The High Representative of the African Union (AU) for Mali and the Sahel, Maman Sambo Sidikou, said, Friday in Rabat, he is “reassured” by the support of Morocco, a country that has always occupied an important place among Sahelians and all of Africa. Sambo Sidikou, who has chosen Morocco for one of his first official visits since his appointment after Niger and Mali, welcomed the continued presence of the Kingdom, upon the high instructions of HM King Mohammed VI, during meetings of the G5 Sahel, a group which seeks to promote development and security in several countries, namely Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad.

Speaking to reporters following talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Abroad, Nasser Bourita, the AU official referred to Mali, a country which, he said, finds itself in a “complex” situation which cannot be resolved with “a ready-made recipe”. “The complexity of this issue means that we must support the Malian people,” Sambo Sidikou pointed out.

“We are working with several partners such as the United Nations, France and the European Union, but the Malian issue is above all African”, he said, calling for a greater presence of Africa in this issue. In this regard, he said he was counting on Morocco on several aspects, mentioning in this context his meeting on Thursday with the Secretary General of the Mohammadia League of Religious Scholars, Ahmed Abbadi.

The League “embodies an extremely important dimension of the work carried out by Morocco to support us in understanding our Islam which is an Islam of tolerance and construction,” said Sambo Sidikou. At the bilateral level, Morocco is training hundreds of imams and ulemas from the Sahelian sub-region, he recalled, stressing the importance of generalizing this experience at the continental level.

Sambo Sidikou reiterated his gratitude to the people of Morocco and to His Majesty the King for all the actions carried out in favor of the Sahel, commending the solidarity of the Kingdom “which has stood alongside the countries of the Sahel, when the Covid-19 pandemic hit our poorest states very hard”.