African Heads of State attending the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, decided on Monday, by an overwhelming majority (39 out of 54) the reinstatement of Morocco as a full-fledged member of the union.
Senegalese President Macky Sall announced that 39 heads of state endorsed the Kingdom’s return to the Union and that only nine countries opposed the move.
Despite the hostility displayed by these countries, led by Algeria and South Africa, two influential members of the AU, the Moroccan delegation, led by King Mohammed VI in person, was from the start confident as to the outcome of the integration process. It was for this reason that the Moroccan ruler was among the first heads of state to arrive in the Ethiopian capital on Friday.
Moreover, some 40 African Heads of State and Government responded to the invitation of Mohammed VI to a function he hosted in their honor over the weekend at the Sheraton Hotel in Addis Ababa.
The King of Morocco is expected to deliver a speech this Tuesday before his African peers, the first of its kind since Morocco left the Pan-African organization in 1984 to protest the admission of SADR with the backing of the petrodollars lavishly distributed by the Algerian and Libyan regimes.
Morocco’s return to the AU coincides with the departure of the president of the AU Commission (executive organ of the organization), the South African Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who spared no effort to sabotage or at least delay this return.
Dalmini-Zuma, who was supported in her anti-Moroccan maneuvers by Algerian diplomats and a handful of Anglophone countries, has tried hard to “impose new conditions” to Morocco’s accession and to put as many obstacles as possible in its way.
But it was without counting the diplomatic campaign that King Mohammed VI has been carrying out in Africa. The campaign has borne fruit for Morocco, while Algeria and South Africa suffered a terrible diplomatic setback. Morocco has thus won the first round of the virulent diplomatic battle that the Algerian neighbor is waging against it about its Sahara.
The second round of this battle will be played within the AU, as the legitimacy of the presence in the AU of the “SADR”, a puppet state that is not recognized by the UN, is disputed.