Morocco recalls Tunisia ambassador over Western Sahara | Politics News

The row opens a brand new entrance in a collection of disputes over Western Sahara that has already dragged in Spain and Germany.

Morocco has recalled its ambassador in Tunis for consultations and cancelled its participation in a pan-African funding convention, after Tunisia’s president hosted the pinnacle of the Polisario motion, which needs independence for Western Sahara.

Morocco, which regards Western Sahara as its territory, stated on Friday that Tunisia’s choice to ask Brahim Ghali to an African improvement summit this weekend was “hostile and prejudicial to the fraternal relations that the 2 nations have all the time maintained” and the welcome given to Ghali “a grave and unprecedented act that deeply hurts the sentiments of the Moroccan individuals”.

The assertion added: “Tunisia, towards the recommendation of Japan and in violation of the method of preparation and established guidelines, determined unilaterally to ask” the Polisario.

The row opens a brand new entrance in a series of disputes over Western Sahara that has already dragged in Spain and Germany and escalated a regional rivalry between Morocco and Algeria, Polisario’s fundamental backer.

Tunisia has this 12 months grown nearer to Algeria, which it depends on for vitality, with President Kais Saied assembly Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune in July.

This weekend, Tunisia is internet hosting the Tokyo Worldwide Convention on African Growth, which is able to embrace heads of state from a number of African nations.

Tunisia, in response to Morocco’s choice, introduced it will additionally recall its ambassador to Rabat for session.

Tunisia’s ministry of international affairs stated in a press release early on Saturday that the nation maintains its full “neutrality over Western Sahara problem in compliance with worldwide legitimacy”.

People protesting in Spain over its changed position on Western Sahara
Spain and Germany have additionally been dragged into the dispute over Western Sahara, which Morocco claims as its personal [File: Borja Suarez/Reuters]

It stated the African Union had circulated a memorandum inviting all members of the grouping, together with the pinnacle of the Polisario Entrance motion, to take part within the actions of the Tokyo Worldwide Convention on African Growth Summit in Tunisia.

Additionally, the president of the African Fee prolonged a direct particular person invitation to Brahim Ghali to attend the summit, the assertion stated.

Senegalese President Macky Sall, who’s presently chair of the African Union, is scheduled to talk. The African Union recognises Western Sahara as a member, however African states are break up over each the Polisario and the territory’s independence.

It isn’t the primary time that Ghali’s travels have sparked Moroccan anger.

In April 2021, he went to Spain for treatment after contracting COVID-19, sparking a year-long diplomatic row between Spain and the North African kingdom.

That solely ended after Madrid dropped its decades-long stance of neutrality over the Western Sahara – a former Spanish colony – and backed a Moroccan plan for restricted self-rule there.

Gaining recognition for its sovereignty over Western Sahara has lengthy been Morocco’s most treasured international coverage objective. In 2020, the US recognised its sovereignty in return for Morocco’s agreeing closer ties with Israel.

Hundreds protest against Tunisia draft constitution as vote looms | Politics News

Older and youthful generations march in Tunis to reject President Kais Saied’s draft structure, days forward of a referendum.

Tunis, Tunisia – A whole lot of individuals have rallied in Tunis to protest towards a draft structure proposed by President Kais Saied, two days earlier than a deliberate referendum on the constitution.

The Nationwide Salvation Entrance alliance of opposition teams led a march by way of the Tunisian capital on Saturday to reject the president’s structure change programme and decried what they name an undemocratic and unlawful course of.

Most of the protesters had been from the older era, who had lived below former President Zine Abbedine Ben Ali and took half within the 2011 revolution which pressured him from workplace.

Amongst them was Amna Fehty, an Ennadha supporter who mentioned she was there to “struggle for freedom and democracy”.

“We can’t progress or have any energy on this world below a dictatorship,” she advised Al Jazeera.

“I don’t wish to see our youngsters reside as slaves below a dictator.”

protesters hold tunisian flag
Folks participate in a protest towards President Kais Saied’s draft structure forward of a referendum [Zoubeir Souissi/Retuers]

Pressure has been rising within the nation upfront of the vote amid fears that the draft structure would function the idea of a brand new hyper-presidential authorities system.

The referendum is being held one 12 months after Saied suspended the parliament and sacked the federal government in what his opponents name an influence seize. The president mentioned he was responding to the favored will and saving the nation from imminent hazard.

He quickly started ruling by decree and has dismantled among the nation’s democratic state establishments together with the Supreme Judicial Council, whereas pushing for a brand new structure, a draft of which was revealed final month.

The constitution would restrict the powers of the parliament and judiciary and enshrine the powers he has amassed over the previous 12 months.

A member of the manager committee of the Nationwide Salvation Entrance known as Monday’s referendum “one other hyperlink in a sequence of unlawful occasions.”

“We’re right here to state for historical past that we imagine this new structure is totally illegitimate and can proceed to respect the 2014 structure,” Jaohar ben Mbarek advised Al Jazeera.

There have been additionally some youthful individuals among the many crowds at Saturday’s rally. They mentioned that Kais Saied is stealing their probability to develop their democracy.

Alabbas Ben Abdennabi, a 22-year-old enterprise research pupil, advised Al Jazeera “Kais Saied did a coup d’etat, he betrayed the Tunisian individuals who voted for him … [Saied] desires to be like a sultan.”

Ammen Ekalini, a 20-year-old activist, got here to the demonstration with fellow college students and mentioned they’re undeterred by the referendum and able to struggle for democracy.

“We wish the world to know that we’re the era of democracy,” he advised Al Jazeera.

“We all know how a lot our mother and father suffered below dictatorship, they had been right here [on Avenue Habib Bourguiba, Tunis] in 2011 through the revolution. We all know this structure will undergo. It says in Article 139 that whether or not sure or no wins, it will likely be activated.”

Duaa Naceur, an 18-year-old highschool pupil, advised Al Jazeera, “Saied desires to steal all our rights, however we gained’t let him.”

“Our message to the world is: assist us rebuild our democracy. We’re succesful, we are able to do it.”

Saturday’s peaceable rally adopted a protest the earlier night the place police arrested several protesters and violently beat activists.

Al Jazeera witnessed violent beatings and use of pepper spray at Friday’s protest.

The Ministry of the Inside mentioned protesters initiated the violence towards police.

The Tunisian labour union UGTT condemned the police violence and demanded the discharge of detainees and a full investigation saying, “We maintain the president accountable for this authoritarian deviation.”