WFP's Beasley lauds Saudi Arabia's role in providing aid to millions around the globe    RedSeaIFF announces best short films by emerging Saudi filmmakers 15 shorts make up New Saudi/New Cinema slate    Expats can switch jobs more freely; one-year bar for transfer removed    Dutch rights envoy expresses admiration for Saudi women's achievements    Aramco, TotalEnergies launch first outlets in joint retail network    Fresh lockdowns in China as Covid-19 infections spread to 11 provinces    King, Crown Prince congratulate Austrian President on National Day    The bumpy road to India's electric car dreams    Lockdowns and vaccine divide bring chaos to eastern Europe, uncertainty to West    New details emerge in Baldwin film set shooting    Tata Steel demands UK roadmap to make industry greener    Pakistan hammer India by 10 wickets to clinch T20 win    Michael Jordan's trainers sell for record $1.47m at auction    Protect schools from anti-vax protesters, says UK opposition leader    US actor James Michael Tyler dies aged 59    National Motors Supplies Company announces dealership agreement with Jetour    Saudi Al-Sharif wins Jordan's Open golf championship    Bride's fingerprint not required in revised e-marriage contract    'Easy On Me': Adele returns to UK number one    Friends pip Asfaan; Chinar, ICAD, Pak Zalmi prevail in Kanoo league    'Be a Star' — WWE stars fight cyberbullying in Riyadh    Bollywood superstar's son denied bail in drugs case    Saudis, expats mourn death of prominent Filipino preacher in Riyadh    Bollywood actor Sidharth Shukla dies at 40    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Directs KSrelief to Urgently Provide Malaysia with Medical, Preventive Equipment and Supplies to Address COVID-19 Pandemic    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Congratulates President of Maldives on Independence Day    Weather Forecast for Sunday    RSNF Commander Patronizes Ceremonial Launching of His Majesty's Ship "Jazan"    OIC Condemns Houthi Attempts to Target Civilians in Saudi Arabia    Philippines evacuates thousands as monsoon rains flood cities, provinces    Heavy rain in India triggers floods, landslides; at least 125 dead    U.S. Records 64,321 New Infections of Coronavirus    Without Fans, Tokyo Olympics Kicked Off    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers at Arafat Holy Site    Dr. Mohammed Sulaiman Al-Jasser, Saudi Arabia's Pick to Chair IsDB Group for the next five years, unanimously approved by BoG Committee of Procedures    Saudi Press: Fitch affirms Saudi Credit Rating at "A" with a revised outlook to stable from negative    Handled Cargo at Saudi Ports Increases during June 2021    SDAIA, DARP & STC Launch Pilgrim's Smart Bracelet (NUSK)    2 Goals by Diaz Gives Colombia 3rd Place at Copa America    Saudi Cinema Night at Arab World Institute in Paris Kicks Off    KSU Leads Joint International Scientific Project for Early Detection of Breast Cancer    Saudi Arabia to Participate in Cannes Film Festival 2021    Arab Cup U-17 Championship Draw Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Palestine, Kuwait, in the 1st Group    AWI Hosts Saudi Cinema Nights in Paris    Brazil Beats Chile at Copa America Despite 2nd-Half Red Card    Council of Senior Scholars: Muslim Brothers' Group Don't Represent Method of Islam, rather only Follows its Partisan Objectives, Violating our Graceful Religion    Eid Al-Adha Prayer Performed at the Grand Holy Mosque    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers in Arafat Holy Site    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.



???? Reunite the family: It's time for African Union to welcome Morocco back into its fold
Published in Alriyadh on 30 - 01 - 2017

In massive implications for Africa, the African Union (AU) summit in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa – which will culminate in the 28th Ordinary Assembly of AU Heads of State and Government at the end of this month – can truly galvanize the pan-African body.
The two main items on the agenda are the election of a new AU commission chair and Morocco's re-entry into the pan-African body. It will be recalled that Morocco had declared its intention to re-join AU at the Kigali summit last year. Subsequently, it submitted official requests to consider its AU reintegration and put the matter on the Addis Ababa summit agenda.
Recall also that Morocco was actually a founding member of AU – then known as the Organisation of African Unity.
However, it left the pan-African body in 1984 after AU recognised the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) as a full member.
The SADR is a product of an armed separatist group called the Polisario Front – which is principally backed by Algeria – that has been carrying out an illegal movement for an independent ‘Sahrawi' state in the Moroccan Sahara since 1975.
But the SADR today is neither recognized by the UN nor the Arab League. Its continued relevance within AU is due to the desire of certain members to politically constrain Morocco.
For, there's no denying the fact that Morocco given its ideal geographical location – proximity to Europe and Atlantic coastline – rich Arab-African traditions, and ability to develop without traditionally sought after natural resources – Morocco is only rich in phosphates – can emerge as a veritable leader of the African continent.
This isn't palatable for certain African countries that want to reserve the leadership mantle for themselves. And they have been using SADR and the Polisario as tools to keep Morocco at bay.
But this strategy only deprives AU of inputs from a dynamic African nation.
The reason why Morocco has decided to re-join AU is because it feels that it has allowed its critics within the body to hijack the narrative on the Moroccan Sahara for far too long.
They have deliberately chosen to ignore the fact that Morocco is making massive economic and infrastructure investments in the Sahara and has already offered meaningful autonomy to its Sahara provinces.
Contrast this with the deplorable situation in Polisario's Tindouf camps and the fact that the separatist group was found diverting humanitarian aid by European agencies.
Recall also how Polisario's leader Brahim Ghali is facing charges of genocide and crimes against humanity in a Spanish court.
However, this isn't just about Morocco and the Sahara issue – which is essentially a baggage of the past. In considering Morocco's re-admission into AU one must also take cognisance of the constructive role that the country has been playing in Africa.
It has been championing South-South cooperation between sister African nations to boost economic development through indigenous resources. It has been facilitating security cooperation through active intelligence sharing to counter the scourge of terrorism.
And it has been pushing for the promotion of moderate Islam to ideologically counter the rise of Islamist extremism in Africa.
Apart from this, Morocco has also facilitated peace talks between Libya's rival governments that resulted in the declaration to form a government of national unity in that country.
More recently, Morocco took the decision to establish a multi-specialty field hospital in Juba, South Sudan, in line with its long-established pan-African humanitarian tradition.
Morocco also successfully held the UN climate summit COP-22 in Marrakech in November last year.
Taken together, all of these measures and policy initiatives show that Morocco is a responsible, conscientious and progressive member of the international community that can do much to address African concerns.
Thus, AU should welcome Morocco back into its fold with open arms.


Clic here to read the story from its source.