C-24/Sahara: Sierra Leone Reiterates Support for Morocco’s Autonomy Plan

Sierra Leone reiterated, before the United Nations Committee of 24 (C-24), its support for Morocco’s autonomy plan in the Sahara, stressing that this initiative is a compromise solution to the regional dispute over the Moroccan Sahara. “My delegation supports the Moroccan autonomy initiative, considered as serious and credible by the Security Council, as indicated in its successive resolutions since 2007”, said Sierra Leone’s deputy permanent representative to the UN, Michael Imran Kanu, at the C-24 annual meeting held in New York. “This Initiative is viewed as a compromise solution to this regional dispute, and it is in conformity with international law, the UN Charter, and Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, especially the devolution of authority to the local population”, the diplomat pointed out. “Sierra Leone welcomes the increasing international support in favor of the Moroccan Autonomy Initiative”, he added. The ambassador commended the UN Secretary-General for his continued support to the ongoing political process, executed within the framework of the Security Council’s recommendations since 2007, which is aimed at achieving a realistic, practicable, enduring and mutually acceptable political solution to this regional dispute. “My delegation further wishes to register its support for efforts made by the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy, Mr. Staffan De Mistura, to facilitate and invigorate the political process”, including his visits in the region as well as the recent consultations held in New York, he said. The delegation of Sierra Leone is encouraged by the view that these efforts are increasing the momentum built during the two Geneva roundtable meetings which witnessed the participation of Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and polisario. The ambassador urged in this regard all stakeholders to sustain the impetus in accordance with Security Council resolution 2654 of October 2022. He also commended Morocco’s respect for the ceasefire and continued cooperation with MINURSO, calling on the other parties to return to the ceasefire for the sake of peace and stability in the entire region. Sierra Leone’s representative underlined the need to improve the human rights situation in the Tindouf camps and called for the proper registration of all populations in conformity with International Law and the mandate of the UNHCR and the recommendations of the Secretary-General as well as Security Council resolutions since 2011, including the most recent resolution 2654.