Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita has broken his silence on Saharawi President Brahim Ghali’s state visit to South Africa, acknowledging the glamour of the event
Ghali flew home with host President Cyril Ramaphosa’s assertion that the coloniaisation of Africa continued so long as Morocco maintained its illegal 47-year occupation of Western Sahara.
Ramaphosa is expected to emphasize this to Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sànchez when he visits South Africa next week.
As the colonial power that abandoned Western Sahara following the 1975 death of dictator Francisco Franco, Spain still bears responsibility under international law for its former colony.
Sànchez is under fire domestically for appearing to support continued Moroccan occupation of the Western Sahara.
Bourita claims South Africa is on the wrong side of history and unable to persuade some African countries to back Western Sahara independence.
The historical reality is that the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic was a founder member of the African Union at its inception in Pretoria twenty years ago.
Morocco is a latecomer to the continental body. It’s membership in 2017 was opposed by South Africa, among others.
Morocco is back at war with Polisario Front, the Saharawi liberation movement because it violated the 1991 ceasefire that ended the 15 year conflict following its occupation.
As part of that truce Morocco promised to hold a referendum on self determination in the occupied territory, an undertaking it has reneged on.