Sierra Leone Commends Growing International Support for Autonomy Plan at C24 Meeting

Sierra Leone commended, before the UN Committee of 24 (C24) in Bali, the momentum of international support for the autonomy plan, which remains the “compromise solution” to end the regional dispute over the Moroccan Sahara. Speaking at the C24 Pacific Regional Seminar being held in the Indonesian city (May 24-26), Sierra Leone’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN, Alhaji Fanday Turay, reaffirmed his country’s support for the Moroccan initiative that has been considered “serious and credible” in successive Security Council resolutions since 2007, and which enjoys the support of over 100 member states. This initiative is in line with the provisions of international law, the United Nations Charter and the resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly, particularly with regard to the devolution of authority to the local population, he noted. The ambassador also noted with satisfaction Morocco’s initiative to create a political environment conducive to the opening of 28 consulates general of Arab, African, Asian and American countries in the cities of Laayoune and Dakhla. In this regard, he recalled the opening by his country of a consulate general in Dakhla. He also praised the UN Secretary-General’s continued support for the political process underway in the framework of the Security Council’s recommendations since 2007, aimed at achieving a realistic, pragmatic, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution to the regional dispute over the Moroccan Sahara. Turay commended the efforts of the UN SG’s Personal Envoy, Staffan de Mistura, to facilitate and give fresh impetus to the political process, including his visits to Rabat, the Tindouf camps, Algiers and Nouakchott, in addition to the informal consultations he held last March in New York with Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and the “polisario”. These efforts reinforce the momentum created at the two roundtables in Geneva with the participation of Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and the “polisario”, he said, urging all stakeholders to maintain this momentum in line with Security Council resolutions. Sierra Leone’s permanent representative to the UN also mentioned the participation of Moroccan Sahara representatives in the C24 regional seminar for the fifth consecutive time, in the annual sessions of the same committee, and in the two round table meetings in Geneva, while welcoming the democratic elections in September 2021. He called for the resumption of the round table discussions in the same format and with the same participants, namely Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and the “polisario”, in accordance with resolution 2654 of last October. The ambassador also highlighted Morocco’s efforts to promote the socio-economic development of the southern provinces, as well as the Kingdom’s actions in the field of human rights, which have been hailed in various Security Council resolutions, including resolution 2654. He took the opportunity to welcome Morocco’s respect for the ceasefire in the Sahara, while calling on the other parties to comply with the ceasefire in the interests of peace and stability across the region.