The Mo­roc­can Sa­hara: The sound of rea­son will al­ways pre­vail

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

The city of Mar­rakech, Morocco, hosted on 25 March 2019, a min­is­te­rial con­fer­ence on the African Union’s role in sup­port­ing the UN-led po­lit­i­cal process in the re­gional dis­pute be­tween Morocco and Al­ge­ria.

The del­e­gates of 38 African coun­tries came to­gether in the African Min­is­te­rial Con­fer­ence where they ex­pressed their sup­port to find­ing a po­lit­i­cal so­lu­tion to the ter­ri­to­rial dis­pute in the Mo­roc­can Sa­hara.

The Mar­rakech con­fer­ence was a sound suc­cess and was held in re­ac­tion to South Africa, Al­ge­ria and Namibia that led a fierce cam­paign to de­vi­ate from the UN-led po­lit­i­cal process in re­solv­ing this re­gional dis­pute of the Sa­hara by the or­ga­ni­za­tion by the South­ern African De­vel­op­ment Com­mu­nity (SADC) which had a sol­i­dar­ity con­fer­ence with the so-called West­ern Sa­hara

on 25 and 26 March 2019 in Pretoria. The SADC con­fer­ence failed since ma­jor­ity of the African coun­tries made the choice to at­tend the par­al­lel sum­mit con­vened by Morocco and in­sisted that they were fol­low­ing a United Na­tions res­o­lu­tion passed at the African Union Or­ga­ni­za­tion Sum­mit, held last year in Mau­ri­ta­nia.

It is to be noted that seven mem­ber states of the SADC, namely An­gola, Mada­gas­car, Zam­bia, Malawi, the Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Congo, Tan­za­nia and Eswa­tini were among the 38 coun­tries that ac­cepted Morocco’s in­vi­ta­tion. CARICOM coun­tries did not take part in that meet­ing, in spite of the mul­ti­ple ma­neu­vers to in­volve or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Fi­nally, in the dec­la­ra­tion adopted by the con­fer­ence of Mar­rakech, the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the 38 coun­tries have warmly wel­comed the con­struc­tive ini­tia­tive of the King­dom of Morocco to con­vene this con­fer­ence and sup­port the United Na­tions’ po­lit­i­cal process on the re­gional dis­pute over the Mo­roc­can Sa­hara.

They also reaf­firmed their un­wa­ver­ing com­mit­ment to a united, sta­ble, proac­tive and pros­per­ous Africa, to re­spond to the mul­tidi­men­sional chal­lenges of to­day’s and to­mor­row’s com­plex world. They also ex­pressed sup­port for the de­ci­sion reached by the Assem­bly of the African Union Num­ber (Dec.693), adopted at the 31st African Union Sum­mit, held on July 1 and 2, 2018 in Nouak­chott; which “puts the Mo­roc­can Sa­hara is­sue back into its ap­pro­pri­ate frame­work, that of the United Na­tions” and “al­lows, there­fore, to im­mu­nize the AU against any in­ap­pro­pri­ate at­tempt to di­vert the path of unity and in­te­gra­tion,” as said by the Min­is­ter of For­eign Af­fairs and In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion, Nasser Bourita.

It is these pa­ram­e­ters that al­low the AU to sup­port the po­lit­i­cal process led by the United Na­tions and to be in ac­cor­dance with the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tions, which call for a “po­lit­i­cal, re­al­is­tic, prag­matic and sus­tained so­lu­tion based on com­pro­mise”. It is to be re­called that in the royal speech that marked the re­turn of Morocco to its in­sti­tu­tional fam­ily, HM King Mo­hammed VI set a roadmap for the king­dom within the African Union, the min­is­ter said, adding that the Mar­rakech Con­fer­ence re­flects this royal vi­sion that it in­tends to fed­er­ate and go for­ward.

Prais­ing the mer­its of the Mar­rakech Con­fer­ence, United Na­tions Sec­re­tary Gen­eral, An­to­nio Guter­res, hopes that all the AU Mem­ber States sup­port the UN’s ef­forts aimed at reach­ing a fi­nal so­lu­tion to the Mo­roc­can Sa­hara is­sue.

Fur­ther­more, the spokesper­son for the UN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral, Stéphane Du­jar­ric was an­swer­ing a ques­tion on the fi­nal dec­la­ra­tion is­sued at the end of the Min­is­te­rial Con­fer­ence on the sup­port of the African Union to the United Na­tions and said, “We hope that all mem­ber states sup­port the UN’s ef­fort”.

In fact, this re­gional dis­pute, that is none but a legacy of the cold war era, has been proven to be a stale­mate. Nev­er­the­less, Morocco is keen on rais­ing aware­ness on its straight­for­ward po­si­tion about its Sa­hara as well as its will­ing­ness to abide by the valid UN led process. The in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity wants to look for­ward and tackle the chal­lenges it faces that are par­tic­u­larly re­lated to hu­man and so­cial de­vel­op­ment.

Thirty-eight coun­tries join Morocco’s stance for a po­lit­i­cal so­lu­tion within the Mo­roc­can Sa­hara.

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