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President Ruto revokes Kenya’s recognition of Sahrawi/Western Sahara as independent state, embraces Morocco

Newly elected president William Ruto on Wednesday revoked Kenya’s recognition of the Sahrawi Democratic Republic as an independent state.

He said he will initiate steps to wind down the entity’s presence in Nairobi.

“Kenya rescinds its recognition of the SADR and initiates steps to wind down the entity’s presence in the country,” he said.

Ruto’s remarks came after receiving a congratulatory message from His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco.

He said Kenya is accelerating relations with Morocco in areas of trade, agriculture, health, tourism and energy among others.

Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic also called Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, is a country in North Africa that controls parts of the western Sahara region.

It was colonized by the Spanish colony, and it claims the territory of Western Sahara.

The Islamic country lies deep in the Sahara region and was colonised by the Spanish up to 1976.

Thereafter, a political outfit in the Western Sahara region known as Polisario Front (Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el-Hamra and Río de Oro) has been in the forefront of liberation from the Moroccans.

Sahrawi is located in the Moroccan Wall and the border of Algeria with a population of 538,000 people.

The people living in the country, also known as the Sarwahi from a Spanish word meaning inhabitant of the desert, were driven from their homes during the Spanish Sahara in 1975 and were previously living as refugees in a corner of Algeria for close to 40 years.

Although not recognized by many, the Sarwahi Republic is recognized by the United Nations member states. The national languages of SADR are Spanish and Arabic.

Morocco has asserted claims over the region, alongside Mauritius.

Ruto said he will initiate steps to wind down the entity’s presence in Nairobi

“Kenya supports the United Nations framework as the exclusive mechanism to find a lasting solution to the dispute over Western Sahara,” Ruto added.

President Ghali of SADR was among the VVIPs who attended Ruto’s inauguration ceremony on Tuesday, September 13.

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