Morocco hosted an important summit with the presence of up to 40 former heads of government and former Foreign Ministers from various African countries, among them some twenty signatories of the so-called "Tangiers Call" group, who advocated the expulsion of the self-styled Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) from the framework of the African Union (AU) in a bid for regional stability and the defence of the territorial integrity of the Moroccan kingdom, which continues to defend the belonging of Western Sahara to the national territory against the position of the Polisario Front, linked to the SADR, which continues to demand the holding of a referendum on independence among the Sahrawi people.
Those present at the conclave held in Marrakech presented a "White Paper" which would demonstrate the illegality of the presence of SADR within the AU, as reported by various media such as Le360. These African political leaders decided to present a diplomatic initiative to get African states to put an end to what they see as an anomalous situation within the AU by hosting an organisation that is not legitimate and does not qualify as a state entity as such.
The Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa will host the 36th AU Summit in early February and the aim is to expose SADR and prevent it from continuing to be treated as a fully-fledged member of the African continent's supranational body when many understand that it does not have such a status as it represents a state that does not exist.
Marrakech: Tres nuevos países africanos firman el "Llamamiento de Tánger" para la expulsión de la "pseudo-rasd" de la UAhttps://t.co/CVcW97Np8c pic.twitter.com/YEBTlpUB6X— Agencia MAP (@MAPnoticias) January 28, 2023
"The African organisation that admitted a state that does not exist must assume its responsibilities to correct the mistake it made," said Léonard She Okitundu, former head of diplomacy of the Democratic Republic of Congo and current senator, who recalled that this is a "strong claim of Morocco today" and added that the follow-up group to the "Tangier Call" (established on November 4, 2022 by African leaders) will act to "sensitise African states to correct the mistake that has been made", which becomes the "real debate", as Le360 reported.
Meanwhile, Le360 also referred to the intervention of Mamadi Touré, former Foreign Minister of Guinea, who aligned himself with this "diplomatic offensive" that aims to carry out this initiative in the framework of a strategy that the group has drawn up based on the "White Paper", this being a reference document to repair "the mistake" and avoid risks of independence in Africa. "There is a risk that other movements will follow in Africa to destabilise the continent" and it is now a question of "repairing, preventing and uniting", Touré explained.
The former head of Guinean diplomacy also denounced the series of obstacles faced by the AU with the presence of the ghostly SADR, an entity represented by the Polisario Front and led by Algeria, Morocco's great political rival in the Maghreb, as pointed out by various analysts.
Three new African countries have joined the 'Tangiers Call' formally calling for SADR's exit from the African Union: Lesotho, Madagascar and Gambia. This shows the growing strength of the movement.
The former African heads of government and Foreign Ministers therefore reiterated their full commitment to work together for the expulsion of a non-state entity such as SADR from the AU, following the solemn call for the exit of this organisation established with the signing of the "Tangiers Call" on 4 November 2022. These political leaders considered that this expulsion, legitimate from a legal point of view, should in no way be considered an unattainable objective, because it is part of a favourable continental and international dynamic, where realism and pragmatism prevail, and because it represents an essential prerequisite for the return of impartiality and credibility of the Pan-African Organisation on the question of the Moroccan Sahara.
As Quid media recalled, from the deliberations of the Pan-African Campaign of Reflection on the challenges facing the AU on the question of Western Sahara, discussed during five seminars held in May and October 2021, in Nouakchott, Dakar, Accra, Dar Es Salaam and Kinshasa, the signatories of the "Solemn Appeal for the expulsion of SADR from the African Union" discussed a draft "White Paper" which they unanimously approved. This "White Paper", entitled "The African Union and the question of the Moroccan Sahara, final installment of a profound and inclusive pan-African reflection", summarises the Pan-African Campaign and develops solid historical arguments under a vision of a united Africa and a renewed pan-Africanism, far from the ideologies of another time, such as those that SADR and Algeria may represent. Stressing that SADR does not have the necessary characteristics to be considered a state.
The SADR and its attached Polisario Front are seen by several experts as a destabilising element on the African continent and could represent a symbol that could provoke independence in other neighbouring countries.
For its part, Morocco continues to defend its formula of broad autonomy for Western Sahara under Moroccan sovereignty, respecting the resolutions of the United Nations, with the aim of putting an end to the Saharawi conflict that has lasted more than four decades. This proposal enjoys considerable support in the international arena, including from the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Germany and even Spain, the former colonial metropolis of the Saharan territory. Meanwhile, the Polisario Front has less support, including that of Algeria, which is in political rivalry with Morocco, a country with which it cut diplomatic ties in August 2021 due to deep political differences.