King Mohammed VI arrives in Ethiopia… Question is will AU readmit Morocco?

2017-01-28 14:30
King Mohammed VI. (File: AFP)

King Mohammed VI. (File: AFP)

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Addis Ababa - Morocco's King Mohammed VI has arrived in Ethiopia ahead of the arrival of other continental heads of state for the African Union summit.

His arrival on Saturday comes after news that the issue of Morocco becoming part of the AU again is on the summit agenda. For an item to be discussed at the summit, half of the member states have to agree to it, but for Morocco to be admitted to the AU, consensus or a two-thirds majority is needed.

Rumours of his arrival abounded last week but some commentators said this would not happen after he was a no-show amidst similar rumours at the AU's mid-year summit in Kigali, Rwanda last year.

Institute for Security Studies’ Yann Bedzigui said it was likely that the king came to show his commitment. “Every head of state from Africa is coming, so he probably wants to strengthen his case,” he said.

King Mohammed VI has been travelling the continent over the past six months to lobby for Morocco to be admitted.

One of the sticking points over Morocco joining the AU again is whether it would lobby the continental body to expel the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic. Morocco left the Organisation of African Unity, the AU’s predecessor, in 1984 out of protest about the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic’s admission.

The country’s foreign minister Mohamed SalekOuldSalek on Friday appealed to the AU not to allow Morocco to join, saying the country should oppose Morocco’s "colonial" occupation of the country.

South Africa is opposing Morocco’s bid.

Read more on:    au  |  king mohammed vi  |  morocco  |  north africa

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