AU Membership: Morocco starts Arab/African war as it leads Arab walkout at Arab-Africa Summit

By Friday Nwosu

Morocco’s drive towards its re-admittance into the African Union may have suffered a setback as the country staged a walkout at the Arab-Africa summit, leading eight other Arab nations along with it.

Morocco is already acting desperate and trying to bully Africans into accepting its membership. Morocco arrogance is already manifesting in its attitude to Africa and AU.

The Arab-Africa summit which has been held in since 2010 with the maiden edition in Libya, was established to promote economic ties between Gulf and African states.

According to howafrica.com, Morocco along with eight Arab nations which were in solidarity with the country pulled out from the summit in Malabo( Equatorial Guinea ), in protest against the participation of Desert Polisario separatist delegation.
The countries that withdrew from the summit in solidarity with Morocco are Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Sultanate of Oman, Jordan, Yemen and Somalia.

Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said other Arab countries were also expected to follow suit when it walked out on the summit giving the existing relationship among the countries.

Desert Polisario separatist delegation talks of a ‘Sahrawi rebel national liberation movement’ aiming at ending Moroccan presence, in the Western Sahara. Western Sahara is home to the Algerian-backed Polisario Front in the region.

The ‘Sahrawi people’ are however, the people living in the western part of Sahara desert which includes Western Sahara, other parts of southern Morocco not claimed by the Polisario, most of Mauritania, and the extreme southwest of Algeria.

“All these countries back Morocco in conformity with the principles of international law including the respect of sovereignty of countries and their territorial integrity, its high esteem” for the “brotherly African country” of Equatorial Guinea, Morocco recalls the “shared commitments” made by Arab and African countries during the 2nd and 3rd Arab-African summits held respectively in Libya in 2010 and Kuwait in 2013.

During these summits, Arab and African countries agreed that “only UN member countries” should be allowed to participate in the Arab-African summits.

The withdrawal of Morocco and its powerful Arab Gulf Countries has weakened the gathering which some countries used to undermine Moroccan sovereignty and territorial integrity but their plot blew up in the face.

They forgot that North African Kingdom is one of the strategic partners of the Arab rich Gulf monarchies. These countries support Moroccan territorial integrity and back its sovereignty over Sahara, hailing autonomy plan for the Moroccan Sahara.

Last April, Morocco and GCC convened in Riyadh their 1st summit meeting, a historical event that ushered in a new era in partnership between Rabat and the six-member powerful regional economic bloc, sharing common geostrategic, economic, and religious interests.
Morocco withdrew from the AU in 1984, when the mineral-rich and sparsely populated Saharan Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), commonly known as Western Sahara, was accepted as a member. Morocco however requested to join the African Union again in September after 32 years, before its current reported withdrawal.

Morocco Fingers Algeria

Morocco had alleged that there were inside forces within the African Union delaying its reinstatement into the AU. It also suspected that Algeria, a sister north African country could be part of the forces frustrating its speedy return back to the body.

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 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 in the 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.”

With the action displayed by Morocco at the Arab-Africa summit, the country may have pitched its tent against the Africa Union, a body it has tried to win its favour in recent times.

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