Sat 31/10/2020

African Union’s position and possible pressure papers to impose referendum in Western Sahara

4 months ago at 25/Jun/2020 43

Sumoud-25 June 2020 An analytical paper prepared by the Studies Department of Sumoud site highlighted that Morocco’s attempt to maintain the status quo in Western Sahara and obstruct the activation of the troika and reject the decisions of the African Union, will strengthen the Union’s position, and push it to assume its responsibility to impose the organization of the referendum, just as South Africa did when it gave Morocco 10 years to reconsider its position, otherwise it will decide to recognize the Sahrawi Republic, which was actually embodied in 2004.

The paper affirmed that the African Union owns, through its founding charter, which Morocco ratified after joining the African organization, important pressure papers that may accelerate efforts to solve the Western Sahara issue.The Constitutive Act obliges the African Union to defend the sovereignty of member states, their territorial integrity and independence, and allows interference in a member state under dangerous conditions such as war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity. It also guarantees states’ request for the Union to intervene to establish peace and security.

The paper noted that all indications point that the demand to organize the referendum in Western Sahara remains among the main agendas for the work of the African Union in the coming years, especially after the involvement of Algeria, South Africa, Nigeria and the SADC countries in supporting this direction, the African position is also supported by powerful forces such as China, Russia and Germany, which have shown their willingness to rally support for any proposals by the African Union to push forward the Western Sahara peace process.

The analytical paper highlighted that the procedures taken by the Government of the Sahrawi Republic to move sovereign institutions to the liberated Sahrawi territories in the prospective of opening diplomatic embassies and representatives of the states that recognize the Sahrawi Republic, and the possibility of hosting official meetings of the African Union, will mix Morocco’s papers and put it in a critical position,either choosing to continue to cling to its position against the application of international legitimacy, thus pushing the African Union to impose the organization of the referendum, or accepting the new situation with its implications which wouldundermine its thesis, and putits credibility at stake before the Moroccan public opinion.

The paper concluded that the African Union had succeeded in regaining the initiative on the issue of Western Sahara, through its stance that clings to international legitimacy and the settlement plan that represents the appropriate solution to complete the course of decolonization in Western Sahara.The strength of the African position was evident in the important and decisive decisions that contributed to re-discussion of the referendum file and pushed Morocco to recognize the Sahrawi Republic and sit with it side by side within the African Union.

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