5th African Union-EU Summit : The Polisario accuses France of blocking its participation

The Polisario accuses France of blocking its participation in the next African Union-EU summit. The 5th AU-EU conference will take place on the 29th and 30th of November in Abidjan, Ivory Cost to strengthen political and economic ties between the two continents.

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5th African Union-EU Summit : The Polisario accuses France of blocking its participation./Ph. DR

Six weeks before the 5th African Union-EU summit, scheduled for the 29th and 30th of November in Abidjan, Ivory Cost, France is accused of trying to allegedly block Polisario participation to the meeting. Leaders of the separatist movement have voiced their disappointment putting the blame on the European country. «The SADR will participate to the forthcoming AU-EU summit, on an equal footing with the rest of the AU member states», Mohamed Salem Ould Salek, the «Foreign Minister» of the Front said yesterday in Algiers.

He also accused, in a statement to APS, the Algerian news agency, the kingdom of being behind this campaign. «Morocco, with the help of France, is doing everything to block SADR’s participation in the partnership meeting between the AU and the EU in the Ivorian capital», Ould Salek argued.

On Monday, 10th of October, the French Foreign Minister, Jean Yves le Drian declared in Rabat as reported by APS that France is for «a consensus solution that would allow only sovereign states to participate in the partnership meeting, AU-EU». The position of France officially explained by the French Minister was hardly appreciated by Algeria and the Polisario leadership who will have to change their plans.

Indeed, doubt is all over the place especially as the Algerian ambassador to Brussels, Amar Belani, announced by the end of September that the Polisario is attending the summit.

AU summits, a new diplomatic battle

For Morocco, silent has been the only answer for the moment, assigning France with the task of getting the Polisario off the way. The latter is obviously relying on Algeria and South Africa to ensure its presence.

Major international summits involving the African Union have become a diplomatic battlefield for Morocco on one hand and the Polisario and its allies on the other. The most recent example was the presence of the Polisario at TICAD, the Tokyo International Conference on African Development, held last August in Maputo (Mozambique), which turned into a rat race.

In 2015, Morocco had successfully marked its presence at the India-Africa Summit, with King Mohammed VI visiting New Delhi for the first time, despite the pressure put by the African Union to oust the kingdom for the benefit of the Polisario.

The most recent battle is about the EU-AU summit supposed to take place in the next coming day.

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