At the initiative of Tokyo, an international conference on issues related to the development of the African continent is held every three years. At the two-day event which kicked off on 27 August 2022, Japan promised to grant $100 million to mitigate the adverse effects of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Japanese Foreign Minister Yosimaza Hayasi.
The Tunisian meeting has heightened tension between some African countries, as the leader of the Polisario Front, a movement fighting for the independence of Western Sahara, was also invited to the conference. For this reason, Morocco announced on Friday that it would boycott the event and recalled its accredited ambassador to Tunisia in protest. Western Sahara was a Spanish colony until 1975. Most of the desert region, sparsely populated has since been controlled by Rabat, but the Polisario Front and Moroccan forces have clashed repeatedly over ownership of the area.
While Tunisia had always observed in the conflict in Western Sahara a diplomatic attitude defined as “positive neutrality”, now the Tunisian president Kais Saied has decided to ostentatiously display his new closeness with the Polisario Front, the Sahrawi independence movement, a great first which angered Rabat. The head of the Polisario, Brahim Ghali, was thus welcomed on Friday when he got off the plane in Tunis by Kaïs Saied like the presidents and heads of government who came to attend the Japan-Africa summit (Ticad).
However, officially, Tunis does not recognize “the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic”, namely the Polisario Front, supported at arm’s length since the 1970s by Algeria.
Morocco regrets that Tunisia “unilaterally” invited Brahim Ghali to the summit “against Japan’s advice and in violation of the preparation process”.
Liberia regretted the absence of Morocco and called for the suspension of the Conference. In this sense, the President of Guinea Bissau and current President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Mr. Umaro Sissoco Embalo, left this conference to protest against the participation of the “Polisario “.
For his part, the President of Senegal and current Chairman of the African Union, Macky Sall, regretted that TICAD was marked by the absence of Morocco, a “prominent member of the African Union.
Read alsoKing Mohammed VI listed the states supporting Morocco, including Hungary, within the framework of its sovereignty over the Sahara
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