Chris Steven, Abuja
Forty years after Morocco has been occupying Western Sharawi as its colony, the Academic Union of Universities (ASUU) and African Union leaders have renewed calls for the liberation of the Sahara country to gain its political sovereignty.
Saharawi which has been occupied by Morocco since 1975 is the Africa’s last colony.
Speaking in Abuja on Tuesday, President of ASUU, Dr. Nasir Fagee said that pressure would be mounted on the government of Morocco to ensure that colonisation of Western Sahara does not extend beyond 2015.
Dr. Fagee who spoke international conference organized by ASUU with the theme, Towards the Liberation of Africa’s Last Colony, stated that inputs from the conference would be pushed to the African Union (AU) and United Nations Organisations (UNO) to demand for the liberation of the occupied country.
“We will make sure that Western Sahara is liberated and independent in 2015. I’m confident that this approach that we have started today is an approach that will make inputs into deliberations on Western Sahara at the African Union and UNO.
We will make sure that the colonisation of Western Sahara does not extend beyond 2015″ he said
Also, the African Union Chairman and President of Zibawbawe, Robert Mugabe said AU was disappointed at the absence of any new initiative on the part of United Nations to give fresh momentum and impetus to the demand for sovereignty of the country.
President Mugabe who was represented at the conference by the Ambassador of Zimbabwe to Nigeria, Lovemore Mazemo said AU was more disappointed that some big countries that often make the loudest noise regarding peoples right were entertaining their colonialist tendencies.
” they appear to watch with approval whilst the rights of the Saharawi people are being trampled upon all these” he said
He added that AU expect an equal and corresponding renewal of efforts by the international community noting particularly the UN Security Council saying ” so that we can finally see the conclusion of the decolonisation process in Western Sahara.
Keynote speaker, a former Minister of External Affairs and one time Nigerian permanent representative to the United Nations, Professor Ibrahim Gambari while defending the role of Nigeria in the struggle for Saharawi said Nigeria has constitutional right to fight for the liberation of other African countries.
In his presentation titled ” Nigeria, Africa and the Saharawi Question, Professor Gambari said the Saharawi people have the right to exercise their inalienable right to self determination.
While lamenting the role of UN in self determination of Western Saharawi, he challenged the UN Security Council to rise up to live up to expectations by ensuring that referendum is passed to guarrantee the independence of the country.
“The United Nations role in the Western Saharan issue has not produced concrete results. In terms of concrete actions and positive results, the United Nations has lagged behind AU. The OAU passed a resolution in 1972 which expressed solidarity with the people of Western Sahara.
The lack of progress in resolving the Western Sahara issue through referendum and aggressive diplomacy by Morocco appears to be undermining the solidarity of African states with the Saharawi people in their struggle for their right of self determination” he said