President of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) and Secretary General of the Polisario Front, Mohamed Abdelaziz passed on Tuesday, the Saharawi leadership officially announced.

Abdelaziz was in his 60s, according to a press statement issued in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, by the African Union Commission (AUC). However, the cause of his death was not mentioned.

AUC Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said she has “learnt with great sadness” the passing away of President Mohamed Abdelaziz.

“On behalf of the African Union, the Chairperson expresses deep condolences to the family of the late President Mohamed Abdelaziz, as well as to the entire people and Government of the Saharawi Republic,” said the statement.

The Chairperson has ordered the flags of the African Union and that of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic at the AU Headquarters and all its Representational Offices to fly at half-mast, for three days, beginning June 1.

“Our hearts and prayers are with you as you mourn the death of your leader and beloved President. Your loss is our loss.” Dr. Dlamini Zuma grieved with the people of Saharawi Republic, urging them to let the memories of President Abdelaziz spur them on as they continue the struggle for liberation he has been at the forefront for over 40 years.

She encouraged the Saharawi people, as well as its allies to forge on with the struggle to attain their right to self-determination, “until they are liberated and independence is attained to fulfill one of the dearest dreams and goals the late African leader died for.”

“Once again,” the statement added, “the African Union reiterates its continued support and unwavering solidarity with the Government and people of Saharawi Republic.”

The Polisario Front has declared 40 days of national mourning following the death of Mohamed Abdelaziz, said a Front’s communique.

In accordance with Article 49 of the Front’s Basic Law, the Speaker of the Sahrawi National Council, Khatri Addouh becomes the Secretary General of Polisario Front and President of the Republic until the election of a new secretary general during an extraordinary congress, which will be convened within 40 days.

Mohamed Abdelaziz passed away after a long illness.

Source: Nam News Network