South Africa calls on UN to urgently appoint a Special Envoy for Western Sahara to reach Freedom

Pretoria (South Africa) 02 December 2019 (SPS)- South African Minister of External Relations, Dr. Naledi Pandor, called this Monday on the UN Secretary General to urgently appoint a Special Envoy for Western Sahara with an aim to achieve the liberation and freedom of the last colony in Africa.

Speaking this morning before an official Memorial organised by the South African Ministry for External Relations and Cooperation to celebrate the life and pay tribute to the late Saharawi Ambassador, Bachir Radhi, who passed away last Wednesday, Dr. Pandor expressed President Ramaphosa condolences to the family of the late, to the Saharawi government and people.

Comenting on the political situation in Western Sahara, Minister Pandor recalled that “the UN agreed that the Saharawi people must be allowed to exercise their right to self-determination”.

Therefore, South Africa calls “on the UN Secretary General to expedite the appointment of a Special Envoy for Western Sahara and the pursuit of concrete outcomes that will result in Freedom," Minister Pandor stressed.

Minister Pandor emphasised that in “this 21st Century, whilst many countries have gained their independence from the oppressive shackles of colonialism, we still have an entire nation living in camps in Tindouf Algeria, unable to reap the full benefits of their territorial rights.”

Going back to the late Ambassador Bashir, she recalled that he “showed great passion and tireless determination in championing the Saharawi cause for freedom and self-determination and was well known for his intellect and sharp analytical abilities," Pandor further said commending the late Ambassador.

"In all the engagements he had with our Government he conveyed messages emphasising the Saharawi’s inalienable right to self-determination and the restoration of the Saharawi’s territorial integrity," she added.

"It is sad that Ambassador Bashir lived a difficult life because of the pain of separation from his family and  friends but most of all from his beloved homeland.  As a result of his illness he travelled back to a place called home, the camps in Tindouf" , Minister Pandor regreted.

Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, Ambassador Bene M'poko has taken to the podium to pay tribute to a colleague, Ambassador Radhi-Sghaiar Bachir, Ambassador of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic to the Republic of South Africa. (SPS)

090/500/60 (SPS)