Consular of the Saharawi Republic to South Africa, Elmami Brahim Ahmed Salem paid a courtesy visit to brief the Thabo Mbeki Foundation on the ongoing conflict with Morocco. Accompanied by Atabong Gallous of the Africa Solidarity for Western Sahara, the two gentlemen met with the Foundation’s CEO, Mr Max Boqwana.
Among other things, Consular Salem delivered a message of gratitude to former President Thabo Mbeki for recognizing and establishing diplomatic relations between South Africa and the SADR during his term as head of state. Salem paid tribute to Mbeki for his continued solidarity and support in their fight for independence and self-determination even in his retirement from office.
He also briefed the CEO on the lack of progress in resolving one of Africa’s longest–running territorial conflicts between Morocco and Frente POLISARIO. This territorial battle has remained unresolved between these two sides since the departure of the Spaniards in 1975. Western Sahara was listed as a Non-Self-Governing Territory under Chapter XI of the UN Charter. Morocco left the OAU in 1988 in protest against the admission of the SADR as a member of the continental body. .
Despite the 1991 peace agreement aimed at finally resolving the impasse, subsequent efforts also failed including the Baker Plan of 2000. Salem says the SADR continues to mobilise support towards a speedy resolution of this conflict.
Mr Boqwana assured the people of SADR of the TMF’s solidarity and support in their ongoing struggle for independence and self-determination. Boqwana recalled Mbeki’s words at the opening of the Pan African Parliament in 2004, that, “It is a matter of great shame and regret to all of us that…the issue of self-determination for the people of Western Sahara remains unresolved…This presents all of us with the challenge to ensure that we do everything possible to ensure that these sister people also enjoy this fundamental and inalienable right, whose defence by the entirety of our continent brought us our own freedom”.