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Morocco To Rejoin African Union 33 Years After Exit

Moroccan King,
King Mohammed VI of Morocco

All is set for Morocco to rejoin the African Union at the 28th African summit which will be held between January 30 and January 31 in Addis-Ababa, having left the Pan African organisation more than three decades ago.

Morocco had left the Organization of African Unity, which later became the AU, in 1984, after the OAU recognized and admitted the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic as a country and a full member of the organisation.

SADR is a country located in the Western Sahara territory, but Morocco insists that the territory belongs to it and as such, SADR is not a sovereign nation but only a province of Morroco.

Since then, Morocco refused to be part of the African Union, but recently the country has changed its policy, making re-admission to the AU top on its agenda.

King Mohammed VI of Morocco, in July 2016, sent a message to the 27th AU summit in Kigali, Rwanda, saying that there was need for his country not to “remain outside its African institutional family” adding that it was time for Morocco to “regain its natural, rightful place within the AU.”

The king in his letter explained that the country’s quest to rejoin the AU was due to repeated calls by many African friends of the kingdom.

He noted that after thorough reflection, Morocco had concluded that “when a body is sick, it is treated more effectively from the inside than from the outside.”

“Morocco will contribute to making the AU a more robust organisation, one that is both proud of its credibility and relieved of the trappings of an obsolete era,” King Mohammed stated.

Two months later, in September 2016, having received the support of 28 AU member states, representing a simple majority of the 54 AU member states required for re-admission, Morocco formally submitted a request to re-join the continental body.

The Moroccan king subsequently followed up the request with a tour of many African countries, including some that were regarded as hostile to Morocco’s territorial unity, among which is Nigeria.

Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had pledged Nigeria’s support for the people of Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, SADR, otherwise called Western Sahara, saying that Nigeria would ensure the realization of their self-determination and independence.

He however said the secession would be pursued in full recognition of the several extant resolutions of the African Union, AU, on the right of the Sahrawi people for self-determination.

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