SADC Gives In To Stiff Opposition Of 'Friends Of Morocco', Withdraws Speech

SADC Gives In To Stiff Opposition Of 'Friends Of Morocco', Withdraws Speech

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has given up making a speech before the 4th Committee, by withdrawing from the list of speakers circulated by the Secretariat of the said committee. The main objective of this declaration was to speak out on the issue of the Moroccan Sahara by making a declaration on “decolonization”.

The Mozambican presidency of SADC concluded that there was no consensus and therefore there will be no speech, and this, following the opposition of friends of Morocco, particularly the DRC, the Comoros, the Malawi, Eswatini and Zambia, to the paragraphs on the Moroccan Sahara in the aforementioned draft declaration, as well as their refusal to discuss any new language.

This withdrawal confirms the exclusivity of the United Nations in dealing with the Sahara issue. It clearly and unequivocally demonstrates the correctness of the National Cause. It should be noted that a significant number of countries in the region do not share South Africa's hostile position.

Since the adoption of decision “693” of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union in 2018, affirming the exclusivity of the United Nations in the treatment of the Sahara issue and limiting the role of the continental organization to a simple accompaniment of the efforts of the UN in the resolution of this conflict, South Africa mobilized all its diplomatic means to give a new impetus to the separatist theses, in particular within the Community of the Development of Southern Africa (SADC) and the United Nations.

Pretoria has, in fact, oriented its actions in the direction of SADC, of which it provides political and economic leadership, to encourage this Regional Economic Community to adopt a common position favorable to separatist theses.

It was with this in mind that South Africa unilaterally and on behalf of SADC drafted a declaration on decolonization in Africa which contained a paragraph prejudicial to the territorial integrity of Morocco. This declaration was to be presented during the general debate of the 4th Committee of the United Nations by the Permanent Representative of Mozambique.

As soon as this declaration was placed on the agenda of the 4th Committee's work, several SADC Member States, in particular the DRC, the Comoros, Malawi, Eswatini and Zambia, expressed their refusal as to the fallacious content of the statement in question. They also stressed that the terms of this declaration concerning the Sahara in no way reflect their positions on this issue, while denouncing the unilateral manner in which the declaration was drawn up.

Faced with strong opposition from SADC member countries to this declaration, the Permanent Representative of Mozambique gave up making his declaration before the 4th Committee. Thus, SADC withdrew from the list of registered speakers to take the floor.

This incident clearly demonstrates the division within SADC regarding the Sahara issue. Indeed, a large number of countries in the region do not share South Africa's hostile position, namely: Malawi, Union of the Comoros, Zambia, Madagascar, Eswatini, DRC, Tanzania, Seychelles and Angola.

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