King Mohammed VI of Morocco
By Isaac Aregbesola
Morocco was on Monday re-admitted into the African Union at the 28th AU summit of Head of States and Government in Addis Ababa.
Morocco left the organisation in 1984, after the OAU recognised the independence of Western Sahara, regarded by Morocco as part of its historic territory.
Western Sahara is also known as Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) as member of the organisation.
Morocco reunites with its African family 33 years after its withdrawal from the Organization of African Unity (currently the AU).
Nigeria official at the meeting said that Nigeria was pleased with admittance of Morocco on the basis that Morocco must tolerate SADR membership
Reports say there was heated debate among opponents and proponents of Morocco’s request to become member of the AU.
The decision was taken at the closed-door of the AU member to consider Morocco’s application to re-join pan-African organisation.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the first step towards returning to the African Union was made last July.
During the 27th summit of the African Union held in July 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda, King Mohammed VI addressed a letter to the summit, in which he stated Morocco’s intention to re-join the AU.
“By returning to the African family, Morocco aims to keep up its commitment to Africa and strengthen its involvement in all matters it feels strongly about,’’ the country said.
Morocco pledged to make constructive contributions to the AU agenda and activities.
Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Minister of Chad, Mr Moussa Mahamat, was also on Monday elected Chairman, African Union Commission (AUC) .
He succeeds South Africa’s Nkosazan Dlamini-Zuma, whose tenure has ended.
In a keenly contested poll, conducted by the Head of States and Governments at the 28th AU summit of in Addis Ababa, Mahamat defeated other candidates from Botswana, Equatorial Guinea, Senegal and Kenya.
He garnered 38 votes during the seventh round of voting held after the preceding ones failed to produce a winner.
A candidate needs to win two-thirds of total votes cast to be declared winner.
Mr Thomas Quarty of Ghana was elected Deputy Chairperson. He defeated opponents from Djibouti, Congo and Libya.
For election of AU Commissioners, conducted by the Executive Council of the union, Nigeria’s Ms. Fatimah Mohammed lost to her Algerian opponent, Mr Smail Chergui. (NAN)