AU delegation arrives Saharawi Refugee Camps to celebrate 40th anniversary of Saharawi Republic proclamation

By African Union Commission (AUC)

An African Union delegation, led by the Commissioner for Social Affairs, Dr. Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko, has arrived in the Saharawi refugee camps near Tindouf, Algeria, ahead of celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of the proclamation of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR).

The Commissioner is due to deliver a solidarity message on behalf of the AU Commission Chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, during a solemn ceremony planned for 27 February 2016, in Dakhla Refugee Camp in Tindouf.

As part of the celebrations, the President of Saharawi Republic, H.E. Mohamed Abdelaziz will be addressing the Saharawi people at home and abroad, as well as the international community. A military parade and cultural festivities will also form part of the celebrations.

The President of the Pan-African Parliament, Hon. Roger Nkodo Dang is with the rest of the AU delegation from its Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The SADR, also known as Western Sahara, is Africa's last colony, which has been under Morocco's occupation since 1975. For forty years, most Saharawis have been living in exile in refugee camps in Southwest Algeria. The SADR, however, controls the eastern third of the country.

At the 26th Ordinary Session of the Assembly, AU Heads of State and Government reiterated their call on the United Nations to set a date for the organisation of the referendum on self-determination for the people of Western Sahara.