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Kenya reverses decision to cut ties with Western Sahara’s Polisario

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Kenya reverses decision to cut ties with Western Sahara's Polisario

Kenya maintains excellent relations with all members of the African Union and the United Nations, adding the country has and will continue to strengthen the relations for mutual benefit, said Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau. Morocco claimed Western Sahara in 1975, in a move that was not recognised by the UN, which calls it a “non-self governing territory”. (TRTWorld) Kenya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has reversed a decision made by President William Ruto to cut ties with the Polisario-controlled region of disputed Western Sahara.

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Ruto said on Twitter last Wednesday that the East African nation no longer recognises the territory as an independent state.

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But in a statement to the media on Monday, Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau said “Kenya’s position on the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic [SADR] is fully aligned with the decision of the Organization of African Unity to admit the SADR to its membership on 22nd August 1982 and the AU (African Union) Charter, which calls for the unquestionable and inalienable right of a people to self-determination. Further, the country aligns itself with decisions of subsequent AU assemblies of heads of state and government on the SADR.”

Kamau added that the Republic of Kenya maintains excellent relations with all members of the African Union and the United Nations, adding his country has and will continue to strengthen the relations for mutual benefit.

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Kenya aligns itself with UN Security Council Resolution 690 of 1991, which calls for the self-determination of Western Sahara through a free and fair referendum administered by the UN and the African Union.

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Nairobi has underlined that it supports the implementation of this UN Security Council resolution to the letter

“It should equally be noted that Kenya does not conduct its foreign policy on Twitter or any other social media platforms, (but) rather through official government documents and frameworks,” Kamau added

READ MORE: Kenya snaps ties with Western Sahara's Polisario after talks with Morocco

JUST IN: #Kenya notifies diplomatic missions in Nairobi that it has not reversed policy on #Sahrawi , clarifies that it aligns with the @_AfricanUnion call for self determination of the Western Sahara Peoples

— Aggrey 'AG' Mutambo🇰🇪🇺🇬 (@agmutambo) September 18, 2022 Western Sahara dispute

President Ruto’s comments came moments after he received a congratulatory message from Morocco’s King Mohammed VI after becoming president

Ruto said he had received a “message from His Majesty King Mohammed VI. Kenya rescinds its recognition of the SADR and initiates steps to wind down the entity’s presence in the country.”

The Kenyan leader added in his statement that his country is accelerating relations with the Kingdom of Morocco in areas such as trade, agriculture, health, tourism and energy for the mutual benefit of both countries

The Algerian-backed Polisario Front wants an independent state in Western Sahara, a vast stretch of mineral-rich desert that Morocco claims as part of its own territory

The leader of the Polisario movement, Brahim Ghali, attended Ruto's inauguration on Sept. 13 in the capital Nairobi and was recognised by President Ruto himself as he introduced other heads of state

Under a 1991 ceasefire, the UN, which considers the Western Sahara “a non-self-governing territory”, deployed a peacekeeping mission

In February 2014, the Polisario administration opened an embassy in Nairobi and has had good ties with Kenya since then

READ MORE: UN's Western Sahara envoy meets Polisario Front in Algeria

Source: TRTWorld and agencies