Morocco seeks Kenya's support to rejoin AU after 32 years out


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Morocco is seeking President Uhuru Kenyatta’s support in its quest to rejoin the Africa Union, after leaving the body 32 years ago.

The northern Africa country withdrew from the AU' predecessor the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1984 over the admission of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) as a full member of the body.

According to a paper published in the Brenthurst Foundation, in the the nearly 30 years since it pulled out, Morocco has refused — until now — to rejoin the OAU/AU and remained the only African country that was not a member.

Morocco had insisted that it would only join the OAU/AU on the condition that the membership of SADR was withdrawn or frozen in spite of the fact that the Sahrawi republic's membership was only partially recognised internationally.

Morocco special envoy Taieb Fassi Fihri said King Mohamed VI considers Kenya as an honest and neutral broker who can partner with his country in achieving peace and security in the continent.

Mr Taieb made the remarks this morning when he paid a courtesy call on President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi.

“All we want is our membership to be reinstated without pre-conditions. We want to be part and parcel of the African Union as we want to work for all people,” said the special envoy.

He said Morocco believes in the strong leadership of President Kenyatta and that’s why King Mohammed VI of Morocco would like Kenya’s support in his country’s efforts to be reintegrated back to the African Union.

“The Moroccan leadership is very optimistic and hopeful on your leadership as a neutral and honest broker on this issue,” said the special envoy.

President Kenyatta thanked the Moroccan government for their willingness to be re-admitted to the African Union saying it is only through partnership that solutions to global problems can be reached.

“We have to work together to find solutions to our problems. Kenya believes in not imposing solutions but being an honest broker, we look at how we can be part of the solution and not part of the problem,” said President Kenyatta.


Morocco seeks Kenya's support to rejoin AU
 
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And whither the Saharawi republic?? Does this mean that country is on its way out?
Morocco not being in AU is not news.I remember long back they tried to enter the EU. Why dont they try ASEAN membership if this one fails them. #AreTheyAfrican?
 
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Moroco. Kenya, Malawi Ni historical mawakala wa Wazungu.
 
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Morocco asks to rejoin African Union as seeks backing over Western Sahara
Mon Jul 18, 2016 12:37pm GMT

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RABAT (Reuters) - Morocco has asked the African Union (AU) to readmit it to an organisation it left 32 years ago, as it steps up efforts to win support from member states for a plan offering conditional autonomy to the disputed territory of Western Sahara.

Morocco abandoned its seat in 1984 when the AU recognised the breakaway Western Sahara republic lobbied for by the Polisario Front independence movement.

The AU is a major backer of the Polisario-declared Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), but Morocco wants the body to withdraw its support, saying at least 36 of the 54 AU member states do not acknowledge the breakaway territory.

"It has been a long time that our friends have been asking Morocco to take back its seat in its natural institutional place (AU), and now the time has come," Morocco's King Mohammed was quoted late on Sunday as saying.

The King made the comment in a letter to the AU chairman, Chadian President Idriss Deby, according to state news agency MAP.

It is unclear if powerful AU members including Algeria and South Africa, which have expressed support for a referendum in the Western Sahara, would accept Morocco's request.

Morocco has controlled most of the territory since 1975 and claims as its own the sparsely populated stretch of desert, which has offshore fishing, phosphate reserves and oilfield potential.

Morocco has been campaigning aggressively in Africa to boost support for its bid to offer Western Sahara autonomy under Moroccan sovereignty. Moroccan officials made visits to Algiers, Abuja and Nairobi last week.

The North African kingdom has also been negotiating with the United Nations over the return of civilian staff to the MINURSO peacekeeping mission in Western Sahara.

Morocco expelled dozens of MINURSO staff earlier this year after U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon used the word "occupation" to describe Rabat's 1975 annexation of the territory.

The U.N. mission was formed more than 20 years ago ahead of an expected referendum on the Western Sahara's political future that has never taken place.

In 2014, Morocco rejected the AU's decision to appoint a special envoy for the Western Sahara, saying the body had no legal authority to intervene.

(Reporting By Aziz El Yaakoubi; Editing by Aidan Lewis and John Stonestreet)

Morocco asks to rejoin African Union as seeks backing over Western Sahara | Top News | Reuters
 
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Why Morocco should be barred from the African Union
MAKWAIA WA KUHENGA
05 August 2016
Makwaia Wa Kuhenga

IN the intervening period, there have been disgusting manoeuvres by the Kingdom of Morocco to appear as if it is a rightful member of the African Union (AU) while it is not - since AU member states had barred its membership of the all-African continental body as it transformed itself into a Union from its former status as an organisation - the Organisation of African Unity - (OAU) way back in 1984.

The Kingdom’s agents of disinformation had even given the impression that Morocco was represented and even addressed the 27th AU summit in Kigali, Rwanda mid last month prompting the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa to formerly disclaim in a press statement. Here goes the AU disclaimer available on the AU website: “The African Union seeks to clarify that the Kingdom of Morocco did not attend nor address the 27th Assembly of Heads of State that was held on 17-18 July 2016, in Kigali, Rwanda.”

