الـعـربية Español Français English Deutsch Русский Português Italiano
Sunday, June 16, 2024
Written Press

Khallihenna: « I am optimistic »  

Mr. Khalihenna Ould Errachid said that by granting broad autonomy to the southern provinces, Morocco will become a "model" for Africa and the Arab-Islamic world in the field of decentralization and democratic governance.



 Having stressed, in an interview with Aujourd'hui le Maroc, that autonomy is “a step towards independence," he described the project as "credible, realistic, modern and democratic."

He added that the autonomy project is an initiative that "will resolve once and for all," the Sahara, highlighting that this project is addressed to "the total Sahrawis wherever they are" and not to a "specific organization or association or to a particular part of the population."

On the other hand, he noted that the Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairs, "directly connected to His Majesty the King", will achieve economic, social, and cultural development in the Southern Territories and defend its Moroccan identity in coordination with the various ministerial departments elected councils and civil society, tribes and others.

According to Mr. Khalihenna Ould Errachid, any accident that may happen to these regions will be resolved by the Council on the basis of "dialogue, understanding and transparency."

In another interview published by (La Nouvelle Tribune) in its last issue, Mr. Khalihenna said that the Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairs, has not "discussed" yet the memo to be submitted by Morocco to the UN Security Council on broad autonomy for the southern provinces.

He pointed out that His Majesty the King "answered an old demand of the population of the south who live far away from the capital for broad decentralization or self-government so that they can contribute to build the kingdom."

ALM: how did you receive your appointment as the head of the Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairs?

Khalihenna Ould Errachid: it is an honour for me to be chosen by His Majesty the King for this great and lofty mission. I am so proud of this nomination.

You have always said that Sahara affairs should be handled by Sahrawis. Do you consider this as a victory for you?

The national policy- as stated by the Constitution- is defined by His Majesty the King who himself outlines the policy which he intends to implement. Within this framework, I am a simple servant of His Majesty. I am trying to fulfil my missions honestly, faithfully and loyally. Therefore, the victory is that of His Majesty.

How do you see your practical action as the Council’s head?

The Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairs is an institution well-defined by the royal decree which fixes the missions and objectives that we should carry out. First, the Council should deal with the economic, social and cultural development in the southern provinces. Second, it should defend the Moroccanity of the Sahara at the national and international levels. It is a colossal task that we will professionally, devotionally and transparently carry out along with the other parties. That is to say, the different ministerial departments, elected councils, civil society, tribes etc.

Are you still against the interference that you have always qualified as exaggerated of the Interior Ministry in the Saharan affairs?

Now tasks are clear. His Majesty has defined everything. The Council is directly depending on His Majesty. The Interior Ministry is an important department which deals with the territorial administration and which is at the same time a member of the Council along with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Agency of Southern Provinces Development and the different Walis and governors of the Saharan provinces. We will work together so that the national effort, in the political, diplomatic, economic, social and cultural fields, will be oriented to the same direction that His Majesty has clearly defined in his historic speech of Mars 25, 2006 when he visited the southern provinces.

What is your position on autonomy project under Moroccan sovereignty? Who should govern this autonomous region: interior Sahrawis, to whom you belong, or Mohamed Abdelaziz Marrakchi and his troops?

It is a premature question? First, the Council should give its viewpoint about autonomy project. I can say from now that this project is destined for all Sahrawis wherever they are, whether in the southern provinces, in the Tindouf camps, or for the populations of these provinces which live in Mauritania, Spain and elsewhere. Autonomy project is not addressed to some organisation, to a particular association or to one part of inhabitants. It is for all the Sahrawis who have been claiming a position inside the Kingdom. It is a credible, real, modern and democratic project. In addition, it is a civilized project for handling political, economic and social affairs. This autonomy project will definitely settle the Sahara issue.

No honest and patriot Sahrawi will have the excuse to say that he has been neglected, excluded or marginalized. Autonomy project will no longer allow the resurgence of separatist claims. One of the main tasks of the Council is to convince all Sahrawi populations to massively adhere to the success of this historic project. I am optimistic about what going to happen.

Is autonomy a good thing for the Sahara, will it lead to independence strongly claimed by Polisario?

Autonomy is not a step towards independence. Autonomy will reinforce national unity, territorial integrity. It meets the democratic criteria relating to the management of the modern world. All European countries, members of the European Union, are decentralized countries like the US, Russia, China, Brazil and other great countries. Morocco will become a model of decentralization and democratic management of national affairs. It will be a model for Africa and the Muslim and Arab world.

Let’s be clear, autonomy is a fundamental guarantee of the adhesion of the populations concerned by this project for national cohesion, unity, territorial integrity and Moroccan sovereignty under the leadership of His Majesty the king who is the guarantor of institutions and the country’s unity.

You have begun your mission as CORCAS head with a visit to Smara last Monday. What was your reaction to the unrest that this province witnessed?

It is a minor problem which was settled by an agreement between local authorities and the persons concerned by these events.

It is one of the main tasks of the council which ended in success. The method that we will adopt to resolve this sort of problems is based upon dialogue, understanding and transparency.

 

 This website shall not be responsible for the functioning and content of external links !
  Copyright © CORCAS 2024