UN C-24: Sierra Leone Praises Growing International Support for Morocco’s Autonomy Plan

Sierra Leone commended, before the United Nations (UN) Committee of 24 (C-24) in Bali, the growing international support for the Moroccan Autonomy Plan, which remains the “compromise solution” for the resolution of the regional dispute over the Moroccan Sahara.

Intervening at the C-24 Pacific Regional Seminar, Sierra Leone’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN), Alhaji Fanday Turay, reaffirmed his country’s support for the Moroccan plan for the Sahara as a serious and credible solution, as underlined in several Security Council (SC) resolutions since 2007, and which enjoys the support of over 100 member states.

Turay noted that this initiative is in line with international law provisions, the United Nations (UN) Charter, and the resolutions of the Security Council (SC) and the General Assembly (GA), particularly concerning the devolution of power to the local population.

The Sierra Leonean ambassador also praised Morocco’s initiative to create a political environment conducive to the opening of 28 consulates general of Arab, African, Asian, and American countries in Laayoune and Dakhla, recalling that the opening of his country’s consulate general in Dakhla in August 2021.

In a similar context, the diplomat also praised the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General for his constant support for the political process underway within the framework of the Security Council’s (SC) recommendations since 2007, aimed at achieving a realistic, pragmatic, lasting, and mutually acceptable political solution to the regional dispute over the Moroccan Sahara.

In a similar context, Turay commended the efforts of the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy, Staffan de Mistura, to facilitate the political process, including his visits to Rabat, Tindouf camps, Algiers, and Nouakchott, in addition to the informal consultations he held in March in New York with Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, and the “polisario.”

The Sierra Leonean official noted that these efforts reinforce the momentum created at the two roundtables held in Geneva with the participation of Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, and the “polisario,” urging all stakeholders to maintain this dynamic in line with the Security Council (SC) resolutions.

Sierra Leone’s representative to the United Nations (UN) also mentioned the participation of representatives from the Moroccan Sahara in the C24 regional seminar for the fifth consecutive time, in the annual sessions of the same committee, and in the two round tables in Geneva, welcoming the democratic elections held in September 2021.

In this regard, Turay called for the resumption of the round tables in the same format and with the same participants, namely Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, and the “polisario,” following resolution 2654 of October 2022.

The ambassador also hailed Morocco’s efforts to promote the socio-economic development of the southern provinces, as well as the Kingdom’s actions to promote human rights, which were praised in several Security Council (SC) resolutions, including resolution 2654. He also welcomed Morocco’s respect for the ceasefire in the Sahara and called on the other parties to comply with the ceasefire in favor of peace and stability in the region.

The diplomat also expressed his country’s “deep concern” at the deterioration of the human rights situation in Tindouf camps in southwest Algeria, particularly concerning women and children, noting that “continued violations of human rights deprive the Tindouf camps populations of their rights and restrict humanitarian assistance.”

On this occasion, Turay called for population registration and census in line with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) mandate, international humanitarian law, and relevant Security Council (SC) resolutions, urging the international community to continue to support the efforts of all stakeholders to reach a viable and pragmatic solution to the regional conflict over the Moroccan Sahara.

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