Botswana International Affairs Minister: "Africa must support and stand in solidarity with the Saharawi Republic"

Gaborone (Botswana) 26 May 2021 (SPS)-  Botswana’s Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation, Dr Lemogang Kwape, called on African countries to “continue to speak with one voice” to support and stand in solidarity with the people of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, in his Africa Day statement broadcast through various media channels Yesterday.

Dr Kwape noted that “the principles of self-determination, freedom, and political independence were and still are the cornerstones of the Union and key components for development”, amplifying the call for the “political emancipation” of the Western Sahara through relevant regional and international bodies.

He considered that Africa Day celebrations “present a special opportunity for us not only to celebrate our landmark achievements but to also reflect on our future prospects”, regretting that “today we still have some countries on the Continent that have not attained their political independence and self-determination such as Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR).”

“We, therefore, need to continue to speak with one voice to support and stand in solidarity with the people of Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic and call for their political emancipation through the African Union, the United Nations, and other relevant bodies,” the Minister noted.

It should be recalled that Botswana never missed the opportunity to support Western Sahara’s legitimate fight for self-determination and freedom from the occupying forces of Morocco, using every given opportunity, whether at the SADC, AU or United Nations General Assembly, to voice this support.

President Dr. Mokgweetsi Masisi has clearly condemned Morocco’s illegal occupation of Western Sahara in his speech before the African Union’s 14th Extraordinary Summit on Silencing the Guns last year.

“Chairperson, I am confident that we all know that the dream of “the Africa We Want” will remain just a dream as long as the people of Western Sahara have not attained their full independence and self-determination. Botswana wishes to reiterate her unwavering support for the liberation of Western Sahara,” President Masisi emphasised.

He indicated that Botswana “condemns in the strongest terms the recent attacks on peaceful Saharawi demonstrators in their own country, which has led to the current renewed armed conflict between Western Sahara and Morocco.”

He further stressed that Africans “can never enjoy real peace and security in Africa when a fellow member of the African Union continues to endure long years of suffering, turmoil and oppression at the behest of another Member State. We will continue to call on the international community to redouble the efforts to right the wrong that continue torment the peace-loving Saharawi people.” (SPS)

090/500/60 (SPS)