PRETORIA , February 16 (ANA) – The National Health Education and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu) on Thursday demonstrated outside the Moroccan Embassy, in Pretoria, where it demanded the freedom of the Sharawi Arab Democratic Republic.
Morocco, which was last month readmitted into the African Union, has been at odds with other African countries over its complete annexation of Western Sahara in 1979.
The Polisario Front formally proclaimed the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and set up a government in exile, initiating a guerrilla war between the Polisario and Morocco, which continued until a 1991 cease-fire.
“As friends of Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic in South Africa, together with our people who have been oppressed under apartheid, we have gathered at your embassy in Tshwane on this day,” Nehawu’s memorandum, given to the Morocco embassy read in part.
Nehawu demanded that the rights of the Saharawi people be recognised.
“We note all the obstacles created by your government and the impunity with which it carries out violations of human rights against the Saharawis,” Nehawu said.
“We demand that your government recognises the Saharawi’s clear, legitimate and reasonable democratic demand that the referendum for self-determination finds implementation in line with UN [United Nations] resolutions within the confines of the international law.”
They also marched to the Ukraine embassy, where they protested against “conflict” in that country.
“We call on the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko to end his campaign of killing and committing war crimes against his own people. We express solidarity with the Communists of Ukraine who are subjected to violence by extremists.”
The union also demanded restoration for the people of Ukraine and that they must be offered constitutional rights to enjoy freedom of speech, to carry out demonstrations and hold meetings.
Nehawu said the only way the country can pull out of the crisis and restore peace is to adhere to calls for an all-Ukraine dialogue.
– African News Agency (ANA)