Brahim Ghali Attends TICAD 7

Saturday, August 31, 2019

By Jihad Gillon

Tokyo- PanOrient News
During the seventh edition of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), African heads of state gathered in Yokohama to discuss economic cooperation between the African continent and Japan.

But one participant had not been invited by the Japanese authorities: Brahim Ghali, president of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) and the Polisario Front, which Tokyo considers a terrorist group. The aim of SADR is to get formal independence from Morocco.

While Japan does not recognize SADR as a state, and two third of the members of the African Union (AU), which co-organized the event, doesn’t neither. And the pan-African institution has made it clear that any member can attend AU meetings.

“The presence of any entity which Japan doesn't recognize as a state in the TICAD 7 … doesn't affect Japan’s position regarding the status of that entity,” declared the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Taro Kono at the conference.

Japan is planning to expand its investments in Africa and does not wish to anger Morocco, a key player on the western part of continent. But SADR is also supported by important African countries, notably Algeria and South Africa, which explains Tokyo's cautiousness in rejecting Brahim Ghali’s presence in Yokohama.

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