The issue of Morocco’s occupation of Western Sahara has once again divided the African Union (AU). Morocco decided as a counter, to hold a parallel conference on the same day that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) was holding a solidarity conference on Western Sahara in Tshwane, South Africa.
Morocco has paid for representatives from other African countries and elsewhere to attend its conference. About 38 African countries attended their conference as opposed to the 32 countries who attended the SADC convened conference.
While we applaud this initiative by SADC, we call upon the organisation to whip some of its members to tow the line and speak with one voice on such an important issue as this. It’s a shame to hear that Malawi, Zambia, Madagascar, The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Tanzania and Eswatini, sent representatives to the Moroccan meeting. They should be reprimanded for breaking ranks and abandoning the liberation ethos that has all along underpinned their very existence for the promises of development aid from Morocco and its Zionist friends.
The divisions that exist within the African Union (AU) concerning the issue of Western Sahara, is disgusting to say the least. It shows that the African Union and its leadership are incapable of uniting on certain key issues of importance on the continent. Morocco is using the resources that they are exploiting from Western Sahara to buy support and it seems like they are succeeding on that front. I would like to remind the African Union and its leadership that they erred in the first place when they readmitted Morocco to its ranks before demanding that it pulls out its forces from Western Sahara. This shows the quality of leadership that we have on the continent and indeed at the helm of African Union. The African Union went against one of its most important founding pillar which was “the liberation of every inch of the continent” from colonial occupation.
Morocco appears to be an extension of yesteryear colonisers and an appendage of Zionist Israel. We therefore call on the African Union to renounce Morocco’s membership of the African Union until it completely withdraws from Western Sahara. By recognising Morocco as a full member of the African Union (AU), the continental body risk implicating the whole of Africa by recognising this colonial power.
I am completely saddened by the behaviour of certain regional bodies on our continent. The role that has and is being played by ECOWAS in this regard smacks of captivity. This body is under the domain of France which still plays the colonial master over much of this region. Nigeria which is supposed to give leadership to the region, has been incapacitated by the imposed war on terror and is used a leverage by the Zionist and colonial countries to keep it in check. It was France that ordered the reinstatement of Morocco to the AU through their colonies who had assumed leadership in Adis Ababa. I can argue here that, were it a Southern African country at the helm, nothing of that nature would have happened. Southern African countries owe their liberation from the good will and support of the (OAU) now AU.
To SADC, I say bravo for standing up to this injustice that is happening in Western Sahara and for renewing your commitment to the total liberation and independence of Western Sahara. As for those countries that went against the SADC resolution on Western Sahara, it is a shame on you. Do not make us the laughing stoke of the continent. In actual fact, the money that was provided to fly you to Rabat and the food that you ate, is the blood of your brothers in Western Sahara. Who in their right sense can eat the flesh of their brothers? That money that Morocco splashed on those countries that went to Rabat is from the Phosphate that they are illegally mining in Western Sahara.
Our leadership in SADC should also take action to remove Egyptian dictator al-Sisi at the helm of AU. Al-Sisi will not do anything meaningful to decolonise Western Sahara. We know that during his tenure nothing on Western Sahara will be mentioned. In conclusion, the call should be the one that was echoed by South Africa’s Minister Lindiwe Sisulu (Minister of International Relations and Cooperation) when she said “Let this conference serve to remind the region that Africa will not be truly free until the last colony, the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic is completely liberated and her people enjoy full political, social and economic emancipation.
Dr Mustafa Mheta is the Researcher/Head of Africa Desk for the Media Review Network based in Johannesburg.