South Africa’s Support for Polisario Puts it at Odds with most AU Countries

South Africa’s election to the UN Security Council is a chance for the rainbow country to bridge the gap between the Council and the African Union but its support for the separatist SADR entity puts Pretoria at odds with leading African countries, The Globe and Mail, a South African paper, said.

Citing an expert from the Pretoria-based Institute for Security Studies, the paper noted that while the African Union endorsed South Africa’s candidacy to the UN Security Council, the majority of African countries do not approve of Pretoria’s support for the Polisario.

If south Africa wants to serve Africa within the Security Council it has to cooperate with Côte d’Ivoire and Equatorial Guinea, two west African countries who back Morocco’s sovereignty over the southern provinces, the Sahara.

South Africa’s advocacy for Polisario separatism “puts it at odds with over half of the AU’s member states — including Côte d’Ivoire,” the paper said.

Last year, Zambia officially withdrew recognition of the Algerian-based separatist entity.

Zambia, along with heavyweight African states that have shown support before for the Polisario such as Nigeria, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Ghana, to mention but a few, have all backed Morocco’s return to the African Union, after an absence of 34 years.

Over the last years, 43 countries have withdrawn their recognition of the SADR entity.

On the African continent, only 18 countries continue to support the Polisario.

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