Akin Akande, Abuja
Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and representatives of labour bodies from other African countries have asked the African Union (AU) to impose economic, military and diplomatic sanctions against Morocco over the occupation of Western Sahara.
This was part of the outcome of a three-day conference with the theme, “Liberation of Western Sahara: Ending Colonialism in Africa,” which ended on Wednesday in Abuja.
The conference drew participants from African Union, the African Parliament and the major African trade unions, comprising the organization of Africa trade union unity (OATUU), World Federation of Trade Union (WFTU), International Trade Union Congress (ITUC-Africa), including Civil Society Organizations from many African countries.
They unanimously condemned the inhuman and illegal plundering of the natural resources of Western Sahara in contradiction to international law.
Deputy President of NLC, Promise Adewusi who read out the communiqué at the end of the conference, chided African leaders for being laid back in the struggle for independence of Western Sahara, described as the last colony in Africa.
He said: “We call upon the African Union and its member states to impose economic, military and diplomatic sanctions against Morocco just as was successfully done for with the Apartheid regime in South Africa.
“We also condemn the continued occupation and colonization of Western Sahara by Morocco, particularly the decision by the Moroccan Government to sign fishing agreements in the area of Western Sahara with other countries.
“The Spanish government created the confusion and crises in the Western Sahara today for administrative agreement with Morocco.
“This Conference condemn in totality France for her despicable obstruction of the peaceful resolution of the decolonisation of Western Sahara as well as the repression, systematic human rights violations and crime against humanity perpetrated by the Moroccan authorities against the Saharawi people.
“These violations are well documented by various international human rights organisations”.
The conference, however, nominated Benin Republic as host for the 2014 edition.