Lesotho: “Without addressing the decolonisation issue, we cannot be assured of silencing the guns in North Africa”

Maseru (Lesotho) 07 December 2020 (SPS)- The Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Lesotho, H.E. Dr Moeketsi Majoro, affirmed in his remarks before the AU 14th Extraordinary Summit on Silencing the Guns yesterday, that “Without addressing the decolonisation issue, we cannot be assured of silencing the guns in North Africa.”

“We can only silence the guns if we are able to stick to those principles of the founding of both the OAU and the AU. The pinnacle of those principles is the question of self-determination. The issue of Western Sahara is nothing more than the colonial question,” he stressed.

He regretted that the mechanism adopted by the AU during the 2018 Summit in Nouakchott didn’t succeed, recalling that “we are now faced with a situation of war rather than peace in Western Sahara. Lesotho recommends that this august Assembly revisit the situation in order to avert bloodshed.”

He further stressed that Lesotho “unequivocally supports the right of the people of Western Sahara to determine their future in line with Security Council Decision on this matter,” considering that “without addressing the decolonisation issue, we cannot be assured of silencing the guns in North Africa. We sincerely hope that the AU can push the UN Secretary General to ensure that arrangements for a referendum to test the views of the people of Western Sahara on their future are made at the earliest.”

He finally proposed "additional text in the Report of the Chairperson of the Commission on Activities and Efforts Toward Silencing the Guns in Africa at the end of paragraph 41 (o) under recommendations as follows, The Summit:

EXPRESSES deep concerns over the escalating military tensions between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Sahrawi Republic that have developed in Al-Guerguerat, the narrow Buffer Strip in Western Sahara, leading to the violation of the 1991 Ceasefire Agreement, including the military agreement Number 1, and the unfortunate resumption of war; and in this context,

REQUESTS the Peace and Security Council (PSC), in line with the relevant provisions of its Protocol, to engage the two parties, both of whom are Member States of the AU, to address the unfolding situation in order to prepare conditions for a new cease-fire and to reach a just and durable solution to the conflict, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara in line with the relevant AU-UN decisions and resolutions and the objectives and principles of the Constitutive Act of the African Union." (SPS)

090/500/60 (SPS)