Sahara: DRC opens consular representation in Dakhla
The consular representation was inaugurated by Foreign Minister of DRC Marie Tumba Nzeza and her Moroccan peer Nasser Bourita.
On this occasion, Mrs Marie Tumba Nzeza installed Nestor Bamialy Wawa as DRC Consul General in Dakhla.
The opening of this Consulate holds a significant political and diplomatic character, and gives concrete expression to the recognition of Morocco’s full sovereignty over its Sahara, said Marie Tumba Nzeza at a press briefing following the consulate inauguration.
The Consulate General is intended to be an administrative framework that maintains the physical link with the Congolese community and a place of consultation and promotion of economic, trade, cultural and scientific relations, said the DRC Foreign Minister.
“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.
In this vein, DRC’s top diplomat said that the opening of this consular representation is actually a new stage in the historical and privileged relations between Morocco and her country, as embodied in the entente and understanding between King Mohammed VI and President Felix Antoine Tshisekedi.
These ties have consolidated the relations of fraternity and friendship uniting the two countries and peoples since 1960, she said, reiterating the deep gratitude of the DRC people and president to the Moroccan Monarch for the medical assistance provided to help the Congolese protect themselves and effectively fight the coronavirus pandemic.
On the Sahara dispute, she said that the DRC, faithful to its principles, “has always rejected any inclination to balkanize African countries in general and the Kingdom of Morocco in particular.” In 1984, the DRC placed itself on the side of Morocco when the Kingdom decided to leave the Organization of African Unity, she recalled.
“Our country did not hesitate for a single moment to follow Morocco’s lead and distance itself from the continental organization, suspending its participation in its works for more than two years,” Tumba Nzeza said, stressing that her country is and will be supporting the peace efforts undertaken by the Moroccan authorities in the Moroccan Sahara.
In parallel to this support for Morocco’s integrity and sovereignty over its Sahara, Morocco always showed steadfast solidarity with the DRC whenever its territorial integrity was threatened, she said.
In that regard, Tumba Nzeza recalled the participation of Moroccan soldiers in UN peacekeeping operations in Congo in 1960, the intervention of Moroccan troops in Zaire (former name of the DRC) in 1977 and 1978 to help Zairian armed forces drive out the rebels who attacked the province of Katanga (then Shaba), as well as Morocco’s contribution with a contingent to the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO).
The Foreign Minister also welcomed the recent US decision to recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over its Sahara.
With the opening of its diplomatic representation in Dakhla, the Democratic Republic of Congo becomes thus the ninth country to set up a consulate in the city in less than a year, after Gambia, Guinea, Djibouti, Liberia, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau and Equatorial Guinea, in addition to the Republic of Haiti, which is the first non-Arab and non-African country to open a consulate in the Moroccan Sahara.
The capital of the Moroccan Sahara Laayoune is witnessing the same dynamic as it now hosts consulates of Comoros, Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe, the Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Burundi, Eswatini, Zambia, the UAE, and Bahrain, whose consular representation was inaugurated last Monday Dec.14.
Jordan and the US have also announced plans to set up diplomatic representations in the Moroccan Sahara.