Morocco condemned by AU for absence on Western Sahara meeting

The African Union (AU) has expressed its “regret” at Morocco for not attending a meeting organised by the AU’s Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) on the Western Sahara.

Since re-joining the African Union, Morocco has failed to attend any meetings organised by the Union on the Western Sahara, a troubled territory seeking independence from Rabat.

A meeting was organised on Monday this week by at the AUPSC headquarters in which Morocco’s seat remained empty. The body headed by Algerian Smail Chergui thereafter took to social media to condemn human rights violations in Western Sahara.

In a tweet, the members of the AUPSC first expressed “their deep regret at the absence of Morocco despite…a written invitation to the meeting of the Peace and Security Council.”

In a second tweet, they said that the return of Morocco to the AU offered “a wonderful opportunity to make progress on the question of Western Sahara.”

In a final tweet, they finally condemned “the violation of human rights by Morocco in Western Sahara.”

Morocco has not officially reacted to these tweets and has yet to justify its absence at the meeting.

Morocco left the African Union in 1984 when a majority of the members voted to recognise the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, the secessionist movement Rabat was attempting to quash in the Western Sahara.

Morocco does not recognise the sovereignty of the Western Sahara and the Sahrawi people and believes it to be a key part of its kingdom.

The Polisario Front, backed by Algeria, are fighting for the self-determination of the Sahrawi people in an independent Western Sahara, formerly a Spanish colony.

 

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