The absence of Morocco, a country with a key role on the African scene, at the 8th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 8), tarnished by the participation of the leader of the separatist polisario militia, has not gone unnoticed, as reflected in the positions of several African countries.
These African countries which took part in the works of TICAD-8, expressed firmly and clearly their regret for the absence of the Kingdom, “a pillar of Africa” and “prominent member of the African Union”, after Tunisia’s president unilaterally invited the polisario leader, in violation of the preparation process and the established rules.
Regretting the absence of a key player in Africa at a summit that is supposed to promote constructive exchanges on key development issues of the continent, these countries conveyed powerful messages about the relevance and legitimacy of the Kingdom’s decision not to participate in TICAD 8.
Opening the summit, President of Senegal and Current chairman of the African Union Macky Sall expressed his dissatisfaction and regretted that the summit is marked by the absence of Morocco, a “prominent member of the African Union.”
In line with the Senegalese position, the Central African Republic regretted the absence of Morocco from the summit.
The Central African Republic supports the statement of President Macky Sall, Current AU Chairman, regarding the absence of Morocco as well as the non-respect of the rules established for the participation in this Summit, said the Central African President, Faustin Archange Touadera during the proceedings of this conference.
The President of Guinea Bissau, Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Umaro Sissoco Embalo, left TICAD-8 to protest against the participation of the separatist front, imposed by Tunisia.
Recalling the philosophy and essence of TICAD, Burundi regretted the absence of the Kingdom of Africa-Japan summit.
“We regret the absence of the Kingdom of Morocco from TICAD 8 following the lack of consensus during the negotiations that preceded these meetings,” said Burundi’s President Evariste Ndayishimiye during a plenary session on peace and security, held in the framework of TICAD.
In the same vein, Liberia said it was “surprised by the imposed presence of a delegation (of polisario) in violation of TICAD procedures.”
Liberia’s Foreign Minister, Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, called for “the suspension of this session until the problems relating to procedures are resolved.”
The Comoros Islands also expressed regret over the absence of Morocco, “a pillar of Africa.”
“I would like to express our regret for the absence of Morocco, a pillar of Africa for issues of compliance with the rules established so far for the organization of this TICAD summit,” said the President of the Comoros Islands, Azali Assoumani, at the opening of the Forum.
Equatorial Guinea also expressed support for Morocco through its Foreign Minister, Simeon Oypno Esono Angue, who said he regretted the absence of the Kingdom of Morocco, “a country of particular importance.”
He called in this sense to find a lasting solution to this problem.
Japan expressed its refusal of the participation of the polisario separatists in the TICAD-8.
During the first plenary session of the event, the Japanese delegation made a statement confirming that the presence of any entity, which Japan does not recognize as a sovereign state, at meetings related to TICAD 8, does not affect the country’s position on the status of that entity.
In addition to the almost unanimous regret expressed regarding the absence of Morocco, Tunisia has suffered a real setback due to its leaders who have knowingly violated the TICAD procedures and failed in their duties towards a country with which they have always maintained historical relations based on mutual respect.
Through its more than dubious approach, Tunisia has sought to go against history. At a time when the international community is more than ever unanimous on the relevance of the Moroccan initiative for the settlement of this dispute and on the Moroccanness of the southern provinces, the Tunisian president has sought to align himself with positions hostile to Morocco and its most legitimate rights.
The unilateral invitation by Tunisia of the separatist entity, in blatant violation of the process of preparation of this forum and the established rules, has cast a thick cloud over this conference, as the host country has deviated from its original purpose.
Many Tunisian observers wonder what benefit could Tunisia receive by altering its historical relations and the friendship ties that have always united the two countries and the two peoples.
Beyond the boasts that Tunisia has sought to give this event, the country has suffered a real slap in the face due to the miscalculation of its leaders and their suspicious errors. The country faced general disavowal for its more than questionable choice, almost unanimous regret for the absence of Morocco and surprise at the imposed presence of a delegation of the separatist entity in violation of the TICAD procedures.
This obvious and predictable failure was immediately noticeable in the level and number of representatives of African countries and international institutions present.
Of the thirty-eight countries attending the conference, only ten were represented at the level of their Heads of State.