STATEMENT OF THE VIRTUAL CONFERENCE OF AFRICAN MOVEMENTS IN SOLIDARITY WITH WESTERN SAHARA ON THE OCCASION OF THE 45TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE SAHAWARI REPUBLIC 24 February 2021
We, the African movements of solidarity with the Saharawi people gathered in the African Virtual Conference to Commemorate the 45th Anniversary of the Saharawi Republic on Wednesday 24 February 2021, with the participation of African dignitaries, political parties, trade unions, civil society and academics from 45 countries.
We, the participants to this Virtual Conference, express our steadfast and unwavering support to the legitimate struggle of the people of the Saharawi Republic for freedom and independence. We call on all Pan-Africanists, who love freedom and peace, to stand by the people of this last colony; for Africa will never be free as long as one of our nations is occupied and brutalised.
We urge all African countries, political parties, trade unions, civil society, NGOs, Academia, youth and women organisations and the Media to give more visibility and shed light on the heroic resistance of the African people of the Saharawi people. We cannot, as the current generation of Africans, allow that our brothers and sisters in Western Sahara are left behind or abandoned in this struggle for freedom. We call on the African Union to assume its responsibility in imposing the respect for its Constitutive Act and compel Morocco to end its illegal occupation of parts of the territory of the Saharawi Republic. Morocco’s continued violation of the principles of the AU Constitutive Act should not be tolerated. We recall the African Union 50th Anniversary Solemn Declaration of May 2013 which reaffirmed the call to “end expeditiously the unlawful occupation of the Chargos Archipelago, the Comorian Island of Mayotte and also reaffirm the right of self-determination of the people of Western Sahara, with a view to enable these countries and peoples, to effectively exercise sovereignity over their respective territories.”
The Virtual Conference supported the decision of the 34th AU Summit of Heads of States and Government held on 6 February 2021 to have the issue of Western Sahara as a standing item on its agenda. We call on the United Nations to honour its promise to the people of Western Sahara 60 years ago, and organise the long-awaited referendum on self-determination so that the Saharawi people can decide their future.
We call on the European Union to put an end to the violation of the European Court of Justice’s ruling on its illegal exploitation of the natural resources in Western Sahara. The EU exploitation of Saharawi resources is a direct contribution to the illegal occupation and human rights violations in the territory. The EU should be part of the solution to the conflict and not part of the problem. Western Sahara is now a war zone since the 13th November 2020, because of the Moroccan violation of the ceasefire and the attack against Saharawi civilians in Guerguarat region. The participants to the Virtual Conference call on the Red Cross International Commission and the AU Commission on Human and Peoples Rights to immediately intervene in order to protect the Saharawi civilians from Moroccan systematic and increasing human rights violations in the occupied territories of the Saharawi Republic.
The conference also called for the unconditional release of all political prisoners and freedom fighters, and for an immediate end to the violence against children and women. Finally, we commit to continue to support the Saharawi people in their legitimate struggle for freedom and independence, and encourage all African initiatives and actions in that sense. In this context, we support the mobilisation to organise in December 2021, an All African Gathering for Solidarity with the people of Saharawi Republic.
This should include an International Concert where African artists can perform in support of this humane struggle in line with the African Union Theme of 2021 as the African Year of “Arts, Culture and Heritage: a Lever for Building the Africa we want”. As African governments, political parties, civil society, youth and women’s movements, trade unions, academics, media, activists and all African citizens, we must unite and build a powerful movement of solidarity for the freedom of the Saharawi people!
A luta continua! A vitória é certa! Amandla! Asante Sane, Shukram