The Government of Guyana has communicated its intention to withdraw its recognition of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), a partially recognised de facto State that has laid claim to the non-self-governing territory of Western Sahara.
This was made known in a communique from the Kingdom of Morocco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan expatriates.
Morocco also claims the Western Sahara territory.
In the communique, it was revealed that Guyana’s Foreign Affairs Ministry wrote to the Moroccan Foreign Minister, Nasser Bourita, informing him that “the Government of Guyana will no longer recognise the so-called SADR.”
Bourita was also informed by the Foreign Minister, Hugh Todd, that Guyana, which first recognised SADR in 1979, “will provide its full support to the efforts of the United Nations to achieve a peaceful and mutually acceptable solution.”
According to the Moroccan Foreign Affairs Ministry, Guyana’s withdrawal is further testament to SADR’s lack of recognition at the global level. It was explained that Guyana is the 14th country in South America and the Caribbean to have withdrawn its recognition of SADR since 2010.
“Thanks to the impetus given by His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may God assist him, the international dynamic of support for the Moroccanness of the Sahara continues, to the extent of the erosion of recognition of the ghostly “republic”, noting that 164 countries across the world do not recognize the so-called ‘SADR’,” the communique said.
The vast deserts of Western Sahara were formerly colonised by Spain, but are now disputed by Morocco and SADR. Morocco claims the majority of the territory and annexed it in 1975. But the Polisario Front, a rebel group in Western Sahara, has been fighting to force Morocco out.
Guyana’s derecognition of SADR comes amid reports of unrest in Western Sahara, which recently saw Polisario leader Brahim Ghali declaring an end to the 29-year ceasefire they had with Morocco.
The United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, had cause to express “grave concern” regarding the unrest and UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric recently reiterated calls for de-escalation of the conflict.