Lesotho calls for revocation of Israel Observer status in the AU

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By Lerema Pheea

Lesotho’s ambassador to the African Union Professor Mafa Sejanamane has called for the African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat to rescind his unilateral granting of Israel observer status to the African Union (AU).

Mahamat granted Israel an observer status in the African Union after resubmission of a request by Israel without consulting African Union member states.

In an urgent and confidential letter seen by KDNews dated July 30, addressed to Bureau of the Chairperson and the Office of the Legal Counsel of the AU commission Sejanamane reminded Mahamat of the stance taken by the continent in 2013, 2015, and 2016 when it turned down the request for observer status by Israel.

Sejanamane, as the head of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Lesotho to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Permanent Mission to the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) said referring to the recent statement dated 22, July 2021 of Mahamat on receiving the credentials of the Ambassador of the state of Israel, Aleli Admasu to the AU and granting his accreditation to the AU.

He said that Lesotho notes that the criteria for Accreditation of non-African states and regional integration and international organization wishing to be accredited to the AU shall be in conformity with the spirit, objectives, and principles of the Constitutive Act of the AU.

Sejanamane said Lesotho recalls that the union has consistently reiterated its support for the Palestinian people in securing an independent and sovereign status with East Jerusalem as its capital

He added Lesotho has on several occasions called upon Israel to its international law obligations on the Palestinian issue and asserted the right of the people of Palestinian to full statehood in line with several United Nations Resolution.

“The kingdom of Lesotho notes that there are both political and legal considerations which in previous attempts by Israel to be accorded this status let rejection by the union…

…Foremost has been the conduct of Israel on the rights of Palestinian people which are not in line with both international law and the values enshrined in the Constitutive Act of the AU,” said Sejanamane

He adds, “The kingdom of Lesotho rightfully expected that the chairperson of the AU Commission would have informed the member states of the AU about the resubmission of the Israel request for accreditation.

“Notwithstanding the powers of the chairperson of the AU commission that arise from part II of the criteria of granting observer status and for a system accreditation within the AU, this issue is sensitive and consultation with member states should have been undertaken before a decision was made”.

He further explained that the government of Lesotho, therefore, registers its objection to the decision to grant the state of Israel observer status to the AU requests that the matter be rescinded forthwith or placed on the agenda Executive Council in October 2011.

Meanwhile, he indicated that the embassy of the kingdom of Lesotho to the Federal Democratic Report Ethiopia and Permanent Mission to the AU and UNECA avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Bureau of Sejanamane assurances of his highest consideration.