President Paul Kagame has received the United Nations (UN) Secretary General, António Guterres’s Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, Prof. Dr. Horst Köhler. Horst requested Kagame for opportunity to seek ideas from other African leaders on ways to solve Western Sahara conflicts.
Speaking to the media after the discussion between both officials, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and East African Community Affairs, Louise Mushikiwabo said that Horst’s visit was meaningful as Kagame will take over African Union leadership later this month.
“He came here so that they can share ideas and agree on ways African Union Commission leaders and African countries’ Heads of States in general will give him opportunity to share with them the progress in seeking solutions for Western Sahara conflicts,” she explained.
“Western Sahara problem is under UN in New York since 40 years ago, they are dealing with it, and the solution will come from there. But, African leaders’ ideas are necessary on how the problem could be handled, they cooperate with the envoy on that matter and share him with ideas,” Mushikiwabo added.
The UN Secretary General’s Personal Envoy and former Germany President, Horst came in Rwanda from Addis Ababa in the Ethiopia where he had discussions with Current African Union Commission Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat.
Horst was appointed on the matter in August last year succeeding Christopher Ross from the United States of America who completed his assignment in April.
About Western Sahara conflicts
The Western Sahara conflict is an ongoing conflict between the Polisario Front and the Kingdom of Morocco.
Polisario Front is a Sahrawi rebel national liberation movement aiming to end Moroccan presence in the Western Sahara.
Meanwhile, the ‘Sahrawi’ are people living in the Western part of Sahara desert which includes Western Sahara (claimed by the Polisario and mostly controlled by Morocco)
It means that current conflicts is the continuation of the past insurgency by Polisario against the Spanish Colonial forces in 1973-1975 and the subsequent Western Sahara War between the Polisario and 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.