Kenya backs Saharawi self-determination

Monday December 05 2016

Kenya's Foreign Affairs and International Trade cabinet secretary Amina Mohamed. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA

Kenya has expressed support for the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic's (SADR) self-determination as part of the campaign by Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed for the chairperson of the African Union Commission.

Speaking when she made a historic visit to the Western Sahara country, Ms Mohamed said that Kenya supports the SADR quest for full self-determination and its membership to the African Union (AU).

“Kenya fought for its self-determination and supports the people of Saharawi whose land is still occupied. The suffering the people of this country have undergone should come to an end,” she said.

Morocco considers Saharawi as part of its territory.

Ms Mohamed met and held discussions with SADR Prime Minister Abdelkader Taleb.

She also presented a special message from President Uhuru Kenyatta, on her nomination for the AU Commission seat and requested for support.


Drum up support

The development could go against the rapport Kenya recently struck with Morocco that saw President Kenyatta travel to Rabat to drum up support for Ms Mohammed.

Morocco—that is seeking a comeback to AU since withdrawing from the continental body in 1981—has been lobbying for the expulsion of the SADR from AU before it is reinstated.

It is going to be one of the major issues to be discussed at the sidelines of the January 2017 AU heads of state summit in Addis Ababa.

Morocco withdraw from the then Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1981 because of the admission of SADR, which it believes it part of its territory.

Most of the citizens of SADR live in camps administered by Algeria and UNHCR.