President of the Republic Abdelmadjid Tebboune on Tuesday called on the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) and the Kingdom of Morocco to engage in “direct and serious” talks, under the aegis of African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN), noting that the conflict cannot be settled without a political process based on the founding principles of the Pan-African organization.
In an address at the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) meeting at the level of heads of State and Government, President Tebboune said “today we have the opportunity to examine the serious situation in Western Sahara, with the hope that our deliberations will lead to concrete and effective measures to crystallize a lasting solution to the conflict, which has lasted far too long.”
“We have met, as already explained, to create the appropriate conditions for a new ceasefire between the SADR and the Kingdom of Morocco,” he said.
The meeting was also an opportunity, according to the head of State, “to work for a just and permanent solution that will guarantee Western Sahara people’s right to self-determination and definitively close decolonization issues in Africa.”
“Africa, which has overcome the european occupation through political, and sometimes, armed struggle and which has managed to end apartheid, must now put an end to the last colonization in our continent.”
“The failure of the ceasefire following a breach of the agreement in force since 1991 and the dangerous escalation of the conflict in Western Sahara is the outcome of decades of systematic blocking and slowing down of the settlement plans, circumventing the negotiation process and repeated attempts to impose the fait accompli in the territory of an AU founding member state,” President Tebboune said.
He mentioned, among other things, the illegal exploitation of resources, steps to change the demographic composition of the occupied territories, systematic violations against defenseless Saharawi citizens, in addition to illegal attempts to change the status of Western Sahara.”
That is why, President Tebboune added, “we invite our honorable Organization to join us in calling on the UN chief to immediately appoint his representative in Western Sahara, and we invite the United Nations to give, with the support of the AU, to the MINURSO (UN mission for the holding of a referendum in Western Sahara) orders to address human rights violations in Western Sahara.” APS