AU Stresses Primacy of UN Process in Settling Sahara Issue

The UN is the only organization entitled to broker a settlement of the Sahara issue, said Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat in a statement that confirms AU’s new-found neutrality in the regional conflict.

 

Moussa Faki Mahamat recalled resolution 639 of the African Union in Nouakchott, which remedied the organization’s past biases towards Morocco by stating clearly that the Sahara should be tackled only within the UN framework barring the road to adversaries of Morocco’s territorial integrity within the African Union who sought to create a parallel mechanism.

 

He said a troika made of the previous, incumbent and upcoming chairmen of the African Union is the only body that can make statements on the Sahara in support of the UN process.

 

The adoption of resolution 639, in July 2019, was followed by a meeting in Marrakech in which thirty-seven countries representing two-third of the African Union members, expressed support for the UN process to settle the regional dispute over the Sahara.

 

The participating countries in Marrakech stressed the need of refraining to push the African Union into stands that block efforts towards a political, lasting and mutually acceptable solution in line with the Security Council resolutions.

 

Morocco’s gradual strengthening of its ranks within the AU resulted so far in putting an end to the use by Algeria and its allies of the AU’s most powerful body, the Peace and Security Council, which was divested from treating the Sahara issue.

 

Even at the terminological level, the AU’s official statements stopped repeating Algerian propaganda. Henceforth, the Sahara is framed using the UN terminology which never referred to Moroccan sovereignty over the Sahara as “occupation.”

 

The Polisario and their Algerian mentors are feeling the heat of an imminent change in the AU in favor of Morocco’s territorial integrity and sovereignty over the Sahara. With two-thirds of African countries not recognizing the Algerian-sponsored separatist entity, the Polisairo is becoming an aberration that disrupts the works of the AU commissions.

 

The recognition of SADR as a state by the African Union and its predecessor the OAU in the 1980s stands as an aberration that prejudged the outcome of negotiations in total disregard for the UN process and for Morocco’s historical rights as a country that was divided by two colonial powers.

 

Prior to Morocco’s return to the African Union, 28 states have explicitly asked the chairman of the African Union to freeze the membership of the Polisario in the African Union.

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