Rabat, April 10, 2013 (MAP)
Rabat, April 10, 2013 (MAP)
The UN secretary general’s latest report on the Sahara, the government’s decision to stop implementation of 15 billion Dirhams of investment expenses and divergences within the government’s coalition make up the major themes commented by editorialists published this April 10, 2013.
L’Opinion daily which wonders whether Algeria will be reasonable in the Sahara issue, recalls that UN secretary General has reached the conclusion, in light of findings of his personal envoy to the Sahara, that reaching a political and comprehensive solution has become an emergency and stressed the need to re-open land borders between Morocco and Algeria.
The editorialist notes that Morocco, well before the start of military operations in Mali and the dangerous developments of the situation in the Sahel, had proposed to grant large autonomy to the Sahara states that the international community is applauding this initiative as “credible, realistic and serious”. Morocco has also embarked on a negotiation process under the aegis of the United Nations, the daily goes regretting the other party’s failure to to show the same good will and prefers to maintain the status quo, mindless of all the hazards this entails.
“The Sahara conflict is a serious threat for peace and security in the Maghreb and in the Sahel and settling it has become an emergency, warns the paper, noting observers are wondering whether Algeria will realize the dangers that its unjustified stubbornness is implying for the region”.
For Attajdid, the novelty in the UN secretary general report is that it confirms that the Sahara issue has taken larger dimensions in a geostrategic context marked by the latest developments in the Sahara-Sahel region and the security threats on the region.
Attajdid considers that the report contains three positive elements that can be important cards to play for the Moroccan diplomacy. It says that the first element is that terrorist threats are becoming a card supporting Moroccan initiatives to settle the Sahara issue, particularly the autonomy proposal, as the report underlines that the upsurge of instability and insecurity in and around the Sahel region exact an urgent settlement of the conflict.
The second positive element in this report, the editorialist goes on, is the international awareness that threats to security can only be addressed by regional cooperation, the re-opening of land borders between Morocco and Algeria, the reactivation of the Arab Maghreb Union (UMA) and the promotion of integration between UMA member states.
The third positive element brought by the UN chief’s report concerns the human rights situation in the Tindouf camps and the census of the camps population, the editorial remarks, noting that the High commissioner for refugees has called for registering persons in the camps, a measure that has for long been turned down by Algeria.
In an editorial titled “poor governance”, L’Economiste and Assabah comment that stopping 25.5 pc of public investments is too much, noting that the government had conceded it can no longer honor its financial commitments, and admitted officially and for the first time that it had already taken off 21 billion DH in last year’s investments.
Good governance would have implied that cuts involve both operational and investment programs, say the two dailies, adding that the government is keeping secret the fact that it is projecting to cut 14 billion DH in state’s subsidies to public enterprises.
The editorialist considers that the government has not honored its commitment to implement the finance law and has therefore cast doubts on billions of dirhams of government’s commitments.
Aujourd’hui le Maroc which runs an editorial titled “balkanization”, stressed that divergences inside the government have reached such an extent that if nothing is done it would evolve into a total paralysis of the government.
“It is clear that the government is mostly busy managing relations between its components”, the daily deplores calling for the adoption of new electoral laws that would lead to an outright majority for one party in the government.
Instead we have a coalition government and we do not know who does what, who governs and who is in the opposition, the editorialist regrets.