to control the human rights situation in the Sahara by establishing an office in Laayoune.
In the communiqué, the PSC expressed its decision to “strengthen” the mandate of Former President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique, and appoint him as AU High Representative for Sahara.
Morocco does not recognize the authority of Chissano and has encouraged, in a letter addressed to the PSC to explain its absence at March 20’s meeting, the organs of the African Union to “support the UN resolution process regarding the Sahara.”
Chergui, who refused to shake hands with King Mohammed VI during His speech in Addis Ababa last February, presided the meeting in which he, Chisano, and representatives from Algeria, South Africa gave free course to the claims of the Polisario Front.
After failing to convince the Secretary General of the United Nations in New York of the illegal attitude of the separatist force in the buffer zone of Guergarate, Algiers is mobilizing its efforts within the African Union in the hopes of destabilizing Morocco, which has just regained its place in the pan-African body.
Chergui thought it smart to convene a meeting of the PSC on the Sahara and to “invite” Morocco after setting the AU Constitutive Act.
Morocco had naturally rejected the invitation to Monday’s meeting, seeing the PSC as being far from an example of neutrality on the Sahara issue. Morocco was not the only party to boycott the meeting. The room was largely empty, with the exception of representatives of Kenya and Niger, in addition to two separatist leaders and the “envoy of the AU In the Sahara”, and Chissano.
The attitude of Morocco and its many African allies, making up the majority of the countries of the AU, is explained by objective considerations and by the clear will to rid Africa of toxic and fruitful conflicts at a time when the continent aspires for an integrated and sustainable development.
It should first be noted that the return of Morocco to the African Union does not imply recognition by the Kingdom of any role of the AU in the solution of the Sahara conflict, the case being in the hands of the UN for a peaceful settlement of this issue.
As Chergui appears to lack the neutrality required to properly examine this file, agreeing to take part in the meeting would have put Morocco in a defensive situation where it would have been subjected to the accusations of the anti-Moroccan group led by Algeria and South Africa.