Congolese President Tshisekedi wrote to King Mohammed VI to express Congo’s support.
Rabat – The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has expressed its solidarity with Morocco following the reopening of the Guerguerat border crossing. Congo’s President Felix Antoine Tshisekedi wrote a letter to Morocco’s King Mohammed VI to express his country’s support.
President Tshisekedi called the Algerian-backed Polisario militias’ blocking of the Guerguerat border crossing “unacceptable.” The DRC joins a long list of African nations to speak out in support of Morocco’s efforts to reestablish the free movement of goods and people.
Tshisekedi used the opportunity to highlight the warm relations between the DRC and Morocco amid tensions in Morocco’s southern provinces. The president of the DRC further added that he shares the international community’s opinion that the UN “will do everything possible to promptly and definitively remedy this situation” in the buffer zone.
He recalled that King Mohammed VI had referred the matter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres before Morocco took action to secure Guerguerat.
With a failure of UN efforts, Morocco acted to secure the border crossing in a non-offensive operation on November 13. The Algerian-funded, fed, and armed militia has since declared that it considers the 1991 ceasefire “dead and buried.” Morocco is working under the auspices of the UN to resolve the conflict with a mutually agreed-upon political solution. It is also striving to preserve the ceasefire which ended years of bloodshed in Western Sahara.
Tshisekedi affirmed the need to respect the UN-monitored buffer zone where Polisario protesters, backed by armed militias, blocked traffic between Morocco and Mauritania for over three weeks. He also invoked the “preservation of the dignity of Moroccans.”
The DRC and Morocco have stood beside each other in difficult times before. Morocco has provided UN peacekeepers in the country, a contingent of which the DRC commended for its peacekeeping efforts in 2019. Sixty troops belonging to Morocco’s peacekeeping mission were forced to return home from the DRC after the country imposed COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020.
The DRC is a country still in turmoil after it experienced by far the deadliest conflict since World War 2. The country’s civil war, which raged between 1998 and 2003, cost the lives of an estimated 10 million Congolese people. Brutality and crimes against humanity marked the conflict, including the common use of rape as an instrument of war.
While the two nations compete on mineral exports and on the football pitch, both countries have enjoyed good relations, again exemplified by today’s letter of support.