Morocco is rejoining the African Union
It’s been 32 years ago, King Hassan II left the African Union (AU) to protest against the recognition of the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) by the AU. Morocco’s reasoning was that this decision conflicts with the fundamental principle of the organization, which call for “non-interference” and “respect of borders” of the Member States. The policy of the empty chair is now part of the past: Morocco is preparing for a big return.
Morocco has lead quietly for two years a diplomatic offensive reflecting its desire to regain its place within the African Union (AU). Last January, a Moroccan senior official attended the AU summit for the first time since 1984.
Over the past ten days, the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Salaheddine Mezouar, was very active with various African countries. He met several heads of state and government in search of support.
In the month of June, Morocco had booked an auspicious welcome to the Rwandan President Paul Kagame. According to several media, the return of Morocco to the AU was then at the heart of discussions. A visit by King Mohammed VI in Rwanda was then raised.
Back through the front door
According to Moroccan sources, the 54 countries that make up the AU, only 13 still support the Western Sahara. Four days ago, Zambia even withdrew its recognition of SADR, which claims independence from Morocco.
The Kingdom of Morocco wants to find its place within the African Union, but hopes to return through the front door, probably chasing the Western Sahara out of the Union.
The return of Morocco is inevitable, but can be time consuming, said a source following the case. The government spokesman Mustapha Khalfi, agreed: “It’s one thing to be announced in due course.”