MASERU – Lesotho has called upon the African Union Commission Chairperson, Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat to reverse his decision to accept Israel’s credentials for observer status in the AU with immediate effect.
According to Mr Machesetsa Mofomobe, Foreign Affairs and International Relations deputy minister, Lesotho is not going to accept the decision made by Mr Mahamat without having consulted other member states of the AU.
In a 30 July letter written by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Lesotho to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Permanent Mission to the African Union (AU and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Lesotho sets it out clear that it won’t stand by the decision taken by Mr Mahamat and therefore wants it reversed with immediate effect.
“The Kingdom of Lesotho rightfully expected that the Chairperson of the African Union Commission would have informed the Member States of the African Union about the resubmission of the Israeli request for accreditation.”
Lesotho says this is “notwithstanding the powers of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission that arise from Part Il of the Criteria for Granting Observer Status and for a System of Accreditation within the African Union, this issue is sensitive and consultation with Member States should have been undertaken before a decision was made,” reads the letter.
“The Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho therefore requests the Chairperson to rescind this decision in line with the advice of the Legal Counsel in both 2013 and 2015/16 on the same issue.
Lesotho further notes that there are no new facts now which would make the decisions made earlier to be reviewed.”
Should the matter not be rescinded as suggested, then at least it should “be placed on the agenda of the Executive Council in October 2021.”
“Bearing in mind that this matter was considered by the Union in 2013 and 2015/2016 and the application was not approved, Lesotho notes that the Criteria for Accreditation of Non-African States and Regional Integration and International Organizations is clear that the aims and purposes of Non-African States or Organizations wishing to be accredited to the AU “shall be in conformity with the spirit, objectives and Principles of the Constitutive Act of the African Union.
“We are all ready to stick to our foreign policy and stand with the oppressed and not the oppressor. Unlike the former Thomas Thabane led administration which deviated from the original policy, Prime Minister Majoro has decided to do the right thing and restore the hope of Basotho.
So as to show its respect and solidarity to Palestine, Mr Mofomobe said he had even attended and delivered a keynote address to the Palestine Solidarity day in Pretoria in December last year.
“The prime minister also addressed last year’s AU campaign under the theme “Silencing the Guns”, which was in support of the people of Western Sahara. The campaign was meant to bring about conflict resolution, dialogue and institutional development to the forefront as alternatives to armed violence and protracted conflict.
“If we were to support this decision, I am sure we would be the only SADC country, and this would make us sell outs,” Mofomobe stated.