Morocco’s Move to Rejoin AU: Not Fortuitous But Realpolitik

Morocco’s Move to Rejoin AU: Not Fortuitous But Realpolitik

When the first press reports emerged saying Morocco is considering to retake its seat at the African Union after 32 years of absence, most readers and particularly Morocco’s foes thought it was just hot air or a far-fetched story.

They forgot that in the world of politics nothing is impossible. They misread the North African Kingdom’s goodwill intentions and miscalculated the extent to which it might go to defend its African interests. Perhaps, they got used to see Morocco expanding its economic and political influence in Africa but outside their African organization dome.

But when King Mohammed VI formally announced his country’s bid to rejoin the African organization in a message addressed to the 27th AU summit in Rwanda, 28 African countries out of 54 cheered while Morocco’s enemies were stunned, foreseeing an end of their free-reign game and show.

According to some analysts, Morocco’s decision to regain its place at the AU is not whimsical but a strategic and smart political move, which will allow the Kingdom to better defend its interests and put an end to the hegemony of Algiers-Pretoria-Abuja axis.

Certainly the best defense is a good offensive. It is clear that Morocco is supported by the majority of AU members as shown by the motion tabled by 28 African member countries. They welcomed the return of the North African Kingdom and demanded the immediate suspension of the membership of the so-called “RASD” which was illegally admitted in 1984 through the illegitimate use of threats, deceit, coercion and dirty petrodollar money.

Though Morocco, one of the founding members of the Organization of African Union, quitted the regional bloc in anger and protest, it never turned its back to brethren African countries and continued championing African causes in regional and international fora.

Moroccans have never denied their identity and were always proud of their African roots. Since his enthronement in July 1999, King Mohammed VI has put Africa at the top of his priorities, providing assistance to disaster-stricken African countries, supporting peace and stability in the continent.

The Sovereign also paid numerous visits to African countries where he launched joint projects giving a new momentum to inter-African cooperation and contributing to the improvement of the lives of African people through partnership projects in the fields of agriculture, fisheries, vocational training, health, water, solar energy, electricity…

Morocco is currently the 2nd major investor in Africa and ambitions to top the ranking while Moroccan private companies are present in several African countries operating in banking, telecommunication, construction, insurance, housing, electricity, fertilizers, air transports…revving up social and economic development of Africa.

After having invested heavily in Africa for many years, Morocco deserves to reap the fruits of its longstanding engagements with Africans. So, it seems that time has come for this country to regain its place within its institutional family as requested by many Africans.

“Our friends have long been asking us to return among them so that Morocco may take its natural place within its institutional family. That time has now come “, said the Moroccan King in his message to African summiteers.

Morocco is now in a stronger position and its regional enemies must feel the heat. By giving Morocco back its seat, the African Union club will gain much more power, stability and leverage to counter security and development challenges.

It is time for unity and for political pragmatism to make up for the lost opportunities. It is now up to the other half of the AU to stop playing politics, to show wisdom, restore legality, correct past mistakes and shoulder its historic responsibility.

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