Western Sahara’s struggle for independence from Morocco continues.
The head of the Polisario Front, the Sahrawi liberation movement, has said “all options are open” days after Morocco was re-admitted to the African Union.
Nevertheless, the kingdom’s return to the AU does not fundamentally change the situation, says Polisario head and SADR president Brahim Ghali.
We are peaceful people who have waited 26 years for a peaceful resolution of the conflict
“We are peaceful people who have waited 26 years for a peaceful resolution of the conflict. We have worked in good faith with the United Nations to help it complete its mandate in the territories,” he emphasized.
Morocco left the AU’s predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity, in 1984 after the the bloc admitted the former Western Sahara, the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, as a separate member.
“At the same time, we are preparing for all options, but we always prefer and always tend to opt for a peaceful solution,” said Ghali.
Dubbed Africa’s last colony, the vast desert territory and former Spanish colony has been under Moroccan control since 1975.
“France has made the suffering of the Sahrawi people last for more than 26 years. We expected a different attitude from France and continue to hope that it reconciles with the principles of the French state,” added Ghali.
A national referendum was promised after a UN-brokered ceasefire in 1991, but was never carried out due to wrangling over who was eligible to vote.
International peace efforts have also borne little fruit.