The Moroccan King Mohammed VI has announced its wish to rejoin the African Union (AU), 32 years after its withdrawal from the regional organization over the “Western Sahara” dispute.
“Our friends have long been asking us to return among them so that Morocco may take its natural place within its institutional family. That time has now come,”the king said in a message to the ongoing AU summit in Rwanda’s capital Kigali.
The northern African country left AU, at that time called Organization of African Unity (OAU), in 1984, as the institution recognized the independence of “Western Sahara”, which Morocco deemed as part of their country.
“When it withdrew from the OAU, Morocco never left Africa. In 1984, it simply left an institution in very special circumstances. A process is underway, under the auspices of the UN Security Council, to reach a final political solution to this regional dispute,” said the King in the statement.
The King pledged that Morocco would contribute to making the AU a more robust organization, keep up with its commitments to Africa and strengthen its involvement in African matters.
Commenting on this matter, African Union Deputy Chairperson, Erastus Mwencha said that readmission would require the country to present a formal request for readmission and member states would then vote on whether they could come back.