Fisheries agreement: CJEU’s decision, historic breakthrough for Saharawi people’s struggle against Moroccan occupation

Johannesburg, March 02, 2018 (SPS) -The African National Congress (ANC), ruling party in South Africa, on Wednesday welcomed the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) stating that the EU-Morocco fisheries agreement is not applicable to Western Sahara.

“We welcome the declaration of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) that the sovereignty and autonomy of the Sahrawi people must be respected and that Western Sahara and the adjacent territorial waters do not fall within the Moroccan fishing zone covered by the fishing agreement with the EU,” said ANC executive Nkosi Zwelivelile grandson of the Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela and founder of the ANC.

“This is a historic breakthrough for the Sahrawi people in their ongoing conflict with Morocco which must add the needed impetus so that resolution of this matter may be expedited,” said Zwelivelile, recalling that “The African National Congress has for decades had a principled position on the rights of the Sahrawi people and as recently as December at our 54th National General Conference demonstrated our support for the resolution of this longstanding issue.”

“I call on Morocco to not only accept and respect the outcome of this legal process but to extend a hand of friendship and brotherhood to their neighbours. This can usher in a new era bringing decades of dispute and conflict to a peaceful end,” he continued.

“Let us honour the legacy of one of the greatest freedom fighters of our time during this Nelson Mandela Centennial Celebrations Year (1918-2018) by elevating and advocating for the right to autonomy and self-determination for the Arab Sahrawi Republic,” said Mandela’s grandson.

In this connection, Zwelivelile said: “We offer our hand in support and call on others in the region like Algeria who were so instrumental in South Africa's own liberation to extend the hand of cooperation, friendship and peace. This is a cataclysmic moment and we must not lose the opportunity to ensure that we advance the cause of justice and self-determination.”

“Let this historic judgement bring the parties together and determine a path to peace, reconciliation and a new dawn for democracy,” stressed the ANC executive.

“I appeal to the King of Morocco and the government to seize this moment and finally resolve this longstanding issue. I commend the brave Sahrawi people in their just cause and will continue to stand by them and mobilise support in South Africa, on the continent as well as in the world,” concluded Zwelivelile.SPS