Algeria has hosted an African sport event in which some sportsmen of the self-styled SADR participated.
Rabat – Algeria hosted the first African Games of Sport and Work December 20-23 after Senegal withdrew from hosting the event.
Some sportsmen of the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) participated in the event. Pro-Polisario media covered the event, saying, “Sahrawi sportsmen made excellent and unprecedented results in the African games organized by the African Organization of Sports and Labor [OSTA].”
The sportsmen “won medals and gold, silver, and bronze cups,” and ranked second after Algeria.
In addition to Algeria, only six countries participated in the event: Burkina Faso, Rwanda, Senegal, Cameroon, Tunisia, the Congo, and Eritrea.
While the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and other internationally-renowned sports organizations do not recognize the Polisario Front, some Sahrawi media claimed SADR has “entered African records for the first time in its history.” The statement referred to one player winning a medal gold in a table tennis tournament.
OSTA was established in 2001 in Gambia and has its headquarters in Yaounde, Cameroon. OSTA’s main role is to organize and lead labor sport in Africa, while promoting the creation and entertainment of national labor federations and groups.
Although Algeria has always denied supporting the Polisario Front, by hosting SADR in the sport event, Algeria confirms its support for the front.
However, Algeria has declined to take a role in the UN-led political process to find a mutually acceptable solution to the Western Sahara conflict. Algeria claims it is an observer to the conflict, while Morocco is firm that the Algerian government should negotiate as a main party to the conflict and not only as an observer or a neighboring country.
Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdelkader Messahel represented Algerian President Bouteflika’s cabinet at the UN’s Geneva roundtable on Western Sahara earlier this month at the request of the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy Horst Kohler, who called on all parties to show willingness to finding a political solution to the conflict.