Sahara: Senegal Reiterates Support for Autonomy Initiative

Senegal reaffirmed, before the United Nations Committee of 24 (C-24), its support for the Autonomy initiative submitted by Morocco to reach a definitive political solution to the regional dispute over the Sahara. “Many countries, including Senegal, continue to reiterate their support for the Advanced Autonomy Initiative proposed by Morocco for a final, just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution, in accordance with international law, the Charter of the United Nations and to the resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council”,  the representative of Senegal, Diamane Diome, underlined during the C-24 Annual meeting held in New York. He noted that his country has shown its support for this momentum by inaugurating its Consulate General in Dakhla in 2021, thus wishing to contribute to the strengthening of economic and social opportunities in the region. The Senegalese diplomat also praised the notable progress made by Morocco, particularly in promoting human rights and democracy as well as the considerable efforts exerted to enhance economic and social development in the region, while ensuring the empowerment of its people, noting that these efforts have finally convinced of the Kingdom’s desire to resolve this dispute once and for all. He further stated that his country is convinced that the solution to this regional dispute will undoubtedly pass through a process carried out under the exclusive auspices of the United Nations, on the basis of the successive resolutions of the Security Council since 2007, inviting all the parties to pursue, in the same format, the constructive momentum generated by the two roundtables held in Geneva, while displaying realism and a spirit of compromise, to ensure the success of the political process initiated by the United Nations. The diplomat also welcomed the efforts to relaunch the process undertaken by the Personal Envoy of the Secretary General to the Sahara, Staffan de Mistura, resulting in visits to stakeholders in January, July and September 2022, as well as the informal bilateral consultations he held in last March in New York with these parties. At the political level, he said that his country is delighted by the participation of the Moroccan Sahara representatives elected during the 2021 elections in the important C-24 meetings and discussions, including the fifth regional seminar held recently in Indonesia. “This remains a positive signal which enhances my delegation’s optimism for a successful outcome to this conflict”, he said, while stressing the importance of respecting the 1991 ceasefire. In this regard, he hailed Morocco’s continued cooperation with MINURSO as well as its respect for the ceasefire.