Morocco Re Joins The African Union, Ending A 33 Year Boycott

Morocco has been readmitted to the African Union more than three decades after it left when the continental body recognised the independence of the disputed territory of Western Sahara.

"With Morocco, the AU gains a well-connected-and deep-pocketed-member as it seeks to move away from worldwide funding and become more self-reliant in the face of isolationist tendencies in the US and Europe".

The African National Congress (ANC) on Tuesday said the readmission of the Kingdom of Morocco to the African Union (AU) was "a regrettable decision".

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"Africa is my home and I am coming back home", King Mohammed said, to applause from other heads of state.

However, King Mohammed VI has been on a diplomatic charm offensive in the a year ago to try to win Rabat's readmission.

"There was a very long debate but 39 of our 54 states approved the return of Morocco, even if the Western Sahara question remains", Senegalese President Macky Sall told reporters. With Morocco serving as the host country, the King also ensured that Africa's interests on climate change policy were represented at the 22 Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change summit in Marrakesh in November 2016, hosting a special meeting for African leaders at the event.

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The country withdrew from the AU in 1984, when the mineral-rich and sparsely populated Saharan Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), commonly known as Western Sahara, was accepted as a member.

Morocco's return to the pan-African organization, notes the Wall Street Journal, raised concerns within the separatist SADR entity, which fears being kicked out of the African Union. It maintains that Western Sahara is an integral part of the kingdom, but the worldwide community has not recognized the annexation.

The post Morocco Rejoins African Union After 33 Years of Absence appeared first on SIGNAL.

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The nine "were countries in Southern Africa, except Swaziland", said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

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