President Jacob Zuma and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf attend the African heads of state and government working breakfast at the 28th African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on January 29 2017. Picture: GCIS
President Jacob Zuma and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf attend the African heads of state and government working breakfast at the 28th African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on January 29 2017. Picture: GCIS

The ANC has expressed "regret" over the African Union’s (AU’s) decision to readmit Morocco.

The 54-member bloc voted overwhelmingly to readmit Morocco after an absence of 33 years, following a lengthy debate on Monday at the 28th AU Summit in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa.

Thirty-nine of the 54 states approved Morocco’s return to the AU.

"This decision represents a significant setback to the cause of the Sahrawi people and their quest for self-determination and independence in the Western Sahara. The Western Sahara is one of Africa’s last remaining colonial outposts‚" the ANC said on Tuesday.

SA’s ruling party said it enjoyed longstanding fraternal ties with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Río de Oro (Polisario)‚ and with the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR).

"The ANC notes that this decision paves the way for the Kingdom of Morocco to take their place amongst the community of nations and to enjoy the benefits of AU membership — whilst the Sahrawi people continue to suffer under an unjust occupation of their ancestral land.

"The ANC‚ whilst respecting the decision of the AU‚ hopes that in coming months the AU will not allow the matter of the independence of Western Sahara to be swept under the carpet of political expediency."

TMG Digital

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