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Sahara : Morocco and Algeria clash at another Pan-African Parliament session in South Africa

In Midrand, MPs form Morocco and Algeria clashed during a Pan-African Parliament session held Monday. The session focused on the African Union’s 2019 theme of refugees, returnees, and internally displaced people in the continent.

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The Pan-African Parliament. / Ph. DR

During the second ordinary session of the Pan-African Parliament’s fifth Parliament (PAP), held Monday in Midrand, representatives from Morocco clashed with the members of delegations sent by Algeria and the Polisario Front to attend the meeting.

During PAP’s session, which focused on the African Union’s 2019 theme of ‘Refugees, Returnees, and Internally Displaced People’, an Algerian representative referred to the situation of Sahrawis in the Tindouf camps, repeating the «same version of the story», Noureddine Karbal, PJD MP and a member of the Moroccan delegation that took part to the meeting, told Yabiladi on Tuesday.

«Responding to that, we recalled that the resolution issued at the Nouakchott African Union summit had urged the continental organization to delete reference to Western Sahara in the AU Peace and Security Council’s report and assigned a troika of heads of state to report directly to AU assembly», Karbal said. The MP told attendees that «the African Parliament is not meant to discuss an issue that was decided on before by the AU».

Another clash at the Pan-African Parliament because of refugees

During the same meeting Karbal stressed that «a census must be conducted in the Tindouf camps to have an idea about the situation in which these so-called refugees live». His words, however, angered some of the attendees, including a Polisario representative who said that «the Tindouf camps are open to international organizations».

«When I mentioned the need of visiting all refugee camps in Africa, PAP President Roger Nkodo Dang responded saying that the PAP and the UNHCR agreed that similar visits must be conducted by the Un agency itself».

According to the Moroccan MP, the PAP President was neutral and made mention of the Nouakchott resolution several times. «PAP President stressed that decisions taken by the Pan-African Parliament on the Sahara issue must be reviewed by the African Union, the thing that angered them», Karbal said, referring to representatives from Algeria and the Front.

This is not the first time that MPs from Morocco clash with the separatist movement’s representatives at the Pan-African Parliament. In March, members of the Polisario Front and a Moroccan delegation at the African Union clashed at the Pan-African Parliament in Midrand.

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