On Wednesday, 19 October 2022 the Revolutionary Alliance comprising the African National Congress (ANC), the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) held a bilateral meeting with the Polisario Front.
The President of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic and Secretary-General of the Polisario Front Brahim Ghali led the delegation of the Polisario Front, while the ANC Secretary-General’s Office, represented by Gwen Ramogkopa, Co-ordinator, the SACP General Secretary Solly Mapaila, and Cosatu Second Deputy President Duncan Luvuno together led the Alliance delegation.
2022 marked the 46th anniversary of the proclamation of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic. Meanwhile, Morocco continues its illegal occupation of Western Sahara. Solidarity with the Saharawi people against the illegal occupation was a key area of focus in the meeting.
The Alliance and the Polisario Front reaffirmed their long-established deep ties of solidarity forged in the common struggle for liberation, against colonialism and apartheid in South Africa, and for the Saharawi people’s fundamental right to self-determination.
Ghali emphasised the importance of ending the occupation of Western Sahara by Morocco. He said the Saharawi People must be allowed determine their destiny through a United Nations supervised referendum in line with the provisions of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 690 of 29 April 1991.
The Alliance reiterates its view that the United Nations should urgently implement the key tenants of the 1991 Ceasefire agreement, which provided, amongst others, for the holding of a Referendum, to enable the Saharawi People to exercise their right to self-determination.
The Alliance reaffirmed its support for the right of the Saharawi People to self-determination. The Alliance reiterated its rejection of the idea that an autonomous Western Sahara under Moroccan sovereignty is the only acceptable solution. This colonisation idea by Morocco contradicts the will of the Saharawi People and the resolutions of the United Nations, United Nations Security Council and the African Union.
In the same vein, the Alliance rejects the posture by Spain. This former colonial power, Spain, supports Morocco in undermining the right of the Saharawi People to self-determination.
In 1975, the International Court of Justice ruled that Morocco has absolutely no right to occupy Western Sahara or any of its territories. The Alliance reaffirmed its support for this ruling.
The Alliance also called upon the African Union to immediately engage with the 1983 Peace Plan, adopted by the Organisation of Africa Unity to resolve the situation of Western Sahara.
The Alliance denounced the lack of consultation with the Saharawi Republic by Mr Staffan de Mistura, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for Western Sahara. The Alliance calls upon the United Nations to facilitate a process for direct negotiations between Morocco and the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic with immediate effect.
The Alliance welcomed the high-level discussion between President Ghali and President Ramaphosa. It commended the principled and steadfast leadership provided by President Ramaphosa in committing to elevate South Africa’s bilateral relationship with the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic to a Strategic Partnership. The Alliance called for deepening of bilateral economic and trade relations with the Saharawi Republic.
The Alliance will strengthen its solidarity with the Polisario Front and the Saharawi People, by, among others, engaging in intensified united action on the domestic and international fronts for their national liberation and self-determination.
ISSUED BY ALLIANCE SECRETARIAT
Paul Mashatile OBO ANC Secretary-General’s Office
Solly Mapaila, SACP General Secretary
Solly Phetoe, Cosatu General Secretary
Source: South African Communist Party