Africa

Polisario: Morocco must accept Western Sahara independence

The Polisario Front independence movement in Western Sahara says Morocco must recognize the region as independent now that it has rejoined the African Union and accepted the organization's principles.

The front says Morocco could face sanctions or even requests to leave the AU if it doesn't accept Western Sahara independence.

Ahmed Boukhari, the front's U.N. representative, said Tuesday that the movement will be watching what Morocco does between now and the next AU summit in July.

Deputy Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita of Morocco told the website Le Desk on Feb. 5 that his country will "never recognize" Western Sahara's independence.

AU leaders admitted Morocco at a summit Jan. 31. Morocco left the AU's predecessor, the Organization of African Unity, in 1984 to protest Western Sahara's admission as a full member.