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Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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Chairman of the Royal Adisory Council for Saharan Affairs, Mr. Khalihenna Ould Errachid gave an interview to « La Nouvelle Tribune » published on March 30, 2006.


For Mr.  Khalihenna Ould Er-Rachid, the chairman of the Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairs, the King’s speech revealed great deal since it will definitively settle the Sahara issue. In this exclusive interview which he gave to La Nouvelle Tribune, Mr. Khali Hanna Ould Er-Rachid puts forward the hopes of Sahrawis , with a sincere manner opposed to  the secessionist speeches of the Polisario Front.

La Nouvelle Tribune: what are your first actions relating to the memorandum that Morocco will submit to UN Security Council?
Khalihenna Ould Errachid: first, it should be underlined that the Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairs has not held its first meeting yet, and that one of the institution’s missions is to give its view point on autonomy project that the Kingdom of Morocco will propose to UN. We have not yet discussed this issue but it will be our first task in the future in respect of royal consultations.

What is new or particular about this Council in comparison with the former Department in charge of Saharan affairs?
For many years, I was in charge of the Ministry of Development of the Saharan Provinces which has accomplished its mission. However, today, things are different.  It is the preparation of a larger project which will resolve, once and for all, the Sahara issue and will definitively put an end to this question. HM the King has responded to the old claim of the southern populations which are so far from the capital by a very enlarged decentralization or autonomy which will allow them to politically, economically, socially and culturally participate in the construction of the modern Kingdom of Morocco. It is a fascinating mission which aims at achieving total adhesion of all Sahrawis wherever they are whether in Laayoune, Dakhla, Smara, in Tindouf camps, in Mauritania or elsewhere. It is a project that interests them now but also the present and the future. According to my real feelings as a Sahrawi, I think that this is what suits the Saharan populations.

In other words, autonomy project or enlarged regionalization perfectly satisfies Sahrawis’ aspirations?
Of Course. Above all, they are Moroccans through law and blood. They are Moroccans by belonging to this Moroccan block. They have always the will, thank to their geographic situation, economic conditions inherited from colonialism, to hope, to claim, and to have a position assured and guaranteed by HM the King with the adhesion of All Moroccan people and to be one of the pillars of this Kingdom by a political participation not linked to political risks. If participation is guaranteed, it will allow them to develop economically, socially, culturally and to be satisfied and proud to belong to the great Kingdom of Morocco.
 
According to your experience, do you think that the Council will have the means required to successfully carry out this important mission?
HM the King is the guarantor of the means since the Royal Council directly depends on him, as he declared in his historic speech in Laayoune. Never there was a similar speech nor a similar concession in addition to an unprecedented reconciliation expressed by the Supreme Chief, King Mohammed VI. Accordingly, the fact that the Royal Council is directly linked to His Majesty and depending to him grants it full legitimacy. It gives it dynamism, a power which will certainly lead the mission to succeed.

Do you think that the social and economic projects which will be realized or carried out in Laayoune and other provinces in the South are a remedy for the precariousness that this region of Morocco witnesses?

Morocco has invested a lot in this region since 1975 because it lacked infrastructure. Some cities and roads did not exist; there were no ports, no airports and no canalization for clean water. Morocco has done a lot for thirty years in this region but, certainly, investment and development acts should be redeployed in order to satisfy people’s needs. It is one of the essential missions entrusted by His Majesty to the Royal Council. We will get down to this task soon.

What would be the role of the other associations and political parties in this new order?
Every party or association will play its role and everybody will work for one cause in order to make the mission of His Majesty successful, definitively close the Sahara problem with the total adhesion of the Sahrawi population. More important is the fact that this project is not imposed. It is based on a necessity, legitimate claim, and an aspiration. The real, total and honest adhesion of the populations guarantees its success. Everyone will bring its part on the edifice that His Majesty asked us to build in this region.

 

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