According to informed diplomatic sources, Morocco’s manoeuvres are part of its overall strategy to seek membership of the AU as soon as possible with the agenda of ousting the state of Western Sahara from the continental body as its priority.

According to these sources, the Kingdom of Morocco’s intrigues against the POLISARIO Front’s state of Western Sahara is bound to fail because that state has long been admitted into the AU and enjoys majority support by all member-states of the AU.

Secondly, Morocco is in clear of violation of the charter of the AU which is principled on the need to respect former colonial inherited borders which flies into the face of the Kingdom which annexed Western Sahara as part of its Kingdom with the departure of Spain as an erstwhile colonial power.

According to the Saharawi ambassador in Dar es Salaam: “Morocco has always been contemptuous of the AU with its King describing AU meetings as “tamtam” conferences! At one stage the kingdom even refused to receive an AU envoy, former Mozambican President Chissano.”

“If Morocco wants to join the AU, it has to abide by its charter obliging member states to have no territorial ambitions of fellow member states. But Morocco has an agenda: to have the state of Western Sahara out of the AU.

This is absolutely unacceptable,” said the envoy. And by the way, when we reflect on liberation struggles against colonialism in Africa, we see that colonial powers have never been inside Africa, but have come outside the continent. In East Africa, an erstwhile colonial power was Britain as much as France was in West Africa.

But the thought that a country in Africa can ever be a colonial power over another African country appears strange if not farfetched. But it has happened with Morocco’s claims over the territory of Western Sahara as part of the Kingdom of Morocco.

The entire international community has roundly rejected this claim. The other day, this newspaper had a pleasant surprise for me when I read a news item on its page dedicated to news about Africa.

Rang the headline: US DOES NOT RECOGNIZE MOROCCO’S SOVEREIGNTY OVER WESTERN SAHARA. Re-read the item with me: “Washington: The United States of America does not recognise the so-called sovereignty of Morocco over Western Sahara, considered by the US as a “nonautonomous territory pending decolonisation.

The story went on: “The Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission dispelled any doubt about the position of the US government on the Western Sahara issue at a hearing devoted to the status of Western Sahara.” According to one John Conyers:

“We must be clear: the US has not recognised the sovereignty of any state over the territory of Western Sahara considered as a non-autonomous territory pending decolonisation.”

Conyers, who also co-chairs the Sahrawi caucus at the US Congress called on the US government to support the Security Council’s proposal to provide the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) with a human rights monitoring mandate.

Another US official, Co-President of the Tom Lantos Commission, Mr James Mc Govern enjoined: “Western Sahara is last colony in Africa whose people has been awaiting the selfdetermination process since 25 years.”

He added: “Despite the USMorocco ties, respect for human rights takes first place over any other interest because this principal represents a key component of security in the region.”

If I have extensively quoted the stance of US congressmen over Western Sahara is simply to underpin my pleasant surprise that there are people in the United States whose conscience is uncompromised when it comes to the liberty of a people elsewhere in the world.

What is important here is that the rest of Africa and the international community such as the European Union have been unambiguous in their support for Western Sahara’s independence and sovereignty.

According to reports, the European Union (EU) has also been critical in its relationship with Morocco over the latter’s continued occupation of Western Sahara. But the African Union (AU) has gone even further.

It has granted Western Sahara full membership of the all-African body. Majority of African countries, including Tanzania have recognised the Sahrawi Republic as a sovereign state and the state of Western Sahara (SADR) has a full embassy in Dar es Salaam and a n

umber of other African countries. These steps are an unambiguous message to Morocco that its occupation of Western Sahara is wrong and a gross violation of the rights to independence of another people.

As I am writing, vivid memories of the Sahrawi people in their liberation struggle come to mind as I visited them in some part of their territory in the 1980s as a guest of the Polisario Front, the liberation movement engaging Morocco in its continued occupation of Western Sahara.

It is a rather long time since then, but what I am most gratified is that the Sahrawi people have won the support of not only Africa, but the rest of the international community on their indelible right to independence and self-determination.

So on hearing of Morocco’s manoeuvres to join the AU where it would work to sabotage Western Sahara’s membership of the AU, the facts above you have sampled on global support for the liberation of Western Sahara is just one factor that Morocco is headed on a futile task and is bound to fail miserably to join the AU and oust the Saharawi state.

makwaia@spicenet. co.tz, makwaia@makwaia. com

Why Morocco should be barred from the African Union

MY TAKE

Want to know whether Kenya campaign succeeded to re-admit Morocco in the AU!? :p


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Morocco’s renewed bid for membership after 32 years splits African Union again

20 Jul 2016 10:30 Kennedy Abwao

208221
Morocco's effort to get back its seat at the AU has been pushed by “Friends of Morocco, led by North Africa, influential African leaders are unhappy

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African leaders are divided over Morocco's membership bid

African Union Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma changes her tone and becomes teary every time she takes to the podium to address the African Union Heads of State and Government Assembly, on the slow progress towards an independent Western Sahara state.

