High Ranking Zambian Official: Autonomy Plan is Only Solution to the Sahara issue

High Ranking Zambian Official:  Autonomy Plan is Only Solution to the Sahara issue

On the occasion of Africa Day, Mrs. Grace Njapau, Zambia’s former Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and a Member of Parliament, has highlighted Morocco’s contribution to the Continent thanks to the clear-sightedness and the ambition of the High Vision of His Majesty King Mohammed VI.

In the context of the “Sahara Debate” citizen show broadcast on social media, the Zambian official has underlined in her analysis of the future of continental integration that achieving a final solution to the issue of the Moroccan Sahara within the framework of the political process led under the exclusive aegis of the United Nations would strengthen African integration. She thus invited African countries to put aside ideologies and dogmas inherited from the Cold War era and put their full weight behind the UN-led political process.

It must remembered that the AU has affirmed in its Decision 693 the exclusivity of the UN framework to achieve a solution to the regional dispute on the Moroccan Sahara and clearly limited the role of the Organization to supporting the UN-led political process.

According to Mrs. Njapau, Morocco’s Autonomy Initiative, of which she underlined the authentic spirit, the rich content, and the extent of its potential to solve this conflict, is the only solution to the regional dispute on the Sahara. The Zambian official demonstrated that the Autonomy Initiative is the only solution that meets the parameters set out by the Security Council in resolution 2494 for a realistic, pragmatic, and enduring compromise-based political solution.

She thus called on all the parties to engage in the political process to achieve a political solution based on the Moroccan Autonomy Initiative. The political process witnessed a new momentum thanks to the holding under the aegis of the UN Secretary General of two roundtable meetings in December 2018 and March 2019 with the participation of Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, and “polisario”.

The Security Council welcomed in its resolution 2494 the intention of the participants to meet again under the same format, and called on Algeria to remain engaged in the roundtable process in a spirit of realism and compromise throughout its duration to ensure a successful outcome.

For the Zambian official, the challenge of COVID-19 is the opportunity to rethink the relevance of the ideals of Pan-Africanism in today’s world. According to her, now is time to contemplate the progress made since the meeting convened at the invitation of His late Majesty King Mohammed V of the founding fathers of Pan-African integration during the Casablanca Conference of 1961, at which the creation of the Organization of African Unity was decided. Algeria had not yet created “polisario” at the time.

Mrs. Njapau highlighted the major role played by Morocco in the decolonization of friend African countries, particularly through its direct support to African national liberation movements.
Sixty years later, the Kingdom’s commitment to the Continent remains just as intense. Mrs. Njapau recalled with emotion His Majesty King Mohammed VI’s historic Speech at the 28th Summit of the African Union, which marked Morocco’s return to its institutional family.

This return to the African Union is naturally in line with the steady deepening of the relations between Morocco and the other African countries, which the High Royal Vision directs towards an African-led emergence through pragmatic, uninhibited policies. Thus, more than a thousand cooperation agreements were signed by Morocco and various African countries since 1999 and 2017 in the fields of training, health, and sustainable development.

According to Mrs. Njapau, Morocco returned to the African Union with extensive experience in the key domains of migration, sustainable development, combatting violent extremism, and climate change, which it shares without any form of ostentation. His Majesty King Mohammed VI as the AU’s Leader on Migration, the choice of Morocco as the host of the African Observatory on Migrations and the election of the Kingdom to the Peace and Security Council of the Pan-African organization are as many acknowledgments of the leading role of Morocco in promoting the emergence of the Continent.

Mrs. Njapau has noted that in the context of a pandemic that imposes on Africa to demonstrate resilience and give the best of itself, His Majesty King Mohammed VI has launched an Initiative intended to create an operational framework designed to work together with African countries to address the pandemic. It is a pragmatic, action-oriented Initiative that will enable African countries to share their experience and best practices.

Contrarily to the deceptive claims disseminated by Algeria and “polisario”, Morocco’s return to the African Union does not signify any recognition of the so-called “sadr”, a fictitious entity that has none of the constitutive elements of a state. The recognition of a state is an eminently sovereign act. Participating to the work of an international or regional organization in presence of a non-recognized entity does not carry any recognition of the latter.

Moreover, 165 Member States of the UN do not recognize so-called “sadr”, a fictitious entity that has been created, financed, and armed by Algeria, to which the latter has also delegated the management of part of its territory. Since 2000, 44 countries that recognized this fictitious entity have withdrawn their recognition. Today, only a handful countries still recognizes this entity that Algeria has created from scratch.

Mrs. Njapau, the National Coordinator of the Morocco-Zambia Association, made her statement as part of a citizen show intended to be a democratic, open platform for dispassionate and serene analysis on the issue of the Moroccan Sahara.