The Polisario Front of Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (also called Western Sahara) has strongly warned President Lazarus Chakwera that he will be starting a war if Malawi proceeds to establish an embassy in the disputed and “occupied territory” of Western Sahara.
Writing President Chakwera on 28 July 2021, President of the Sahraw Republic and Secretary General of the military liberation group of the Polisario Front has warned Chakwera that his actions “constitute a blatant breach of international law and an act of aggression” on their country.
In diplomatic language, “an act of aggression” means an act of war, which Western Sahara accuses Chakwera.
Malawi Congress Party wants to open an embassy post in the disputed territory of Western Sahara. Part of Western Sahara is occupied by Morocco while the other part is controlled Polisario Front, a socialist liberation political organisation led by the indigenous Maghreb people who have been under occupation since 1975.
Instead of making diplomatic ties with the Sahrawi Arab Republic which is recognised by United Nations, Chakwera wants to plant an embassy in the occupied territory for which Western Sahara and Morocco are fighting. By opening a diplomatic post in a disputed territory, Chakwera will be recognising the territory against international law. But Malawi will also be supporting Morocco which is an occupying force in the conflict.
The Maghreb people led by Polisario Front declared war on Morocco in November 2020. This is a renewed war after Polisario Front fought in war with Morocco for 20 years until a UN brokered truce in 1991.
The strongly worded letter from the Western Sahara (Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic) urges Chakwera to “refrain from engaging in any unlawful action involving occupied territories”. The letter also accuses Chakwera and his Malawi Congress Party of conniving with the occupying forces of Morocco to oppress the Maghreb people of Western Sahara.
Reading between the lines of the letter, the Polisario Front of the Arab Republic would declare war on Malawi if Chakwera proceeds with his “act of aggression” of setting an embassy in the disputed and occupied territory.
Malawi Congress Party has a history of supporting oppressors, terrorists and distabilising forces in Africa. MCP supported apartheid which oppressed Black people in South Africa. The MCP was also accused of supporting RENAMO in the Mozambican civil war.
Chakwera and Malawi Congress Party are in a diplomatic crisis with several countries including South Africa and Mozambique. Western Sahara is next in line. Many Malawians fear that Chakwera will bring them war.