WINDHOEK – President Hage Geingob has asserted Namibia and Western Sahara – a territory in the Maghreb region of North Africa – enjoy outstanding relations, rooted in their quest for freedom and independence.
Even though Morocco annexed Western Sahara and has been resisting efforts by the region to grant that country its independence, Geingob yesterday during the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic President Brahim Ghali’s one-day state visit, said since Namibia’s own independence in 1990, the two countries have maintained cordial bilateral relations.
“The Polisario Front stood shoulder to shoulder with us as tested comrades. Western Sahara stood firm in their quest for inalienable self-determination and independence during the struggle for liberation. Our common aspirations and commitment to shared prosperity has always been at the centre of our partnership and friendship,” the Namibian head of state noted.
Ghali, who also held a public lecture at Nipam yesterday, is in Namibia as part of his efforts to seek regional diplomatic support towards his people’s quest for self-determination from the iron-grip of Morocco.
Geingob reiterated Namibia’s position on the right to self-determination and independence of the people of Western Sahara, saying Namibia has been clear and consistent on the matter.
The Namibian government, says Geingob, continue to call upon the international community, particularly the United Nations, to ensure that the Saharawi people exercise their full right to self-determination without any further delays.
Geingob promised to continue diplomatic engagements with Western Saharawi people.
He said no one wants a war as it brings a lot of suffering and he cited Namibia’s case to gain its own independence that also took a long time before the UN could resolve it.
He therefore urged the Saharawi never to give up hope in their fight for self-determination.
Geingob maintained the world has scaled down as far as colonialism is concerned. However, he said there are still remnants of it, adding that colonialism represents one of the most serious violations of national sovereignty of states – in breach of international law.
Foreign occupation, he noted, created an environment in which the occupied people are exposed to a wide range of systemic and gross violations of human rights and freedoms, including dispossession, displacement and denial of their right to self-determination.
Against this, he said Namibia continues to reaffirm its solidarity with the people of Western Sahara and call for the full implementation of the United Nations Settlement Plan for Western Sahara.
He promised that Namibia will continue to contribute to the work of the committee on the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.
Geingob said Namibia will continue to support the call of the people of Western Sahara to self-determination in their pursuit to exercise their inalienable rights to determine their own future and establish an independent state.
About the reference to the recent admission of Morocco into the African Union, Geingob stated Namibia believes all the AU member states should work together to encourage the two-member states, the Kingdom of Morocco and the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic to engage in direct and serious talks and extend the necessary cooperation to the AU policy organs, the commission and the AU high representative for Western Sahara.
“We are encouraged by the work of the AU Peace and Security Council on this issue and we look forward to the continued cooperation between the AU and UN on the question of Western Sahara…,” he said.