December 8, 2022

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“In the Sahara, Morocco as a whole is regional”

Interview avec Dhoihir Dhoulkamal, MAE des Comores : «Au Sahara, le Maroc est dans son entièreté territoriale»
– Your Excellency, the relations between your country and the Sharif Kingdom have taken on a new dimension despite the context of the health crisis?

It is necessary to emphasize the need to strengthen cooperation and partnership between the Union of Comoros and the Kingdom of Morocco, by raising them to a strategic level, in accordance with the common will of His Excellency Mr. Ghazali El Othmani, President of the United Republic of the Comoros. The union of the Comoros and His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco to give a new impetus to our relations.

All this to meet the requirements of the health situation resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has greatly affected the economic fabric of my country; Condition aggravated by external natural phenomena that must be taken into account in our development forecast.

Today, thanks in particular to Royal Don in the preventive medical equipment against Covid-19, which was awarded to Comoros in June 2020, we are in the stage of recovery of economic activity; It is a stage that can only succeed with the support of our strategic partners, such as Morocco, and through the joint mobilization of other specific partnerships to finance our projects, through the approach of public-private dialogue.

– In this context, how can this cooperation develop beyond historical relations?

– I have had the opportunity to express this every time I am in Morocco or anywhere else, and that our cooperation with the Sharifian Kingdom has always been intense, and has never been at the bottom or the margins of our common history. I first started training the Comoros. It must be acknowledged and acknowledged that the vast majority of Comorian executives, or simply the vast majority of Comorian human resources have been trained by Morocco.

We have now entered the era of development because there will be no democracy and no progress without development. Today, Comoros is committed to the dynamics of development in accordance with the vision of the Head of State and President of the Republic, Mr. Ghazali El Othmani, through the Comoros Emerging 2030 Plan. Morocco is and will remain a major player in this plan.

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– Specifically, in this context, there is no doubt that you have signed agreements and memoranda of understanding with Morocco. What is the essence or general direction of these commitments?

– All these agreements and memoranda that we have just signed with Morocco, are 16 in number, and there are still 11, and they testify to the exemplary partnership between our two brotherly countries. We need to remember, on this subject, that when we organized the Paris Conference in December 2019 to present the Comoros Emerging Plan (PCE) 2030, and ask our partners to support and finance this programme, Morocco had the strongest delegation.

Even better, in February 2020, he mobilized a strong delegation to come and see PCE’s priorities in this area. So these signed agreements are the results of that visit. It reflects the priorities and vision of Comoros. These are projects that benefit our two countries and strengthen our fraternal and dynamic partnership with Morocco.

“Our cooperation with the Sharif Kingdom has always been intense and fruitful and has never been left on the margins of our common history.”

Today, your state confirms its position as the first state to open a consulate in the southern counties. What is your analysis of the current development of the question of the Moroccan Sahara?

– As I said above, Comoros and Morocco are two sister and friendly countries. They maintain strong and dynamic relationships. Morocco was and still is on the side of the Comoros in all its battles. It must be emphasized strongly that a country that has been amputated from a part of its territory is a great suffering.

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We think this is unacceptable. It is an inalienable right that the whole of Morocco is territorial. History proves him right because neither denial nor lies can conceal reality. The question of the Moroccan Sahara has taken a downward turn and no one can stop this process. We are glad we did the right thing.

We are committed behind Morocco because we believe that it is only fair and natural to help our brother regain all his lands. This should not suffer from any challenge at our level. In short, it is a duty for the Comoros.

On the other hand, I attended in Dakhla the opening of the International Center for Research on the Prevention of Child Recruitment. What about this issue in your country?

– It must be said that no country is immune from this phenomenon of recruitment or exploitation of children or other malicious acts against them. Our President, His Excellency Mr. Ghazali Othmani, continues to say “What can happen to others, can happen to us. So let us do prevention, education and information so that this does not happen to us.”

In Comoros, we do everything we can to avoid child exploitation. We are almost champions in Africa in terms of educating children because 100% of Comorian children go to school, but education is not enough. This is also the Republic project: a child in school equals work. Indeed, despair and poverty are easy ground and fertile ground for human traffickers or even terrorists.

– So, in your opinion, this initiative comes at the right time to actively fight against the use of children in wars and armed conflicts?

– The choice of Dakhla to house this center is not accidental. Indeed, as my counterpart Nasser Bourita pointed out, in the opening, there are strong assumptions about the practices of child recruitment and child abduction in the south, as is the case elsewhere in conflict zones. So the first thing is to know the system of work, the system of financing these practices, and the recruitment of these groups by some terrorist or malevolent groups and organizations.

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In this way, through the International Center for Research on the Prevention of Child Recruitment, Morocco demonstrates that it is possible to prevent and effectively combat these practices. Creating this hub can only be useful. Finally, the leadership that Morocco and His Majesty King Mohammed VI give to the continent, which aims to search for unifying themes that can concern the world, including Africa first, benefits the title.

It also shows that Africa has the potential to suggest solutions to the rest of the world, to give Africans a platform to be proud of. Yesterday, we had an observatory for immigrants. Today there is the International Center for Research on Child Soldiers Prevention. It is a great honor for Africa because these two institutions attest that we Africans can also offer innovative solutions and alternatives to the problems faced by different nations around the world.

So we support His Majesty King Mohammed VI in his quest to raise Africa above other continents but also to show African youth that yes we can, yes we have solutions to offer to the rest of the world because there are no deaths. This is where development is possible if we can keep our children away from terrorist groups and other human smugglers. From this standpoint, too, Morocco’s role in South-South cooperation must be commended.

Collected by Wolondouka SIDIBE