To Morocco’s dismay, Lesotho revises its position and recognizes «SADR»

Lesotho, a landlocked country in Southern Africa, has ended up changing its mind on the Western Sahara question. The new government, appointed on May 21, decided to recognize the so-called «SADR» after having announced the opposite in December 2019.

The Kingdom of Lesotho. / DR
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To Morocco’s dismay, the Kingdom of Lesotho has reiterated its support to the so-called «SADR». The step was announced, Tuesday, on Twitter by the country’s ambassador to Ethiopia and permanent representative to the African Union Mafa M. Sejanamane.

«I'm glad that our new Minister of Foreign & International Affairs has publicly removed this early the cloud over us on Western Sahara. Lesotho unequivocally supports self-determination of the people of Western Sahara. Colonialism belongs to the old era», he wrote.

The diplomat added that his country has «indicated officially to the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic that our position on Western Sahara had not changed in spite of what former Minister had said while in Morocco». «It's gratifying that Lesotho's policy has been clearly spelt out!», he explained.

Morocco's former «ally» leaves the Foreign ministry

This new position comes as the Kingdom of Lesotho is going through a series of changes. On May 21, the country saw the appointment of a new government led by Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro. The former «ally» of Morocco, Ledego Calayl Makghoti, was sidelined from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in favor of Matṥepo Ramakoae.  

For the record, Lesotho’s former Foreign Minister said on December 10 in Rabat during a joint press briefing with his Moroccan counterpart, that he is «[there] to confirm and clarify [his] country’s position which is : a commitment to suspend all previous decisions and statements related to Western Sahara and ‘SADR’, pending the outcome of the United Nations process».

The position did not have the support of influential members of the Tom Thabane government. The latter was forced to resign on May 13 as a result of serious suspicion of involvement in the murder of his wife.

Returning from Morocco, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs had been repudiated by his colleagues. Former executive spokesperson Thesele Maseribane said on December 13 during a press briefing that «Lesotho's foreign policy is based on the principle of equal rights and of self-determination, international cooperation to resolve international problems linked to the economic, social, cultural and humanitarian character».

Isolated, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs has visibly paid the costs of his unilateral decision to suspend recognition of «SADR» while its neighbor and biggest ally, South Africa, continues to reiterate its support for the Polisario. For the record, Lesotho is landlocked and its territory is surrounded by South Africa.

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