Morocco has got to leave West Sa­hara

Cape Argus - - METRO - MUSTAFA MHETA Dr Mustafa Mheta is Re­searcher – Head of Africa Desk at Me­dia Re­view Net­work.

THE Moroc­can am­bas­sador to South Africa, Yousef Am­rani, wrote an ar­ti­cle ti­tled “Morocco Com­mit­ted to Africa” which was pub­lished in our sis­ter pub­li­ca­tion The Star’s early edi­tion on July 29.

In the piece, he sought to chron­i­cle the good things that his gov­ern­ment, un­der the lead­er­ship of his Majesty King Mo­hammed VI, had achieved.

There is no prob­lem for any coun­try, for that mat­ter, to take stock of its achieve­ments, but it should be done with ut­most fair­ness and with­out any stran­gling of oth­ers what­so­ever.

The di­vi­sions that ex­ist within the African Union (AU) con­cern­ing the is­sue of West­ern Sa­hara are dis­gust­ing to say the least. They show that the AU and its lead­er­ship are in­ca­pable of unit­ing on cer­tain key is­sues of im­por­tance to the con­ti­nent.

Morocco is us­ing the re­sources it is ex­ploit­ing from West­ern Sa­hara to buy sup­port and it seems it is suc­ceed­ing on that front.

I would like to re­mind the AU and its lead­er­ship that they erred in the first place when they read­mit­ted Morocco to their ranks be­fore de­mand­ing that it pull its forces from West­ern Sa­hara. This shows the qual­ity of lead­er­ship that we have on the con­ti­nent, and in­deed at the helm of the AU. The AU went against one of its most im­por­tant found­ing pil­lars, 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 AU to re­nounce her mem­ber­ship of the AU un­til it com­pletely with­draws from West­ern Sa­hara. By recog­nis­ing Morocco as a full mem­ber of the 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 the Eco­nomic Com­mu­nity of West African States (Ecowas) in this re­gard smacks of cap­tiv­ity.

This body is un­der the am­bit 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 as lever­age by the Zion­ist and colo­nial coun­tries to keep it in check. South­ern African coun­tries owe their lib­er­a­tion to the good will and sup­port of the (OAU) now AU.

West­ern Sa­hara is a sparsely pop­u­lated area of mostly desert sit­u­ated on the north west coast of Africa. A for­mer Span­ish colony, it was an­nexed by Morocco in 1975. Since then, it has been the sub­ject of a long-run­ning ter­ri­to­rial dis­pute be­tween Morocco and its indige­nous Sa­harawi peo­ple.

Ear­lier in the year, when the pan­demic hit Africa, Morocco dis­patched Covid-19 PPE to cer­tain African coun­tries as do­na­tions to sup­port them in the fight against the pan­demic.

Well, that is a good thing to do and we com­mend them for a job well done by com­ing to the aid of their broth­ers and sis­ters in Africa. But I won­der if the same hos­pi­tal­ity was ac­corded the peo­ple of West­ern Sa­hara.

Am­bas­sador Yousef Am­rani, please stop lec­tur­ing Africa on unity when your coun­try is ac­tu­ally oc­cu­py­ing the last re­main­ing colony on the African con­ti­nent. Please get out of West­ern Sa­hara and al­low those peo­ple the right to self-de­ter­mi­na­tion with­out de­lay. No one on the con­ti­nent will ever re­spect your great coun­try as long as it is an oc­cu­py­ing force.

Mustafa Mheta

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