African Union Membership: Frustrated Morocco suspects Sabotage by Algeria

By Friday Nwosu

Morocco’s long wait for its reinstatement into the African Union maybe taking its toll on the country as she has alleged that there are inside forces within the union delaying her reinstatement into the AU.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for the country, Nasser Bourita had expressed disappointment over the delay in reinstating the country four weeks after she had expressed her desire to return to the union.

Nasser Bourita stated that while Morocco’s request is being delayed by the union, South Sudan had its request approved after mere 18 days after the country applied.

According to moroccoworldnews.com, to speed up the process, King Mohamed VI had called Chad President, Idriss Déby earlier this month in an effort to help sway Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, leader of the Union, who also met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Salaheddine Mezouar.

On November 4th, Dlamini-Zuma announced that Morocco’s request would be presented to all African Union member countries. But despite that and efforts made during the COP22 climate conference in Marrakech to show Morocco’s commitment to the African continent, no word has been made on Morocco’s request to rejoin the AU.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita seems to think that there’s more to the story. In an interview with Moroccan daily Assabah, Bourita denounced Algeria’s implication in trying to sabotage Morocco’s royal visit to East Africa. He also insisted that Morocco’s return to the AU does not change Morocco’s views on the Sahara.

In an interview with Le Monde conducted last week, Bourita said that “the fact that there is already a month of delay on the process is inexplicable. This is proof that there are manipulations and that African countries are not allowed to express their position freely.”
“In any case,” he added, “Morocco is not a foreigner, it is at home in Africa.”

Senegal Drums support for Morocco
Meanwhile, Morocco’s effort in trying to re-join the AU is beginning to pay-off as Fodé Sylla, Ambassador to the Office of the President of Senegal, has said that Morocco’s reintegration into the African Union would make the organization “stronger.”

In an interview with the Moroccan Press Agency (MAP) during the COP22 climate change conference, Fodé Sylla, Ambassador to the Office of President Macky Sall of Senegal, expressed his support of Morocco’s efforts to re-enter the African Union after it left it 32 years ago following the organization’s recognition of a “Western Sahara.”

“Morocco’s approach to joining the AU is more than legitimate. The Kingdom of Morocco has its place of choice in the African family,” said Sylla, adding that Morocco is one of the founders of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), and plays an important role in the continent.

Sylla also did not fail to mention that Morocco has shown its commitment time and time again to the African continent, a commitment which was confirmed at the Marrakech COP22 conference, which was held from November 7 to November 18 and attended by more than 40,000 visitors from all over the world.

Africa’s role in the battle against climate change was highlighted at the Africa Summit of Action, which was presided by King Mohamed VI and that welcomed more than 50 heads of state. At the summit, the Moroccan monarch declared the need for a more “unified, solid, solidarity and strong Africa.”

The fight against climate change is a tough one, and a unified Africa has been a top priority at this COP22. Sylla reiterated the success of COP22 and the conclusions of its final declaration.

The country has left no one in doubt that she is eager and desirous to return to the African Union. Morocco has taken steps in showing its desire to return to the union. Earlier, the Moroccan King Mohammed VI went on a tour of some East African countries accompanied by top Moroccan business community.

The tour encompassed Rwanda, Tanzania and Ethiopia. All three countries that recognize the Polisario-backed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), contrary to the kingdom’s wishes.

According to moroccoworldnews.com, the corporate elites that travelled with the monarch were to strengthening ties with the East African countries with growing and modernizing Moroccan economy, in hopes to suspend the trio’s recognition of the Western Sahara separatist group’s puppet government.

The General Confederation of Moroccan Companies had assembled the group of prominent businessmen on the tour, which started in Rwanda.

The CEO’s of BMCE Bank, Attijariwafa Bank, the People’s Bank (Bank Populaire), and Credit Agricole Morocco, the head of Casablanca Finance City Authority, and the Moroccan tourism and insurance sectors will be part of the delegation accompanying the king.
The country had earlier written to the AU seeking to be readmitted into the union it left 32 years ago.

The country was one of the founders of the Organization of African Unity, the predecessor of the present “Union.” It was in Casablanca that the OAU was first launched. As the group worked to conceptualize its mission and purpose, only Moroccan diplomats express reservations about the principle that the borders of African states inherited from colonialism should be inviolable. In doing so, they had the Sahara conflict in mind.

For more than three decades, Morocco has refused to be part of the organisation. But with the turn of events in recent times, the country is pulling every string to ensure she is readmitted into the union.

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