Rabat, Morocco (TMT)- Morocco was officially accepted today as a member of the African Union (AU) following the support of an overwhelming majority of African countries in favor of the Kingdom’s adhesion to the AU, in the wake of the 28th African Union (AU) Summit held in the AU’s headquarter in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The task was not a cherry on the cake for Morocco as a windy debate was sparked in the Nelson Mandela Conference Hall as soon as the plenary session to vote for the adhesion of Morocco started, with the whole exercise taking a whole 3 hours.
As the first piece of suspense, Morocco, who expected 42 countries to vote in favor of its membership, was faced with the new reality that only 39 countries rallied for its adhesion as 3 countries changed camps in the last minute.
But Morocco only needed the vote of 29 countries (50% of member countries +1) from the full block of AU countries to adhere.
A though resistance nevertheless, headed by South Africa, Algeria, and the UN-non-recognized Sahraoui Arab Republic’s leader Brahim Ghali, who was in Pretoria last Friday for talks with South African President Jacob Zuma, was witnessed as they tried, when representatives of the aforementioned countries spoke during the plenary, to constitutionally block the adhesion of Morocco.
Suspense got at it peak when the Polisario leader Brahim Ghali took the floor and voiced his concerns regarding Morocco’s article 42 of the constitution on the territorial integrity of the kingdom, stressing that the article is breaking the AU’s constitution as it obstructs the principle of self determination of the Sahraoui people.
More criticisms were voiced against Morocco, especially from South Africa, electrifying the atmosphere between those who supported Morocco and the others.
Yet, in the face of an overwhelming majority of African countries supporting Morocco’s adhesion, and taking into account the fact that 28 countries sent a motion to the former head of the AU, Idriss Deby, to oust the UN-non-recognized SADR from the AU few months ago, the new AU chairperson, Alpha Condé, was forced to usher the democratic will of the majority.
“Don’t you want me to apply democracy?,” the AU chairperson wondered hinting to the 39 countries that support Morocco’s adhesion, out of 54 countries.
“Democracy is that Morocco should be accepted into the AU,” Condé stressed.
Just after pronouncing those words, Condé, as head of the session, read his protocol discourse to officially announce Morocco’s adhesion to the AU, before striking his gavel against the sound block to end the plenary session.
The Moroccan Times.