Sahara: Burkina Faso Reaffirms Support for Autonomy Plan, “Best Solution”

Burkina Faso reiterated, in New York, its support for the Moroccan autonomy initiative, “the best solution” to the regional dispute around the Sahara. “Burkina Faso reaffirms its support for the Moroccan Autonomy Initiative, for which the Security Council welcomed Morocco’s credible efforts because it is convinced that this initiative remains the best offer to resolve this dispute,” underlined the Representative permanent representative of Burkina Faso at the UN, ambassador Oumarou Ganou during the ordinary session of the UN Committee of 24 (June 10-21). He noted that the autonomy plan, which is consistent with international law, the United Nations Charter and the resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly, “undoubtedly constitutes a realistic and reliable alternative” for the resolution of this dispute. In addition, the diplomat welcomed the international dynamic reflected by the effective opening of around thirty Consulates General in the region, including that of Burkina Faso in Dakhla since October 2020.  He also indicated that his country welcomes the investments made by Morocco in favor of the populations of the southern provinces as part of the new development model launched in 2015. “It is certain that these investments contribute significantly and concretely to improving the quality of people’s lives,” he said. Ganou further praised Morocco’s “full respect” for the ceasefire in the Moroccan Sahara and its full cooperation with MINURSO, calling on the other parties to be part of this peace dynamic.  Burkina Faso has, moreover, renewed its support for the ongoing political process, carried out under the aegis of the Secretary General of the United Nations to achieve a political, realistic, lasting and compromise solution to the regional dispute over the Sahara, as recommended by all relevant Security Council resolutions since 2007. The diplomat further indicated that his country welcomes the efforts of the UNSG Personal Envoy to the Moroccan Sahara, Staffan de Mistura, to relaunch the political process under the exclusive auspices of the Secretary General through his visits to the parties concerned by this dispute.  In this context, Burkina Faso called for the resumption of round tables using the same format and with the main actors in accordance with United Nations Security Council resolution 2703 for a successful outcome of the process. The ambassador concluded that the resolution of this regional dispute through negotiation and dialogue “will enable strengthened cooperation between the member states of the Arab Maghreb Union, and would undoubtedly contribute to stability and security in the entire region and to curb the phenomenon of terrorism in the Sahel of which my country has been the victim for several years.”