The opening of a consulate of the Democratic Republic of Congo in Dakhla is “a major event” given the importance of this country and its responsibilities within the African Union (AU) that it will chair starting next year, said Saturday in Dakhla, Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita.
This diplomatic act is of particular importance as it comes from a country that has always supported Morocco in its national cause, the minister said at a press briefing with his DRC counterpart Marie Tumba Nzeza, following the inauguration of the DRC diplomatic representation and the installation of Nestor Bamialy Wawa as DRC consula general in Dakhla.
Morocco has always welcomed the support of the DRC, he said, recalling that at meetings of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Ms. Tumba Nzeza and President Felix Tshisekedi, have consistently expressed their clear and assumed support for Morocco’s territorial integrity and for the Moroccanness of the Sahara.
Bourita recalled that when the Kingdom decided to leave the Organization of African Unity, the DRC took the same decision,
And stayed away from the OAU for two years to express its rejection of the flagrant violation of international law and of the charter of the Organization itself.
DRC returned to the pan-African organization after late King Hassan II asked the President to do so, given the fact that Morocco needs its friends inside the grouping to defend legality and international law, Bourita recalled.
The inauguration of this consulate is in line with this consistent position and confirms the fact that the DRC opened its diplomatic representation in the Southern Provinces, along with 16 other African countries, to clearly express support for the Moroccanness of the Sahara, the minister said.
According to him, the number of diplomatic representations in the Southern provinces will rise because the majority of African countries are aware that this dispute is inherited from a bygone past that Africa can well do without.
Most African countries understand that this dispute is based on a position that has become obsolete and that supporting the Morocco-proposed autonomy initiative as the only solution to this regional dispute will allow African countries to rectify the mistake they made against the continent in 1984 by accepting a puppet entity with no legal or political basis for recognition, he went on.
For Morocco’s FM, the position of the DRC is part of the actions conducted by King Mohammed VI over the recent years to promote support for the Moroccanness of the Sahara, through international positions and agreements and the opening of consulates, whose number has now reached 19, including those of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrainin, and Haiti, in addition to the upcoming opening of consulates of Jordan and the United States.
The Minister highlighted the “historic” decision of Washington to open a consulate in Dakhla, which turns the city into an important consular center, stressing Dakhla’s status as a strategic international gateway, especially between Europe and Africa.
This reality paves the way for accelerating the pace of development of the city and helps to attract investment, create job opportunities and promote socio-economic development, he added.
The DRC Foreign Minister Marie Tumba Nzeza on her part said that the opening of the Consulate General in Dakhla bears a significant political and diplomatic character, and gives concrete expression to the recognition of Morocco’s full sovereignty over its Sahara.
“There is a lot of potential in this region, and we very much hope that the state gesture we are making today is a good omen for a radiant and fruitful development between the two countries,” she stated.
Since the beginning of the year, the city of Dakhla has experienced strong diplomatic momentum with the inauguration of the consulates of the Gambia, Guinea, Djibouti, Liberia, Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau and Equatorial Guinea, in addition to Haiti, the first non-Arab and non-African country to open a Consulate in the Moroccan Sahara.