The South African head of state called on the United States “to cancel without waiting for the illegal recognition imposing the supposed sovereignty of Morocco over Western Sahara”. This statement follows a bombardment.
On Saturday, January 23, the Ministry of Defense of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) announced that the Saharawi army had bombed the Guerguerat border crossing, which came under the control of the Moroccan army since November 13.
This attack, which comes three days after the inauguration of Joe Biden, will weigh on the decision that the latter could take regarding the declaration of Donald Trump to recognize the sovereignty of Morocco over Western Sahara?
In this context, it is marked by a risk of conflagration in the region that the South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, on Sunday, January 24, called on his American counterpart to annul the “unilateral and illegal” decision of his predecessor.
Quickly cancel recognition
On the sidelines of a meeting of the executive committee of his party, the African National Congress (ANC), President Ramaphosa praised “the positive commitment made by Joe Biden to renew the mode of dialogue and collaboration of his country with the rest of the world [with a view to solving international problems, editor’s note]”.
While the new US foreign, national security, and defense ministers had said the new administration would review all last-minute decisions made by Trump, the South African head of state called on Biden “to immediately cancel the illegal recognition imposing the supposed sovereignty of Morocco over Western Sahara”.
In the same sense, while deploring the persistence of the status quo regarding the resolution of the conflict in Western Sahara, Cyril Ramaphosa assured that he would intensify his efforts within the UN and the African Union (AU), of which he is the current President, with a view to “the recognition of the right of the Saharawi people to self-determination and independence”.
The Moroccan authorities say that the situation is calm at the passage of Guerguerat and that commercial traffic continues there normally.
What will the United States decide?
In a phone call with his Israeli counterpart Meir Ben Shabbat on January 23, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan reaffirmed his country’s commitment to “the security of Israel.”
He did not say whether the decisions related to the sale of F-35 fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates, Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara, and Sudan’s removal from the list of sponsor countries for international terrorism would be maintained, informs a note from the White House.
In the same vein, heard in Congress for confirmation of their appointment, the head of the State Department, Antony Blinken, and the Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin affirmed that the commitments made by Donald Trump in the wake of the “Abraham Accords” were going to be reviewed.
“There are certain commitments that may have been made in the context of the normalization of their relations with Israel by these countries, which I think we should look at carefully,” Blinken told a congressman, according to the Washington Institute for Near Eastern Policy.
For his part, Lloyd Austin had said that the Moroccanness of Western Sahara “is an issue that I would certainly like to examine more closely, Mr. President, before I give you a detailed answer”. He was responding to a question from Senator James Inhofe, chairman of the Armed Forces Commission.