AU member states renew trust in Morocco
The election of Morocco for a three-year membership of the council confirms the trust enjoyed by Rabat among African peers in gearing the African Union towards constructive efforts in favor of peace and stability.
This second election also confirms Morocco’s weight and growing influence within the continent after the Kingdom won a two-year term in the same council in 2018.
This is another inroad by the Moroccan diplomacy in Africa and a recognition of Rabat’s efforts in the fields of peacekeeping, peaceful resolution of conflicts, fighting climate change, transitional justice, the fight against terrorism and violent extremism.
However, a shrinking ring of phony states that still turn in Algeria’s orbit have experienced Morocco’s return to the Peace and Security Council as a nightmare, knowing with hindsight that this membership will further act as a bulwark to their attempts to use the African Union to serve Algiers’ hegemonic and pro-separatist agenda.
Before Morocco’s return to the African Union, Algeria used the comfort of not having Rabat’s voice to pass resolutions serving the separatist cause.
Algerian proxy separatist militia, the Polisario, was introduced as a full member into the predecessor of the African Union, the Organization of African Unity, in 1984 at a cold war context using oil money. Morocco left the organization in reaction while focusing on fostering bilateral ties with different African friendly states.
Yet, with an active presence within the AU, Rabat managed step by step to correct the bias of the organization and make its voice heard to the disappointment of Algeria and the few remaining countries rallying behind its agenda.
One of the main milestones for the Moroccan diplomacy was achieved when the AU unequivocally declared that the Sahara issue should be handled exclusively within the framework of the UN.
Algeria and its backers have failed in giving a role to the African Union as a mediator. The AU cannot simply mediate on the Sahara issue because by having the Polisario as a member, it has prejudged the outcome of the peace talk process which stresses the preeminence of the Moroccan autonomy initiative.
It is worth mentioning that prior to Morocco’s return to the African Union, 28 countries submitted a motion calling for a freeze of Polisario’s membership.
More than ever, Algeria is sensing that the days of the Polisario within the African Union are numbered.
Building on a pro-active foreign policy and multi-layered cooperation based on a solidarity-oriented approach and win-win projects, Morocco stands in stark contrast to the cash hand out policy adopted by Algeria and formerly by Gaddafi’s Libya to buy support in the continent.
Not only in Africa where Morocco’s faithful supporters are located, the sands globally are shifting in favor of Morocco’s autonomy initiative.
The recognition by the US of Morocco’s sovereignty over the Sahara and its support for autonomy as only political solution to the dispute and the opening by over 20 African and Arab states of consulates in the Sahara indicate an inflection point to put an end to attempts to undermine Morocco’s territorial integrity.
The membership of the Polisario within the African Union stands as an aberration that prejudged the outcome of negotiations in total disregard for the UN process and for Morocco’s historical rights as a country that was divided by two colonial powers.