Diplomatic Storm over President Ruto’s decision to sever ties with Sahrawi Republic

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Kenya has gone against an earlier African Union decision of recognizing the Sahrawi Peoples Republic in the ongoing Western Sahara Conflict in Morroco.

Newly elected President Willian Samoei Ruto announced today Kenya was revoking its recognition of the Polisario’s self-proclaimed Sahrawi republic and endorsing Morocco’s stance in the Western Sahara dispute.

Ruto made the comments following a meeting with Morocco’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Nasser Bourita, with the newly elected Kenyan president even announcing that he will move to “wind down” the Polisario Front’s presence in the country.

He also expressed his gratitude at receiving King Mohammed VI’s congratulations on becoming president, saying in a tweet: “At State House in Nairobi, received congratulatory message from His King Mohammed VI.”

The tweet continued, “Kenya rescinds its recognition of the SADR and initiates steps to wind down the entity’s presence in the country.” Following the Bourita-Ruto meeting, Morocco and Kenya issued a joint statement stressing the East African country’s support for Morocco’s Autonomy Plan for Western Sahara.

The statement reads: “Out of respect for the principle of territorial integrity and non-interference, Kenya fully supports the serious and credible autonomy plan proposed by the Kingdom of Morocco, as the only solution based on Morocco’s territorial integrity, to resolve the dispute.” 

The Western Sahara conflict is an ongoing conflict between the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic/Polisario Front and the Kingdom of Morocco.

The conflict originated from an insurgency by the Polisario Front against Spanish colonial forces from 1973 to 1975 and the subsequent Western Sahara War against Morocco between 1975 and 1991.

Today the conflict is dominated by unarmed civil campaigns of the Polisario Front and their self-proclaimed SADR state to gain fully recognized independence for Western Sahara.

In 2020, the United States under Donald Trump was the first country to recognize Morocco’s unilateral annexation of Western Sahara.

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