Jamaica’s support for the Algerian-backed Polisario militias is a thing of the past as the Caribbean country reaffirmed its support for Morocco’s territorial integrity and sovereignty over the Sahara as well as UN efforts to reach a lasting, political and mutually acceptable solution to the over four-decade dispute.
Jamaica has dealt the Polisario a severe blow in 2016 when it withdrew its recognition of the self-proclaimed republic based in Algeria (SADR). Since then the Caribbean Island looked to foster ties with Morocco.
The visit this week by Jamaica’s foreign minister to Rabat Kamina Johnson Smith is part of a process of building closer ties with Morocco in fields such as agriculture, tourism, fisheries and the fight against climate change.
Jamaica’s support for Morocco’s historical rights in the Sahara comes in a series of similar positions by many Caribbean nations and Latin American states, which came to terms with viewing the Polisario as a totalitarian organization fed by an ideological anachronism peculiar to a bygone cold-war era.
Over the last three years, some 49 countries withdrew recognition of the SADR entity out of 80 that previously entertained ties with it.
Morocco’s triumphal return to the African Union in late 2017 was preceded by a motion submitted by 28 states asking the continental organization to freeze Polisario membership.
The AU has also shifted from pro-Algerian stands on Sahara issue to a more neutral position recognizing the UN process as the only valid means to settle the artificial dispute perpetuated by Algeria’s oil money.