“We can no longer be indifferent to the position of the people of Western Sahara. The country now has a whole generation languishing in refugee camps. They have never known any home because they were born and raised in the camps,” Dlamini-Zuma told the 26th session of AU Summit on 30 January.

The AU statement of concern, which ended up in a Summit declaration, slamming the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon for delaying his visit to Western Sahara, has quickened the Moroccan shuttle diplomacy efforts, amid intense pressure from the AU for a final end of the political standoff.

Africa’s failure

The AU, associated with the struggle for the liberation of Africa from colonial rule, largely sees the failure to grant full independence to the Western Sahara for the past 40 years a stain on its legacy.

“Africa will not be free, until the last of its colonies, Western Sahara, is liberated, free and independent,” Dlamini-Zuma said in a message delivered during celebrations to mark the 40th anniversary of the proclamation of the State of Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) on 27 February.

The celebrations were marked at the Dakhala Refugee Camp in Western Sahara Tindouf region. Dlamini-Zuma stated: “Africa will stand side-by-side with the Saharawi people until victory is achieved.”

While the Moroccan effort to get back its seat at the African Union has been largely pushed by “Friends of Morocco,” led by mostly North African neighbours seeking Rabat’s unconditional return to the fold, the Moroccan effort appears to meet bare knuckle hostility from influential African leaders.


King Mohammed VI’s largely publicised statement to the Summit asking for Morocco’s unconditional re-admission to the AU membership, which remains a divisive issue, was not officially read at Kigali Summit.

Traditionally, the King of Morocco sends a message to the Summit. The official statement is usually distributed to delegates, but never read out at the Summit.

Intense lobbying by Morocco

Morocco’s latest diplomatic offensive at the Kigali Summit was dead on arrival, when the AU Chairman President Idris Deby declined to read the King’s message for Morocco’s re-admission, according to diplomats who attended the Summit.

The lobbying by the Moroccan diplomats has been so intense in recent months since the AU Summit called on the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly to set a date for holding of a self-determination referendum in Western Sahara, which is popularly known as “Africa’s last colony.”

The AU has been demanding the UN sets a date for the referendum and acts in a way to “protect the integrity of Western Sahara, including the country’s mineral wealth, as a “non-self-governing territory” from any acts which may undermine it, essentially, a call to guard the country away from Morocco.

While critics roundly condemn Morocco for using undemocratic tactics to block any UN actions that may quicken the search for a final resolution in the Western Sahara, Ban Ki-Moon’s visit to Western Sahara, which came after the AU tongue-lashing of a delay, has proved the AU diplomatic initiatives under the Dlamini-Zuma leadership are finally bearing force on Morocco.


Dlamini-Zuma hailed the U.N. Secretary-General for “demonstrating the serious resolve” of the UN to take its responsibility in ending the 40-year long impasse on Western Sahara.

A Namibian diplomat blamed the failure to end the Western Sahara issue on the lack of commitment on the side of Morocco, which is accused of illegally annexing Western Sahara and occupying the territory against international law, and on the leadership of Western Sahara itself for failing to push for the vote.

“It is the lack of commitment by Western Sahara to holding the independence referendum. Morocco is also hesitant to accept an outcome that will give the people of Sahara self-determination,” the Namibian diplomat said.

Open division

There is open division amongst African countries on the issue of Morocco rejoining the AU when the Western Sahara issue, which led Morocco to quit membership of the then Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1982 after an AU Summit, chaired by Kenyan President Daniel Moi, approved the move.

The decision left the Organisation on a shaky footing for several months as most Summits remained poorly attended because of Morocco’s lobbying of other leaders to boycott.

In the latest diplomatic offensive, a Special Envoy of King Mohammed, Taieb Fassi, met Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, asking for Kenya’s support to Morocco’s bid to rejoin the AU.

In another move, Senegal’s attempt to have the AU revoke the admission of Western Sahara as a member of the AU was defeated at the Kigali Summit, according to diplomats.


The Moroccan efforts to block action on Western Sahara appear to have divided the African Union once again. Analysts see the divisions returning to the AU as another test case for an organisation gearing for another leadership change in a continental organ, which remains pertinent about the sanctity of colonial borders as inherited from Africa’s colonial masters.

The test to the AU is based on the fact that the AU’s mantle is to promote regional integration. At the same time, the membership of the organisation is clearly set in the Constitutive Act.

“The issue of Morocco has been a test to the AU. Rejecting Morocco’s membership of the AU would be an unfortunate decision that goes against the spirit of the Union as spelt out in its Constitutive Act. Of course, it affects progress on the issue of Sahrawi Republic unless the AU is ready to deploy a military force to liberate the territory,” Tanzanian analyst, Anaclet Rwegayura, said.

Morocco’s renewed bid for membership after 32 years splits African Union again

MY TAKE

Whoever think Uhuruto can play diplomacy at continental level is lying poor Kenyans! Kenya known out to be a sell out can not convince the AU to readmit Comorro in the AU! Morocco should grant Western Sahara independence first to be even listened!


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Quickly, ambia Uhuru aache kuvuta cha Arusha!
 

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