Sahara: Sierra Leone Affirms Support for Moroccan Autonomy Initiative

Sahara: Sierra Leone Affirms Support for Moroccan Autonomy Initiative

dakhla drapeau 9

The Republic of Sierra Leone has reaffirmed, before the Committee 24 (C24) of the United Nations, its support to the Moroccan autonomy initiative as a solution to the regional dispute over the Sahara.

"My delegation supports the Moroccan autonomy initiative which is in line with existing international law, including the devolution of authority to the local population," Ambassador Victoria Sulamani, Sierra Leone's Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, said on Thursday at the C24 regional seminar in St. John, Dominica.

The diplomat recalled that the Security Council, in all its successive resolutions since 2007, including resolution 2548, has welcomed the "serious and credible" efforts of Morocco to advance the process towards a resolution.

Sierra Leone also expressed its support for the ongoing UN-led political process, "conducted in accordance with the recommendations of the Security Council since 2007, which aims at reaching a mutually acceptable and negotiated political settlement to the long-standing regional dispute over the Sahara".

The delegation of Sierra Leone also said that a "new dynamic" has been triggered, particularly through the two round-table meetings held in Geneva with the participation of Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania and the "polisario".

"Sierra Leone welcomes Morocco's action on human rights, as mentioned in various Security Council resolutions, including resolution 2548, clearly highlighting the role of the National Human Rights Council in the cities of Laayoune and Dakhla, as well as its cooperation with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) since 2011," said the Sierra Leonean diplomat.

"We also welcome Morocco's efforts for socio-economic and infrastructural development in the Sahara region," she said.

The Sierra Leonean ambassador emphasized the need "to improve the human rights situation in the Tindouf camps", calling for a census of the entire population of these camps in accordance with international law, the mandate of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the recommendations of the Secretary General and the Security Council.

Sierra Leone also welcomed "Morocco's respect for the ceasefire in the Sahara, as well as the action it took on November 13, 2020 to ensure free movement in the Guergarat passageā€.

"My delegation calls on all other parties to fully respect the ceasefire, because the security and stability of the entire region depends on it," said the Sierra Leonean ambassador.