Namibia slams Israel's African Union observer status as 'contrary to AU principles'

Namibia slams Israel's African Union observer status as 'contrary to AU principles'
2 min read
30 July, 2021
Namibia deplored the decision to grant Israel observer status in the African Union, saying solidarity with the Palestinians is paramount.
Namibia has distanced itself from the AU decision [Getty]

Namibia on Thursday objected to the African Union (AU) granting Israel observer status to its continental bloc, saying contradicts the bloc's support for Palestinian statehood.

In a statement, Penda Naanda, the executive director of Namibia's ministry of international relations and cooperation, said granting observer status to an occupying power is contrary to the principles and objectives of the Constitutive Act of the AU.

He added that move took place at a time when Israel is increasing its attacks on Palestinians and continuing to violate international law by disregarding the basic rights of Palestinians.

"It is also contrary to the firm and solid commitment of the Heads of State and Government of the AU to support the Palestinian cause, as evidenced in the various declarations adopted at each Ordinary Session of the Assembly. Namibia believes in the two states as a solution to the issues between the State of Israel and Palestine," he said.

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Naada said Namibia has disassociated itself from the AU's decision, stressing that the reason for Israel’s loss of its observer status in 2002 remains unchanged.

"Namibia maintains that Israel can only regain observer status at the AU on condition that it ceases to occupy Palestine, and grant its people the right to self-determination," he added.

Naanda reaffirmed Namibia's unswerving support and solidarity with Palestine against Israel's illegal occupation and oppression and supports the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and independence with East Jerusalem as its capital.

“In this regard, Namibia will officially submit its objection and reservation to the Chairperson of the AU Commission, in due course,” he said.