SA mourns with Saharawi people

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma has joined world leaders in extending condolences to the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) on the passing of President Mohamed Abdelaziz.

President Zuma also conveyed his condolences to the wife and family of President Abdelaziz.

President Abdelaziz passed away on Tuesday following a long illness.

President Zuma hailed President Abdelaziz as a committed cadre, who dedicated his life to the struggle for the independence of the Saharawi people from colonisation.

“He was a founding member of the Polisario Front and until his passing had remained committed to the process of peaceful negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations for the holding of a referendum on the self-determination of Western Sahara,” said President Zuma on Wednesday.

South Africa, President Zuma said, remains committed to continue supporting the right to self-determination of the people of Western Sahara through the UN-led negotiations and with the support of the African Union.

The African Union has also extended condolences to the Saharawi people.

“Our hearts and prayers are with you as you mourn the death of your leader and beloved President. Your loss is our loss,” AU Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

Dlamini Zuma has ordered the flags of the African Union and that of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic at the AU headquarters and all its representational offices to fly at half-mast for three days, starting today.

Dlamini Zuma urged the Saharawi people to let the memories of President Abdelaziz spur them on as they continue the struggle for liberation he has been at the forefront of for over 40 years.

The AU Commission chairperson encouraged the Saharawi people, as well as their allies, to forge on with the struggle to attain their right to self-determination until they are liberated and independence is attained to fulfil one the dream and goals of President Abdelaziz.

“The African Union reiterates its continued support and unwavering solidarity with the Government and people of Saharawi Republic,” said Dlamini Zuma. –