Sahara: Côte d’Ivoire Reaffirms ‘Full Support’ For Morocco’s Autonomy Initiative

Côte d’Ivoire has reaffirmed, before the members of the UN Committee of 24 (C-24) its “full support” for the Moroccan autonomy initiative, which is supported by more than a hundred countries in order to find a definitive solution to the regional dispute over the Sahara. “Côte d’Ivoire wishes to reaffirm its full support for this autonomy initiative, which is also supported by more than one hundred UN member states and which, moreover, is in conformity with international legality and the resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly,” stressed the Ivorian Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Gbolié Desiré Wulfran Ipo, at the C24 Pacific Regional Seminar held in Bali from May 24 to 26. He underlined that the autonomy initiative is “largely credible due to the numerous and important prerogatives enjoyed by the population of the Moroccan Sahara, particularly in the political, economic, social and cultural spheres.” The Ivorian diplomat stressed that the Moroccan Sahara issue is the subject of an exclusively UN political process aimed at reaching a realistic, pragmatic and lasting political solution based on a compromise between the parties, noting that this process has registered “remarkable” progress with the holding of two round tables in Switzerland in December 2018 and March 2019, with the participation of Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and the “Polisario”. “This relief momentum should be consolidated and continued through other meetings in the same format and with the same participants, as recommended by Security Council resolution 2654, adopted on October 27, 2022,” he stressed. In this context, Ipo reiterated his country’s “full support” to the UN Secretary General and his Personal Envoy for the Sahara, Staffan de Mistura, for their constant efforts to facilitate the resumption of this political process, welcoming in this regard the latter’s visits to the region in 2022, as well as the informal bilateral consultations he held with Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and the “Polisario” last March in New York. “We urge all parties concerned to support his initiatives and to remain mobilized throughout the political process in order to reach a realistic, pragmatic, lasting and compromise solution to the regional dispute over the Moroccan Sahara,” he stressed, adding that this compromise solution, accepted by all, would be a “major step forward” in restoring a climate of peace and security conducive to further progress in the Sahara and the Sahel. “It is here that the initiative for a broad autonomy for the Moroccan Sahara, presented by Morocco in 2007 and aimed at reaching a negotiated and mutually acceptable political solution based on realism, finds all its relevance,” stressed the Ivorian diplomat.