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Gabon Reiterates Support for Morocco’s Sahara Autonomy Plan

Gabon reaffirmed its support for Morocco’s Autonomy Plan at the 4th committee of the UN General Assembly in New York, stating that it is a “credible and reassuring” prospect to resolve the regional dispute over the Sahara.

“Gabon reiterates its support for the Moroccan Autonomy initiative,” said Gabon’s UN representative Lia Bouanga Ayoune. “It not only aims to end the current political deadlock but also seeks to achieve an acceptable and negotiated political solution.”

Ayoune noted that more than a hundred countries have expressed their support for Morocco’s proposed resolution of the dispute.

The Gabonese diplomat also commended the efforts of the UN Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy to the Sahara, Staffan de Mistura, acknowledging de Mistura’s commitment to the success of his mission, as demonstrated by his visits to Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, and the Tindouf camps in 2022, as well as his informal bilateral consultations.

Ayoune emphasized that this diplomatic progress is an encouraging sign, urging the resumption of the roundtable process involving Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, and the Polisario. She invited all parties to engage in this process in the spirit of compromise, aiming to reach a political resolution of the regional dispute over the Moroccan Sahara.

The official also remarked that Gabon is encouraged by the positive developments on the ground, particularly the participation of representatives from the Moroccan Sahara in various C-24 regional seminars. She also noted Morocco’s continuous efforts to improve the living conditions of the populations in the Southern provinces, citing the new development model launched in 2015, which has positively impacted human development indices in the region.

“Obviously, this social and economic progress strengthens international cooperation in the region,” as many countries from all the regions of the world, including Gabon, have now opened consulates in Laayoune and Dakhla, she said.

Regarding human rights, the Gabonese representative praised Morocco’s substantial achievements in this field. She mentioned the strengthening of the role of regional commissions of the National Human Rights Council in Laayoune and Dakhla, as well as bilateral cooperation with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, treaty bodies, and special procedures of the Human Rights Council.

“These efforts have been welcomed by Security Council resolutions, mainly resolution 2654,” she noted.

The official also encouraged Morocco to continue its efforts in maintaining the ceasefire and cooperating with MINURSO, calling upon all other parties to follow suit for the sake of security and stability in the entire region.