RABAT (AFP) — Malawi has withdrawn its recognition of the Sahrawi
Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), proclaimed by the Polisario Front in
the disputed territory of Western Sahara, the MAP agency reported on
"In light of recent developments on the issue of
Sahara at the United Nations", Malawi has decided "to withdraw its
recognition of the SADR and to break all relations with it," Malawian
Foreign Affairs Minister Joyce Banda said Tuesday in Rabat, according
Malawi wants to encourage the UN-supported negotiations currently underway over Western Sahara, said Banda.
Western Sahara is a former Spanish colony annexed in 1975 by Morocco.
was declared in 1976 by the Polisario Front -- a rebel movement that
wants independence for Western Sahara -- which fought a guerilla war
against Rabat's forces before a ceasefire in 1991.
Since the ceasefire, the UN has sponsored talks on four occasions between Rabat and the rebels.
Polisario Front said in August it wanted to engage in direct talks with
Morocco, but requested that the UN replace its special envoy to the
Spanish daily El Pais reported this month the UN
would soon appoint American diplomat Christopher Ross as its new
special envoy, to replace Peter van Walsum, whose mandate was not
renewed after it expired August 21.
Walsum was accused of favouring Morocco after stating that independence for Western Sahara was "an unrealistic option."