African Union : The troika meeting on the Sahara did not take place in Niamey

Set up in July 2018 at an African Union summit in Nouakchott, the troika on Western Sahara held one unofficial meeting in February in Addis Ababa. A second meeting, scheduled for July 8 in Niamey, has been postponed to a later date.

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Troika members Egypt's Abdelfattah Al-Sissi, Rwanda's Paul Kagame and South Africa's Cyril Ramaphosa. / Ph. DR

After it was announced that an African Union troika meeting will be held in Niamey on the sidelines of the 12th AU Extraordinary Summit, the presidents from the AU body ended up not discussing the Western Sahara dispute in Niger.  

The meeting, initially scheduled for Monday morning, according to the draft program of events during the period of the 12th extraordinary session of the assembly of the union, and which was expected to bring together Egyptian President Abdelfattah Al-Sissi, Rwanda’s Paul Kagame and South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa did not take place, a diplomatic source told Yabiladi on Tuesday.

On Monday, sources in Niamey reported that the troika meeting on Western Sahara was postponed to a later date. The same source confirmed the news to Yabiladi, stressing that the meeting was put back after Rwandan President left Niger capital. The same source adds that the «busy schedule» of Al-Sissi was also behind this postponement.

A meeting announced by Algeria and the Polisario

In Algeria, the African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security Smail Chergui, who is also an Algerian diplomat, was the first AU official to announce, Thursday, that the troika will be discussing the Western Sahara conflict in a meeting on the sidelines of the summit held in Niger.

On the same day, the Polisario Front’s «Foreign Affairs Minister» Mohamed Ould Salek made the same announcement, when interviewed by the separatist movement’s press agency (SPS).

However, the Polisario have completely ignored the «rescheduling» of said meeting. The same thing goes for the Algerian press agency (APS).

Last week, King Mohammed VI sent two written messages to the Egyptian and Rwandan Presidents. Abdelfattah Al-Sissi and Paul Kagame are both members of the African Union troika.

The Moroccan king did not send a letter to Cyril Ramaphosa, who is also a member of the troika. For the record, diplomatic ties between Rabat and Pretoria have witnessed a setback because of the Sahara issue.  

During the 31st AU summit, held in Nouakchott, AU leaders «curtailed» the Peace and Security Council’s work on the Western Sahara dispute and assigned a troika of heads of state to report directly to AU assembly.

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