Pretoria: President Jacob Zuma held talks on Friday in Pretoria with the Saharawi President, Brahim Ghali, in a show of support for the territory’s struggle against the Moroccan colonial occupation of Western Sahara.
Brahim Ghali is making his first visit to South Africa after his electtion last July as the successor of the late Sharawi President, Mohamed Abdelaziz.
“It is unfathomable that Western Sahara… still remains colonised,” Zuma said to the Media after the talks with his guest.
“We remain committed to continue to walk with the people of Western Sahara until you are free to live in your own land and able to determine your own future.”
Morocco quit the African Union more than 32 years ago when Western Sahara – officially known in the AU as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) — was granted membership in the OAU in 1982.
But Morocco is now lobbying to return to the AU and is deploying all means, including questionable ones, to succeed this plan.
“The Sahrawi people are struggling to recover the total sovereignty of their state, over all their national territory,” Brahim Ghali told reporters.
“We are unfortunately confronting military occupation from the neighbouring state, the kingdom of Morocco” he added.
Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony, was assaulted by the Moroccan royal forces in 1975 in total violation of the international law.
Morocco says it will not change its stance on Western Sahara despite its efforts to rejoin the AU.