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Ruto deletes controversial tweet derecognising Sahrawi Republic as independent state

By Hilary Kimuyu September 15th, 2022 2 min read

President William Ruto on Wednesday evening deleted a tweet revoking Kenya’s recognition of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) as an independent state.

Earlier, Dr Ruto announced the development on Twitter after receiving a congratulatory message from Mohammed VI, King of Morocco.

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The announcement also came after Brahim Ghali, the president of Sahrawi Republic, attended his swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday.

The SADR, which claims the Western Sahara, is a partially-recognised state agitating for total independence from Morocco.

Kenya recognised the region’s independence in 2005, and is among 41 United Nations (UN) member states — including Nigeria — that recognise the republic as an independent state.

In a Twitter post on Wednesday, Dr Ruto said Kenya “rescinds its recognition of the SADR and initiates steps to wind down the entity’s presence in the country”.

“Kenya supports the United Nations framework as the exclusive mechanism to find a lasting solution of the dispute over Western Sahara,” he added.

“We are accelerating relations with the Kingdom of Morocco in areas of trade, agriculture, health, tourism, energy, among others, for the mutual benefit of our countries.”

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The president has, however, deleted the tweet revoking Sahrawi‘s recognition as an independent state.

Check out a screengrab of the tweet below.

President William Ruto's deleted tweet
President William Ruto’s deleted tweet revoking Kenya’s recognition of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) as an independent state.

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Sahrawi was colonised by the Spanish from 1884 to 1976.

After the Spanish withdrew from the region, a politico-military organisation based in Algeria and largely composed of Sahrawis, declared the independence of the region.

They fought Morocco and Mauritania for control of the territory, even as Morocco continues to claim sovereignty over the area.

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