Africa: Morocco and South Africa Renew War of Words Over Western Sahara

(file photo).

Pretoria is not happy with a Moroccan article condemning its 'sclerotic, ideological position' on what it calls 'the last colony on the African continent'.

A new spat has erupted between South Africa and Morocco in their long-running feud about the political status of the Western Sahara, which Morocco claims as its southern province but which South Africa and the African Union recognise as an independent, though occupied, country, the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR).

The latest row was sparked by an article by the Moroccan Press Agency (MAP) which said that South Africa had been completely isolated during a UN Security Council meeting on the Western Sahara in New York on April 9 last week because of its "sclerotic ideological position" on the issue.

At the video meeting on April 9, South Africa had essentially reiterated its frequent insistence that the UN should stick to its original 1991 resolution to hold a referendum on the independence of Western Sahara - while Morocco insists that the UN Security Council has long ago abandoned the idea of a referendum and is now counting on political negotiations to resolve the dispute.

South Africa's Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) and the Moroccan...

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