Rabat – Shortly after Robert Mugabe stepped down as president of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa, the newly appointed president has reiterated his country’s “firm” and “principled” support to the so-called Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.
According to Zimbabwean news outlet The Herald, Mnangagwa received on Wednesday Mohamed Yeslem Beissat, a special envoy of Brahim Ghali, the so-called Polisario Front leader.
The envoy then affirmed that Mnangagwa reiterated his country’s full support and solidarity “that has always linked the Sahrawi Republic with the Republic of Zimbabwe and has always been between Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front and the Polisario Front.”
Both sides agreed on strengthening the “precious bonds” that links them, according to the same source.
Zimbabwe’s stance on the Moroccan integrity was crystal-clear since Mugabe’s presidency. The return of Morocco to the African Union on January 31 caused the former president outrage. Fifty-four countries voted in favor of Morocco’s return to the African Union. Members who voted against were Zimbabwe, Mozambique, South Africa, Botswana, Algeria and Namibia, all known for their firm support for the Polisario Front.
The President-elect took office on Friday, November 24, three days after the resignation of Mugabe on November 21.
International Community Support For Morocco’s Autonomy Plan
Morocco has been committed to finding an accurate political solution to the Sahara issue. In 2006, the kingdom outlined its Autonomy Plan to the United Nations that has long been engaged in the issue to find a peaceful solution to the four-decades conflict.
The UN previous resolutions were not as effective as Morocco’s Autonomy Plan initiative, which was endorsed by the international community as well as UN bodies.
Unlike Polisario’s moves, Morocco’s Autonomy Plan was commended by many countries since it was brought on the table. In October, 21 Peruvian members of parliament expressed their support in a signed letter to Ricardo Luna, Peru’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The plan was also welcomed by a series of resolutions issued by the United Nations Security Council since 2017, including resolution 2351 of late April, that described the Moroccan initiative as “serious and credible.”
Saint Lucia also reaffirmed its support for the Moroccan plan as a basis for consensual solution to the issue. On November 17, St Lucia’s External Affairs Minister Sarah Flood-Beaubrun reiterated her country’s full support for the autonomy plan, commending King Mohammed VI’s development projects in the Moroccan southern provinces.
In October, Qatar and Emirates also expressed their support for Morocco’s Plan, saying that the best solution to end the conflict must respect Morocco’s sovereignty over the region.
During the 13th France-Morocco High Level Meeting that took place November 15 and 16, France’s stance on Morocco’s autonomy plan was also highlighted through a final statement issued at the end of the event. France lauded Morocco’s commitment to work with Horst Kohler, the new Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Western Sahara.