Britain’s exit from the European Union, now famously known as Brexit has been characterized by numerous ripple effects both on worldwide markets and even resulting in a regime change, in the sense of past Prime Minister David Cameron handing the reigns over to the new Prime Minister Theresa May.
Over 32 years ago, Morocco made the same determination to leave the African Union (AU) making them the only African country that is not a member of the AU.
Now the country has formally voiced its wish to rejoin the African Union, 32 years after leaving the organization.
Morocco left the African Union in 1984 after the organization recognized the independence of Western Sahara. This was because Moroccans had seen the Western Sahara as their country’s “southern provinces”.
The fact that the AU had therefore recognized their independence caused the country to take the decision to leave.
What followed was three decades of Morocco refusing to be part of the organization. In March, the country had even threatened to pull its soldiers out of UN global peacekeeping missions because of the dispute.
Recent developments however, suggest that the Moroccan authorities seem to have concluded that their absence hasn’t helped them diplomatically over Western Sahara and many other issues.
They sent a special envoy to lobby African leaders at the summit in the Rwandan capital Kigali this weekend. The Moroccan King Mohammed VI, however, 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.
The AU has said that it will continue pushing for the rights of the people of Western Sahara to hold a self-determination referendum. One can only wonder if this will also be the picture of Britain in three decades; lobbying to re-enter the European Union.