WASHINGTON, DC, 20 December 2020 – The decision by American President Donald Trump to recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) has met with widespread condemnation.
The African Union, Britain, France and Russia have all reiterated their support for a United Nations plan for a referendum in which the people of SADR would choose between independence and integration with Morocco.
This is a “direct hit at the African Union, of which the SADR is one of 55 member states,” said former U.S. Secretary of State, James A. Baker III.
Baker served as a United Nations envoy for the Western Sahara.
He has accused Trump of “cynically trading off the self-determination rights of the people of Western Sahara”.
The Polisario Front which fought Morocco in an armed conflict in the mid-1970s over the territory accepted a ceasefire and threw their weight in support of the ballot proposal.
Morocco has ever since the ceasefire continued to block a vote while it continues to exploit the rich phosphate deposits of SADR.
Under the deal reached with the Trump administration, Morocco is supposed to recognize Israel and to formerly begin diplomatic relations with it.