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Despite Opposition, African Union Readmits Morocco After 32-Year Separation

Morocco was officially accepted today as a member of the African Union following the support of an overwhelming majority of African countries at the 28th African Union Summit held, in the AU’s headquarter in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The task was not easy 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 three 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, with three countries changing camps at the last minute. But Morocco needed the vote of only 29 countries (50 percent of member countries +1) from the full block of AU countries to adhere.

A tough resistance was witnessed, however, headed by South Africa, Algeria and the UN-nonrecognized Sahraoui Arab Republic, which tried to constitutionally block the adhesion of Morocco.

The suspense reached its 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.

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