The opening of the consulate general of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in Dakhla, southern Morocco, marks a new stage in bilateral relations, said DRC’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marie Tumba Nzeza.
Nzeza made the statement during a joint press conference with Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita, following the opening of the diplomatic representation today, December 19.
For the DRC’s top diplomat, the inauguration of the consulate holds great political and diplomatic significance and concretizes the Central African country’s support for Morocco’s territorial integrity.
The new diplomatic representation will provide administrative services to the DRC community living in Morocco’s southern provinces. It will also promote bilateral economic, cultural, and scientific relations.
“There is a lot of potential in this region, and we very much hope that the state gesture we are making today is a good omen for a radiant and fruitful development between the two countries,” Nzeza said.
The DRC foreign minister recalled some historical acts that positively marked relations between her country and Morocco.
“The DRC always rejected any inclination to balkanize African countries in general and the Kingdom of Morocco in particular,” she said.
The Congolese diplomat also told the story of how her country stood by Morocco’s side when it decided to leave the Organization of African Unity in 1984 in protest of the organization’s recognition of the separatist Polisario Front.
“Our country did not hesitate for a single moment to follow Morocco’s lead and distance itself from the continental organization, suspending its participation in its works for more than two years,” Nzeza continued.
Similarly, Morocco has always supported the territorial integrity of the DRC, she added, thanking the North African country for sending troops in UN peacekeeping operations to Congo in 1960 and to Zaire, the old name of the DRC, in 1977 and 1978.
“Many thanks to the Moroccan people whose sons have shed their blood, alongside their Congolese brothers, to defend the territorial integrity of the DRC,” Nzeza concluded.
The DRC’s consulate general is the ninth foreign diplomatic representation in Dakhla and the 19th in Morocco’s southern provinces.
Dakhla hosts the consulates general of The Gambia, Guinea, Djibouti, Liberia, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, and Haiti.
Meanwhile, Laayoune hosts the diplomatic representations of Comoros, Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe, the Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Burundi, Eswatini, Zambia, the UAE, and Bahrain.
Two more countries, Jordan and the US, have announced their intention to open consulates in Morocco’s southern provinces in the coming weeks or months.