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Friday, May 24, 2024

South Africa Was and Will Remain Marginal Actor in Moroccan Sahara Issue

South Africa was and will remain a marginal actor in the Moroccan Sahara issue, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, Nasser Bourita, said Tuesday in Rabat.

"South Africa was and will remain a marginal actor in the Moroccan Sahara issue and a dissonant voice, without any influence or weight, in this issue,” Bourita underlined in response to a question regarding the visit, last week, of the Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary General for the Moroccan Sahara, Staffan de Mistura, to South Africa.
Speaking at a press briefing following the Ministerial Segment of the High-Level Conference on Middle-Income Countries, the Minister stressed that the current momentum experienced by the Moroccan Sahara issue is marked by the growing number of withdrawals of the recognition of the puppet entity and the growing recognition of the Moroccan sovereignty over the Sahara and the support for the autonomy initiative by credible international powers.

Morocco, he stressed, relies on three non-negotiable elements in handling this issue: the identification of the parties concerned by the regional dispute around the Moroccan Sahara, the promotion of roundtables as the only framework of the UN process, and the confirmation of the autonomy initiative within the framework of the kingdom’s sovereignty and territorial integrity as the one and only solution to the artificial conflict.

“These three elements constitute the fundamental determinant of Morocco's action and its interaction with international parties and the Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary General. When they are transgressed, Morocco takes appropriate measures,” he noted, adding that the Kingdom deals with UN envoys in accordance with the principles of transparency, consultation and coordination for the success of this process.

South Africa, which has adopted a negative position on the Sahara issue for twenty years, has neither the aptitude nor the capacity to influence the course of this issue, the minister underlined, stressing that this has been proven by its inability to influence decisions in its geographical environment, since 27 countries have since withdrawn their recognition of the puppet entity, especially since half of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) members have withdrawn their recognition of the puppet entity and a third of them opened consulates in Dakhla and Laayoune.

"Although South Africa has been a member of the Security Council three times since its recognition of the puppet entity, it has been unable to prevent the adoption of any of the Security Council resolutions that support the autonomy initiative, identify the parties to the conflict and promote the roundtable process,” he noted.

In this regard, Bourita recalled Morocco’s election to the presidency of the United Nations Human Rights Council for 2024 with a large majority of votes.

At the level of the African Union, the minister noted that South Africa tried to hinder Morocco's return to the pan-African organization as well as its access to the Peace and Security Council, but the Kingdom has remained strongly present for six years.

News and events on Western Sahara issue/ CORCAS

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