Morocco has formally announced its wish to re-join the African Union, 32 years after it left the organisation.
Morocco left the AU in 1984 after the organisation recognised the independence of Western Sahara, an area Morocco describes as part of the country’s “southern provinces”.
In March this year, the country had threatened to pull its soldiers out of the UN global peacekeeping missions because of the dispute.
In a message to the AU summit in Rwanda, Moroccan King Mohammed VI said the time had come for his country to retake its place within its institutional family.
A special envoy was sent to lobby African leaders at the summit in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, which held on July 17 and 18.
The AU has, however, said that it will continue to push for the rights of the people of Western Sahara to hold a self-determination referendum.
Morocco is the only African country that is not an AU member.