South Africa: The right of the people of Western Sahara to self-determination and independence is not negotiable

New York (United Nations) 12 October 2022 (SPS)- The Permanent Representative of South Africa to the UN, Mathu Joyini, affirmed that the right of the people of Western Sahara to self-determination and independence is not negotiable, in her statement yesterday before the UN 4th Committee on Decolonisation.

“We are concerned that in our own continent, Africa, the Saharawi people still cannot exercise their right to self-determination, which is guaranteed under the Charter of the United Nations. South Africa stands by the African Union's consistent position that the inalienable right of the people of Western Sahara to self-determination and independence is not negotiable,” she said.

She recalled that “the International Court of Justice has given credence to this position when it stated in its advisory opinion on 16 October 1975 that there were no links of territorial sovereignty between Morocco and the Western Sahara prior to the Spanish colonization of the Territory.”

On another note, she recalled the Committee that the Moroccan violation of the ceasefire last Novmber 13th 2020, “resulted in the resumption of hostilities between the two sides, a major setback towards a negotiated settlement, which is of grave concern to us.”

She urged the parties to “abide by the terms of the ceasefire agreements and avoid any acts that could lead to a further rise in tensions and hostilities in the territory,” and further welcomed “the efforts of the Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, Mr. Staffan de Mistura, to resuscitate the political dialogue amongst the parties, paving the way towards a just, lasting and mutually acceptable negotiated political solution.” (SPS)

090/500/60 (SPS)