Written by Dele Ogunyemi, Ibadan
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari and leaders of other African states to impose economic sanctions on Morocco to end what they called colonization of Western Sahara.
ASUU tasked African countries to put pressure on Morocco to end its illegal occupation of Western Sahara Republic.
This was contained in a communiqué signed by Dr Dipo Fashina, at the end of a three-day international conference themed “Towards the Liberation of Africa’s Last Colony” organized by ASUU.
The university teachers condemned Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara, describing it as a crime against humanity.
ASUU also wants Nigeria and other countries to sever diplomatic ties with Morocco, which they say has distanced itself from the African Union by withdrawing its membership.
While asking Nigeria to ban importation of goods from Morocco and companies exploiting resources of the Saharawi people, ASUU called for the establishment of Nigeria-SADR bi-national commission to reinforce cooperation between the two countries.
Morocco forcefully occupied 80 per cent of Western Sahara Republic 40 years ago, exploiting their phosphate-rich territory with off-shore oil deposits and denying its people of Independence.
The communiqué also asked the United Nations to hold, without further delay, the referendum for self-determination of the people of Western Sahara in accordance with the relevant UN and OAU resolutions. ASUU also condemned the ‘shameful’ role played by France at the Security Council in supporting Morocco’s expansionism in Western Sahara and in opposing all initiatives aimed at resolving the conflict on the basis of international legality in violation of Article 24 of the UN Charter.
“The Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) is the last Colony in Africa forcibly being controlled, raped and exploited by Morocco, another African country. Morocco has refused to allow the independence of the Western Sahara people since 1975 when it took it over shortly after Spain left the territory. In doing this, Morocco has refused to honour declarations of international organisations such United Nations and African Union to the effect of conducting a referendum and determining the fate of the people.
“Western Sahara, a mainly desert territory in Northwest Africa is the subject of a decades-long dispute between Morocco and the Polisario Front. The territory is phosphate-rich and believed to have offshore oil deposits, and most of it has been under Moroccan control since 1975. Morocco presently occupies 80 per cent of the territory containing ‘juicy’ resources while leaving 20 per cent desert portion for the owners who have been exiled,” part of the communique read.
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