BUJUMBURA, 25 January 2021 – Burundi has announced that it is closing its consulate in the city of El-Aajun in the occupied territory of Western Sahara.
The country’s foreign affairs ministry made the announcement on its Twitter handle Monday, explaining that the closure has been okayed for “strategic reasons and within the framework of reciprocity”.
The 2020 opening of the consulate was done in violation of Article 4(b) of the Constitutive Act of the African Union (AU), which upholds the sanctity of borders inherited from colonization.
The AU ruled that Morocco was illegally occupying Western Sahara, admitting the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR).
Other African governments, like Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, DR Congo, the Kingdom of Eswatini and The Gambia, which had announced or recently opened consulates in Western Sahara are expected to backpedal on those decisions.