Morocco Claims AU Head Is Blocking Attempts To Rejoin The Group

In 1984 Morocco left the African Union and became the only African state that was not a member of the body. The reason behind the country uprooting itself from the body was a difference of opinion about the independence of Western Sahara.

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The AU had recognized the independence of Western Sahara, angering Morocco who saw the Western Sahara as their country’s “southern provinces.” For 32 years, Morocco refused to be a part of the organization and even threatened in March to pull its soldiers out of UN global peacekeeping missions because of the dispute.

In recent times, the country seems to have rethought its position and concluded that their absence from the African Union has not helped them diplomatically over Western Sahara and many other issues.

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma African Union head

During a summit of African leaders held in the Rwandan capital Kigali earlier in the year, Morocco sent a special envoy to lobby the leaders present to allow them rejoin the African Union. The Moroccan King Mohammed VI also delivered the message that the time had come for his country to retake its place within its institutional family at the African Union summit in Rwanda.

Now, Morocco’s foreign ministry is accusing African Union head Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma of frustrating its attempt to rejoin the organization, 32 years after it left, Reuters news agency reports.

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Morocco’s foreign ministry said in a statement;

“The kingdom of Morocco denounces vigorously the manoeuvres of African Union commission head, who is trying to thwart Morocco’s decision to regain its natural and legitimate place in the pan-African institutional family,”

“At least 36 of the 54 AU member countries do not acknowledge the territory as a separate state and it is time to withdraw its recognition.”

It is unclear how far the statement will go in censuring any manipulations by the African Union head if any such manipulations do exist at all but the move shows that Morocco does want very much to rejoin the African Union.