Lesotho Calls On Morocco to End Its Occupation of Parts of Saharawi Republic's Territory

Maseru (Kingdom of Lesotho) — The Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho called on Morocco, in a Press Release issued Wednesday, to end its illegal occupation of parts of the territories of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR).

Lesotho Government, which issued this Press Release to clarify its position on Western Sahara and denies Moroccan falsification of this position, stated that it maintains its "unconditional support for Morocco's total withdrawal from the Saharawi territories it is currently occupying, and respect for the self-determination and territorial integrity of the SADR and its people."

Moroccan Foreign Ministry had recently leaked an internal communication it received from Lesotho regarding the latter's official stand on the conflict in Western Sahara, pretending that Lesotho has changed that position and that it no more supports SADR.

The Press Release, which was issued one day after the Foreign Ministry of Lesotho sent another letter to its Sahrawi counterpart explaining its position on the issue, reiterating "its support to the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) and underscores its commitment to the bilateral relations and cooperation that have so happily subsisted between the two sister courtiers for decades."

Following is the Press Release issued by the Government of Lesotho, of which SPS received a copy:

" Press Release, Wednesday 9 October, 2019

Clarifications of Lesotho's position on the question of Western Sahara

The Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho has taken note of the recent anxiety and uncertainty occasion by the unfortunate, irregular publication of a confidential, State-to-State diplomatic communication between Lesotho and the Kingdom of Morocco on the question of the struggle for independence of Western Sahara and recognition of the State of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR). The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Relations has since communicated to their Moroccan counterparts the Government's strong disapproval of this undiplomatic conduct; and expressed to both Morocco and the SADR Lesotho's continued and unconditional support for Morocco's total withdrawal from the Saharawi territories it is currently occupying, and respect for the self-determination and territorial integrity of the SADR and its people.

The Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho will continue to support all diplomatic initiatives towards achievement of the UN resolutions on Western Sahara, including the recent, December 2018 meeting of the parties, thanks to the efforts of the UN Special Envoy on the Saharawi affair. Contrary to some imputations, the Government wishes to reiterate that the policy of the Kingdom on the cause of the Saharawi people, and Lesotho's solidarity with their noble struggle is enunciated decades ago, and in keeping with sovereign Lesotho's age-old tradition of solidarity with the oppressed peoples of the world, has not changed in the slightest.

The Government takes this opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to collective position of the SADC and the African Union, unequivocally calling for the immediate realization of independence of the Saharawi. As it is common cause in diplomatic circles, Lesotho played critical and pivotal role in the forging of these positions. Indeed this was the position that the Right Honourable the Prime Minister unambiguously stated last month in his address to the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly.

Khotso, Pula, Nala."


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