Rabat – Days ahead of the UN talks on Western Sahara, Morocco’s Autonomy Plan continues to gather momentum as many African countries call it the most “credible” and “serious” way out of the Western Sahara conflict.
Speaking yesterday at a session of the UN 4th Committee, representatives from a range of countries lauded Morocco’s “tangible efforts” towards peace and stability in the region and in the continent in general.
For the supportive countries, Morocco has made “serious” and “credible” steps to maintain security and peace in the disputed territory. Referring to Morocco’s Autonomy Plan. Representatives from Guinea and Burundi pointed towards the “serious” steps Morocco has taken since its put together its plan in 2007.
“The Moroccan initiative is a compromise-based solution,” said Guinea’s Fatoumata Kaba, hinting at Morocco’s proposal compatibility with the UN directives.
In all of its recent resolutions on Western Sahara, the UN Security Council has repeatedly called for a spirit of “compromise” and “pragmatism.”
According to Kaba, Morocco’s proposal, as well as its recent actions and policies in the Dakhla and Laayoune regions, perfectly embody the UN’s call for a compromise-based dialogue. “Morocco’s initiative is in accord with international law, the UN Charter, and all UNSC resolutions,” stressed the Guinean official.
Albert Shingiro, who represented the Republic of Burundi, agreed with his Guinean counterpart. In his allocution, the East African official spoke warmly of Morocco’s stabilizing role in the Sahelo-Saharan region, in addition to its increasing efforts to secure peace and stability at the continental level.
The 2007 Autonomy Proposal, he argued, is part of “Morocco’s serious and credible efforts” to broker a lasting, politically negotiated resolution to the longstanding political stalemate in the territorial dispute.
Adding a note of hope, Shingito praised the ongoing UN-led dialogue. He said that the latest developments in the conflict, especially the fact that the four parties–Polisario, Morocco, Algeria, and Mauritania–are back to the negotiating table is an “encouraging sign”
The chorus of support from Burundi and Guinea comes as Morocco continues to score diplomatic points in Africa and beyond.
While the country’s return to the African Union has perceptibly strengthened its African diplomacy and given it more credibility on continental affairs, countries outside of the continent are increasingly joining the pro-Morocco crowd.
In most international discussions in recent months, Morocco’s plan is seen as the safest route to secure stability in the fragile Saharan region.
Just last week, a number of international security experts, also speaking before the UN 4th Committee, highlighted Polisario’s terrorist links, arguing that separatism would breed more instability and security in the region, especially in the Sahelo-Saharan corridor where a number of terrorist groups have gained considerable ground in recent years.