Rabat - Alpha Condé, Guinea’s president and former chairman of the African Union, has said in a recent interview that the role of the African Union in the Western Sahara question will be to accompany and support the UN peacekeeping efforts.
Rabat – Alpha Condé, Guinea’s president and former chairman of the African Union, has said in a recent interview that the role of the African Union in the Western Sahara question will be to accompany and support the UN peacekeeping efforts.
In a wide-ranging interview with RFI, President Alpha Condé, true to the pan-Africanist outlook and rhetoric that has earned him both praise and criticism in African circles, was adamant that it is time for the continent to rise to its numerous challenges and compel the world “to take us seriously.”
During the 31st AU summit for heads of state in Nouakchott, Mauritania, on Sunday, July 1, the AU recognized the UN’s centrality in the Western Sahara dispute between Morocco and the Polisario Front and appointed a troika to translate the ideas in the annual report into reality.
The AU’s troika will be composed of the AU president, his predecessor and successor; the AU Commission’s chairperson is set to support the three leaders in their mission at the UN.
When asked about the AU’s motivations in appointing a troika to accompany and ensure UN Security Council’s guidelines in the Western Sahara conflict, Condé, not usually forthcoming about strategic questions, was unusually candid.
Condé told RFI the UN Security Council is the only body with the legitimacy to intervene in Western Sahara, oversee the development of the process, and find a way to commit the parties to the outcomes of negotiations. He said that the AU will solely follow, accompany, and ensure the implementation of the UN-led process.
“It is the African Union that transferred the Western Sahara dossier to the UN in the first place,” Condé said, adding that the newly-appointed troika’s role is to “follow the UN process and inform the AU thereon.”
Condé’s comments come in the aftermath of a continental milestone in the Sahara question, as the latest AU annual report announced that the continental body would henceforward refrain from pushing towards a “parallel agenda.” The body promised to fully support the UN-led negotiations to attain a “sustainable, peaceful, and mutually acceptable political solution.”
Condé insisted that the troika’s role will only be an advisory and supportive one with regards to the UN agenda.