Kenya does not recognise the existence of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) state.
This is according to President William Ruto who said in a statement on Wednesday rescinding Kenya’s recognition of SADR.
This comes after Ruto received a congratulatory message from Morocco’s King Mohammed VI.
In the same statement, Ruto said Kenya distanced itself from acknowledging the independence of SADR as it only supports United Nations (UN) peace initiatives in Western Sahara.
The president also said Kenya has initiated the shutdown process of the SADR’s diplomatic mission in the country.
“At State House in Nairobi, received a congratulatory message from His Majesty King Mohammed VI. Kenya rescinds its recognition of the SADR and initiates steps to wind down the entity’s presence in the country,” Ruto said.
“Kenya supports the United Nations framework as the exclusive mechanism to find a lasting solution to the dispute over Western Sahara.”
Ruto affirmed Kenya’s efforts to strengthen the economic ties between itself and Morocco.
“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,” Ruto said.
The development comes after SADR President Brahim Ghali attended Ruto’s inauguration ceremony at Kasarani and received state recognition like the other heads of state who attended the event.
Kenya joined other 41 UN member states in recognising Sahrawi State.
SADR has been locked in a long-running territorial conflict with the Kingdom of Morocco for years.
It has since sought to transition from a semi-autonomous region to self-rule, a move that Morocco has vehemently opposed.
SADR controls 20 per cent of North-Western Sahara, while the Kingdom of Morocco controls the remainder.