Johannesburg, South Africa (ADV) – South Africa’s International Relations and Cooperation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu will next week on Tuesday, brief members of the media on the state of readiness for the SADC Solidarity Conference with the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic / Western Sahara.
Early this month, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) announced that South Africa and Namibia will co-host the SADC Solidarity Conference on Western Sahara, scheduled for 25-26 March 2019 in Pretoria.
During a debate on the State of the Nation Address, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the Solidarity Conference will be “in support of the struggle of the Saharawi people against the colonial occupation of their territory.”
A former Spanish colony, Western Sahara was annexed by Morocco in 1975. Since then it has been the subject of a long-running territorial dispute between Morocco and its indigenous Saharawi people, led by the Polisario Front.
Western Sahara is a sparsely-populated area of mostly desert situated on the northwest coast of Africa and home to phosphate reserves and rich fishing grounds off its coast. It is also believed to have as yet untapped offshore oil deposits.
The Saharan Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), declared by the Polisario Front in 1976 and is now recognised by many governments and is a full member of the African Union