The Diplomatic Battle for the SADR's Recognition

The Polisario Front improves its diplomatic ties with various African countries. 

Hasina Mulai Mehdi

9/23/20225 min read


This was not just a rapid reaction; it was crucial. Following statements by Peru's then-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Miguel Angel Rodriguez Mackay, withdrawing recognition and severing relations with the Sahrawi Republic, President Pedro Castillo reaffirmed his support for the Sahrawi people's right to self-determination while commemorating the first anniversary of the two countries' restoration of relations. Shortly after that, Chancellor MacKay resigned from his position due to disagreements with the head of the government.

What happened in Kenya has been transient. After President Ruto's inauguration, a tweet appeared on the Kenyan president's account where he broke off relations with SADR right after meeting with Nasser Bourita. The tweet vanished, and a few days later, a statement was released confirming Kenya's recognition of SADR while maintaining its cordial relations with SADR. The Moroccan press and its allies claimed that this was a fake declaration. They asked the Kenyan Prime Minister to appear in a proper TV interview and openly confirm his position to clarify things. Taleb Ali Salem makes a chronology of this topic.

In addition, at the same time, Saharawi diplomacy achieved a new victory in New York, where South Sudan affirmed that it resumes relations with Western Sahara and again recognizes the SADR as an independent country.

 Contrarily, in the same week, we got informed that the Chadian foreign minister, Cherif Mohamed Zein, had announced his resignation from his post for, among other reasons, the fact that his country intends to open a consulate in Western Sahara, and that they did not take him into account when making this decision.


  The Portuguese Left Bloc has urged its government "Coherencia" to support the Western Saharan people's right to self-determination, as it did in the case of East Timor. Spain should ask Portugal how the decolonization process is being carried out.


Three months have passed since Algeria suspended its trade ties with Spain, and Albares, the Spanish minister for foreign affairs, still needs to understand why. Algeria didn't explain. However, he thinks it has to do with the letter signed by Pedro Sanchez, the Spanish president, addressed to Morocco. Even though they indicated that it is public knowledge, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs insists on hiding the truth. claiming that "in this kind of documents, assessments and political positions on other countries are being reflected, which their eventual publicity provokes a reaction in the third world countries and could put at risk the bilateral relations with other foreign governments." Did Morocco intentionally publish the letter, then?

Meanwhile, the gas negotiations between Spain's Naturgy and Algeria's Sonatrach continue progressing while the prices and timelines are still up for discussion. It should also be noted that, despite Algeria having guaranteed the agreed-upon gas supply, it has not provided Spain with liquefied natural gas since July. In addition, one of the reasons for this crisis might be that Spain started sending gas to Morocco (while making sure that not a single molecule of Algerian gas would reach its neighbor Morocco). However, some experts indicate that the gas absence in August has already occurred in other years. Algeria has proven to be a reliable energy partner in all cases, as noted by Charles Michel, President of the European Council, during his recent visit to the nation.


The former Socialist Minister Maria Antonia Trujillo caused a stir by asserting at a conference in Tetouan, in which former President Zapatero made his opening presentation, that "the demand for Ceuta and Melilla is fully justified" and that "they represent an affront to Morocco's territorial integrity." The assembly of Melilla has declared her a 'person not appreciated', and until now, Zapatero has not commented on that. 


 On the islands this weekend, there will be two completely opposing events. On the one hand, the dissident group "Sahrawis for Peace" organised a gathering to support the idea of Moroccan autonomy for Western Sahara, which will be attended by socialists such as Rodriguez Zapatero and José Bono in order to advocate the idea of Moroccan autonomy for Western Sahara. On the other hand, the campaign "Canary Islands with Western Sahara Self-determination" will be commemorated. In October, 32 representatives from various groups will travel to New York to defend the Sahrawi people's right to self-determination at the United Nations headquarters.


A few weeks ago, a decree from the French Council of State came into effect forbidding the unauthorised import of agricultural products from the Sahrawi-occupied territories. The Peasants' Federation filed a complaint, claiming that Western Sahara does not belong to Morocco and that the marketing of cherries, melons, and tomatoes from the occupied territories as a Moroccan product violates EU law and the rulings issued by the EU Court of Justice in 2016 and 2018. All the details are provided on Sahrawi TV in Spanish.


After De Mistura resigned from visiting Western Sahara because of the obstacles imposed by Morocco, the Special Envoy visited the Sahrawi refugee camps, Algiers, and Nouakchott to continue mediation efforts in the conflict. It is essential that, in contrast to earlier occasions, the envoy landed in Tindouf on a regular Algerian Airlines flight rather than a plane from the Spanish Air Force. In what way will Albares now defend the envoy's backing?


As Morocco's crisis deepens, King Mohammed VI rarely comes to the country to attend any meeting, ceremony, or speech. While the Algerian Minister of Justice, as host of the Arab Summit, is expected to travel to Morocco to deliver his invitation, he believes that King himself will travel to Algeria to try to communicate, as he stated in his Throne Celebration speech.

The Moroccan government also announced its intention to hold a ministerial meeting with countries that had opened consulates in Western Sahara to demonstrate sovereignty over the territory and encourage other countries to join them. As Morocco seeks diplomatic relations, civilians in Western Sahara are again killed by artillery drones against vehicles. They enjoy taking on civilians.

Hence, it should make the organisers of the African Eco Race see that allowing passage through Western Sahara, a current war zone, is not the most logical option, as the POLISARIO Front has already warned in a letter.


As president of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Ibrahim Ghali travelled to Tunisia (a fact that infuriated Morocco). He also attended the inauguration ceremony of Kenya's new President, William Ruto, and visited Angola to inaugurate President João Lourenço.