July 17th 2023
Angola has rejected Moroccan claims that it has changed its position on the Western Sahara conflict. The Moroccan government has been trying to pressure Angola to drop its support for the Sahrawi people’s right to self-determination, but Angola has so far refused to back down.
Last year, Angola officially invited Brahim Ghali, the president of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), to take part in the inauguration ceremony of the new President of Angola. The Moroccan prime minister, who attended the ceremony, delayed a meeting of his government to travel to Angola. However, it was only during a handshake that the Moroccan prime minister handed a letter from the king of Morocco to President João Lourenço.
In a joint statement, Angola’s Foreign Ministry affirmed its commitment to a mutually acceptable political solution to the Western Sahara issue in accordance with the UN Charter and the agreements between the two parties involved. The statement further expressed Angola’s support for the efforts of Mr. Staffan de Mistura, the UN Special Envoy for the Sahara.
The Moroccan government has been trying to portray Angola as a supporter of its claim to the entire Western Sahara territory. However, Angola’s recent actions have demonstrated its unwavering commitment to the Sahrawi people’s right to self-determination.
Furthermore, despite Morocco’s claims of supporting Africa’s capability to solve its own problems, there is a contradiction in its actions. Morocco is preventing the African Union from carrying out the decolonization process in Western Sahara and has refused to receive the AU Special Envoy to Western Sahara, Alberto Chesano. These actions contradict the joint statement in which Morocco pledged to support initiatives aligned with its king’s vision of an Africa capable of solving its own problems and being a source of solutions for the international community.
It is worth noting that no strategic country has changed its position on the Western Sahara struggle for self-determination and independence, but Morocco did. Recently, when William Ruto, the Deputy President of Kenya, reiterated his support for the self-determination of the Sahrawi people and recognition of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), Morocco launched a propaganda campaign. The Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita, even issued an official statement pretending that Kenya had changed its position. However, this incident only highlights Morocco’s desperation to undermine the growing international support for the Sahrawi cause.
In 2022, Angola appointed an ambassador to the Sahrawi Republic, and the Sahrawi ambassador to Angola has been received by the Angolan president, ministers, and other high-level officials. Additionally, a group of Angolan students and youth leaders recently visited the Sahrawi refugee camps in Tindouf, Algeria, to show their support for the Sahrawi people’s cause.”
Morocco’s recent actions suggest that it is starting to realize that it cannot isolate the Sahrawi people or their supporters. After threatening to cease its dealings with any country that does not recognize its sovereignty over Western Sahara or support its management of the region, Morocco has once again resorted to coexisting with the existing reality. It has started to normalize relations with countries that seen as supporters of the Sahrawi Arab Republic.
The claims made by the Moroccan government, suggesting that Angola has changed its position on the Western Sahara conflict, are baseless. Angola has a long history of supporting the Sahrawi people and will continue to do so until they achieve self-determination.