Morocco’s new membership in the African Union: Is it regrettable or not? (New vision Magazine)

Kampala (Uganda) January 10, 2022 (SPS) - The Ugandan magazine "New Vision" published today, an article written by the Sahrawi diplomat, Ambassador of Saharawi republic to Uganda, Mr. Hamadi Bachir, entitled " Morocco’s new membership in the African Union: Is it regrettable or not?

Below the full article :

“After leaving OAU/AU voluntarily in the eighties of last century in protest against the membership of the Sahrawi Republic, Morocco, which is often proud of being more European than African, launched in 2016 desperate efforts in a robust campaign towards the African continent seeking readmission. Morocco gave many promises that have not been fulfilled to date, in order to mobilize support for rejoining the continental organization. Early 2017, Morocco was readmitted into the AU but without changing the reason for which it had left the organization. Since then, Morocco who clearly violates the AU Charter through illegally occupying parts of the national territory of Sahrawi Republic, sat next to their victim in the AU, who is a founding member of the continental organization!

Before accepting Morocco’s membership in the AU, a heated debate raged among the member states that almost eroded the union’s unity. Some countries demanded adherence to the principles of the charter and thus stay Morocco’s readmission until it respects the right of the Sahrawi people to self-determination, but another group seemed they do not know the expansionist nature of the Moroccan regime.  The latter insisted on accepting Morocco’s membership arguing that it would be more positive within the African family. Recently, official documents have appeared documenting the bribes and inducements offered by Morocco to several African countries in exchange for voting in its favour to rejoin the AU.

Morocco's membership was greeted with warm welcome in the African Summit Hall. In his speech in front of African leaders’ summit, the Moroccan king himself (the only AU summit he attended) presented many lies and false promises disguising the real motive for seeking the readmission. Shortly after readmission, the real Moroccan intentions and plans Morocco tried to achieve under the African dome became clear. Goals were nothing but desperate attempts to influence the membership of the Saharawi state, dismantle the organization’s consensus on clinging to the values of the continent, destroying the principles of the Charter and violating the spirit of preserving the peoples’ right to freedom and dignity.

A few months upon the readmission of Morocco, the AU Peace and Security Council summoned the two member states; the Sahrawi Republic and Morocco to discuss their differences, and find a solution. It was hoped that by the end of the discussion, Morocco would stop the violation of the African Charter and withdraw from the Sahrawi territories it occupies by force. This would be well in line with AU/UN settlement plan of 1988, which both parties signed but was blocked by Morocco for more than three decades. The Sahrawi Republic attended but the Kingdom of Morocco was absent without giving any reasons.

At the AU partnership summit with Japan held in Maputo/Mozambique, 2017, the Mozambican security forced out of the gates of the conference hall, the Moroccan delegation headed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bouzita, as it sought by force to prevent the participation of Sahrawi delegation. This demonstrated a flagrant violation of the laws and procedures of the AU that guarantee the participation right for all member states. Thus, Morocco presented an ugly picture of the morals of Africa in front of the Japanese delegation that was looking at the skirmishes, quarrels, and the lack of modesty of the Moroccan delegation with astonishment. The scene resembled a fight in the jungles not a diplomatic meeting with a self-respecting continent.

Since its readmission, Morocco has influenced some African countries to join her in the violation of the AU Charter. For example, they have formerly opened illegal consulates in the Moroccan occupied cities of the Sahrawi Republic. The expansionist Moroccan regime was not satisfied with its unilateral violation of the values of the organization, and deliberately dragged other African member states to implicate them in breaking the spirit and laws of the union.

By the end of 2020, through its flagrant breach of the cease-fire agreement of 1991 signed with the Sahrawi Republic under AU/UN supervision, Morocco has torpedoed all its remaining credibility, discarding all the values and principles of AU which it sought to join by all legal and illegal means. By this violation, Morocco reignited the outbreak of war in the northwest of the continent, multiplied its violations of the rights of the Sahrawi people, killed dozens of civilians, continued to loot Saharawis’ natural resources, and prevented African and international observers from entering the occupied parts of Western Sahara.

Therefore, it is now clear that Morocco's quest to rejoin the African Union was not for the continent, neither was it an attempt to establish peace in Africa, nor an attempt to help advancing development and political situation of AU. By its actions, Morocco has proved to the countries which endorsed its readmission into the AU that they were misled, while those who rejected it were far sighted.

All severe violations to AU charter, principles and spirit committed by the Kingdom of Morocco show that the organization will regret the ill-considered decision it took granting Morocco an undeserved membership. More recently, Morocco worked hard under the table to force the controversial observer membership to Israel in AU, another evidence that this country is not in line with the African family spirit. It is expected that AU summit will be held this year at the beginning of February, it would be an opportunity for AU’s atonement, to stop Morocco’s unjustified intransigence, compel it to respect the principles and charter of the organization and to complete the decolonization of a member state Sahrawi Republic, the last colony of Africa.”

Hamadi Bachir, Ambassador of Saharawi republic to Uganda.

SPS 090/110