AU-Sahara: AU Commission President Reframes Algerian Commissioner Smaïl Chergui

The President of the African Union Commission (AU), Chadian Moussa Faki Mahamat, brought up the Sahara issue in a speech before the 30th summit of African Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Sunday.

The Sahara issue was not on the agenda of the summit, nevertheless, the AU Commission chairman talked about it, but with more neutrality.

“Regarding Western Sahara, I can only express my hope that this issue will finally be resolved,” he said.

 Africa can “contribute positively” to the resolution of this issue, “in support of the United Nations,” he assured.

 On the contrary, the stand of the Algerian leaders is completely different as they insist, in their destabilization attempts, to have the African Union play a role in the Sahara conflict, which falls within the exclusive competence of the United Nations.

In this vein, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Algerian Smail Chergui drafted a tailor-made report, which he submitted to the African summit and in which he inserted paragraphs 117 and 118. For Morocco, these paragraphs are in total contradiction with the official position of the UN on the status of Western Sahara.

Morocco has immediately denounced this maneuver and required an amendment of the report.

 The two paragraphs ask Morocco to accept the return to Laayoune of the AU mission for Western Sahara, headed by former Mozambican president Joakim Albert Chissani.

They also call for the establishment of a mechanism for monitoring human rights in the Moroccan Sahara, a request that had been made, in 2013, by the United States representation to the United Nations, but that had been rejected by the Security Council.

Besides, the Algerian Commissioner asks the Swiss Crans Montana Foundation to stop organizing its annual forum in Dakhla and urges AU Member States, civil society and all African actors to “boycott this event”.

These paragraphs speak volumes about Algeria’s malevolent intentions towards Morocco and its territorial integrity. Fortunately, according to the AU’s statutes, African Heads of State are not obliged to abide by the report, which is a mere note-taking, supplemented by comments from member countries.

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