Sahara: the symbolic charge of the opening of a Togolese consulate in Dakhla

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Robert Dussey, Togolese Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Togolese Abroad, inaugurated his country’s Consulate General in Dakhla last Thursday with his Moroccan counterpart Nasser Bourita. The head of Togolese diplomacy declared on this occasion that “the opening of the Consulate General of Togo in Dakhla expresses support for Morocco’s territorial integrity and national unity”.

This support by Togo for Morocco’s sovereignty over the Sahara is of the utmost importance for several reasons.

Everyone knows that Togo, then under the rule of the late General Gnassingbé Eyadéma, had succumbed to the sirens of Algerian propaganda and recognized the ghostly SADR on March 15, 1976, before withdrawing that recognition some two decades later. , i.e. June 18, 1997.

But while Algerian diplomacy and the Polisario tried to minimize the cascade of withdrawals of recognition by the SADR, by continuing to list Togo among the states that still supported the ghost republic, Lomé responded by setting the record straight again.

In June 2007, and as a prelude to the AU summit in Banjul, the Togolese Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Foreign Affairs and African Integration at the time stated: “we have observed that Togo continues to appear in AU documentation as a country that still recognizes the SADR , and we wanted to correct this error”.

“Fix this mistake”: everything is said when we know that it is another Togolese who made the monumental mistake of giving SADR the status of a member of the OAU (Organization of the African Union), in flagrant violation of the charter itself of the latter, requiring, in its articles 4 and 28, that the quality of “independent and sovereign state” be admitted to the Pan-African organization.

It is therefore the former Secretary-General of the OAU, the Togolese Edem Kodjo, who is in fact behind the unprecedented debacle that in 1982 led to the break-up and accession of a state that does not exist in the Pan-African organization. . He had then, under pressure from Algiers, concocted a simple majority of 26 states, whereas in all international and regional organizations the enhanced majority (2/3) is the rule for admitting a new member.

This mistake made by Edem Kodjo still exists at the level of the current African Union, which replaced the OAU in 2002. However, since Morocco’s return to the Pan-African Organization, where “SADR” is now denied by an overwhelming majority of the countries that had supported his entry into the OAU, the latter considers the presence of this phantom in the AU as an anomaly inherited from the defunct OAU, an anomaly which must be repaired through the pure and simple expulsion of this intruder.

This shows to what extent the opening of a consulate in Togo, the country of Edem Kodjo, is important and portends an inevitable repair of a mistake. The symbolism of Togo’s presence in the Atlantic Sahara is closely related to the beginning of the end of the mystification of the AU by the Algeria-Polisario tandem.

Furthermore, this duo has been shut down in light of the sustained pace of foreign consulate openings in the major cities of the Moroccan Sahara, especially as their protests have been consistently futile.

The UN Security Council thus assessed, in response to protests from Algerian diplomacy, that the opening of consulates in the cities of Laâyoune and Dakhla fell under the sole sovereignty of the states.

Algiers has previously tried to blackmail states that open consulates in the cities of the Moroccan Sahara, even going as far as in February 2020 to recall its ambassador in Abidjan the day after the opening of the Ivorian consulate in Laayoune. Since then, the junta has lowered its ambitions and is a helpless witness to the kingdom’s diplomatic breakthrough, which will lead to the expulsion of the ghostly SADR from the African Union.

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