A communique circulating online bears hostile language against Morocco’s territorial integrity and defies AU Decision 693, stipulating the centrality of the UN-led political process.
Rabat – Morocco’s government responded to the communique the African Union’s Peace and Security Council (PSC) issued on Thursday in defiance of AU Decision 693, stipulating the UN’s centrality in the Western Sahara political process.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Burita said Morocco does not “feel concerned or interested in the press release” that the PSC issued after the meeting of March 9 on the issue of Western Sahara.
The meeting is a “non-event” for Morocco, which continues to work within the AU in line with the framework of Decision 693.
The decision, adopted in Nouakchott in July 2019, limits the AU’s role in Western Sahara to offering support for UN-led efforts and recognizing the centrality of the UN as the only body to help the parties to the conflict reach a political solution to end Western Sahara dispute.
Commenting on the AU’s PSC communique, the foreign ministry said the press release is the result of “maneuvers and irregularities which marred the adoption procedure.”
Bourita explained that the meeting took place on March 9. However, the document was not released until March 19.
“During all these 10 days, the majority of the Council rejected in writing its conclusions. It may be that by force or by fait accompli, the text has been changed,” he argued.
The official emphasized that the meeting marked several irregularities, raising many questions about its context, aims, and ulterior motives.
“The discussions showed that Africa has a clear position, which is to support the efforts of the United Nations to find a solution to the issue of the Moroccan Sahara.”
Morocco believes that the UN is the only legitimate body responsible for the Sahara dossier, recalling that the Troika mechanism is the “only one empowered to follow the issue” of the conflict.
Bourita said that Morocco is satisfied with the majority of PSC member states, as well as the AU Commission.
He reiterated that two-thirds of African countries do not recognize Polisario’s self-proclaimed SADR, recalling that most of the states on the continent support the Moroccan character of the Sahara.
Political observers believe that the PSC communique is driven by Algeria and South Africa’s maneuvers inside the AU.
Moroccan foreign policy expert Samir Bennis emphasized the need for Morocco’s presence at all AU meetings to avoid similar events.
The analyst also called on the Moroccan government to continue to abide by the provisions, seeking to end the empty seat at the AU.
The Moroccan absence from the AU for 33 years enabled Algeria, Polisario, and a shrinking list of countries challenging Morocco’s territorial integrity to increase propaganda and campaigns against the country’s sovereignty over Western Sahara.
With its return to the AU in 2017, Morocco, however, vowed to continue to fight for its legitimate rights and to counter all maneuvers against its territorial integrity.