The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari and other African leaders to severe economic ties with Morocco to end the colonisation of Western Sahara.

This was included in an official message signed by Dr Dipo Fashina at the end of a 3-day International conference themed “Towards the Liberation of Africa’s Last Colony” organised by ASUU. The union condemned the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara, describing it as a crime against humanity in the 21st century.

The message also urged the United Nations to hold the referendum for self-determination of the people of Western Sahara in accordance with the relevant UN and OAU resolutions. “We also condemn the ‘shameful’ role palyed by France at the Security Council in supporting Morocco’s hold on Western Sahara,” ASUU said.

The union added, “The Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) is the last Colony in Africa forcibly being controlled, raped and exploited by Morocco, another African country. “Morocco has refused to allow the independence of the Western Sahara people since 1975 when it took it over shortly after Spain left the territory. In doing this, Morocco has refused to honour declarations of International organisations such United Nations and African Union to the effect of conducting a referendum and determining the fate of the people. Western Sahara, a mainly desert territory in Northwest Africa is the subject of a decades-long dispute between Morocco and the Polisario Front. The territory is phosphate-rich and believed to have offshore oil deposits, and most of it has been under Moroccan control since 1975. Morocco presently occupies 80percent of the territory containing ‘juicy’ resources while leaving 20 per cent desert portion for the owners who have been exiled.”

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ASUU, therefore, urged African countries to use their bilateral relations and act individually and collectively to exert all forms of pressure on Morocco to end its illegal occupation of Western Sahara Republic. “We call for the establishment of Nigeria-SADR bi-national commission to reinforce cooperation between the two countries,” the union said. ASUU also wants Nigeria and other countries to break diplomatic ties with Morocco, which has distanced itself from the African Union by withdrawing its membership.

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