Windhoek – National Assembly Speaker Prof Peter Katjavivi is the latest high-profile Namibian leader to speak out in support of the right to self-determination of the people of Western Sahara, following similar stern demands by President Hage Geingob and International Relations Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah.
Katjavivi made the remarks in parliament on Tuesday, where he said: “We in the Namibian Parliament should continue to express our support for and solidarity with the cause of the people of Western Sahara.”
He explained that during a recent working trip to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, he viewed an exhibition in Geneva that displayed many aspects of the lives of the people of Western Sahara.
“These are a people who are going through a lot of challenges in their quest to exercise their full right to self-determination, as well as in the acquisition of basic needs,” he noted.
He remarked that Morocco has ensured that it holds the Sahrawi people back from their right to self-determination, against the will of the people of Africa and the international community.
“It is not acceptable that in this modern day and age, when almost the entire Africa has been independent for decades after colonial oppression, that we can allow a fellow African country to bullishly occupy another African neighbour,” he opined.
Katjavivi said it is unacceptable for Morocco to cause wanton suffering to and place in bondage the Sahawari people, who should enjoy their sovereign right to independence, freedom, self-determination and dignity.
He further said the Sahawari people should enjoy overall fulfilment and realisation of their human rights and the rule of law.
Namibia has used every available opportunity to draw the world’s attention to the Sahrawi cause and at the last opportunity Nandi-Ndaitwah maintained that the country’s support for the people of Western Sahara remains solid as ever.
She called for the implementation of all resolutions of the United Nations related to Western Sahara.
Nandi-Ndaitwah, who is also Namibia’s deputy prime minister, said Namibia would not support Morocco’s bid to join the African Union until such time that the people of Western Sahara are able to enjoy their full right to self-determination.