Morocco is set to rejoin the African Union during the 28th African summit scheduled for Jan. 30 to Jan. 31 in Addis-Ababa, after leaving the pan African organisation three decades ago.
In 1984, Morocco decided to withdraw from the Organisation of African Unity, which later became the AU, over the admission of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic as a full member of the organisation.
SADR claims sovereignty over the whole Western Sahara territory, which Morocco claims as its own.
For over three decades, Morocco has refused to be part of the organisation, but recently the country has changed its policing, making the readmission to the AU on the top of its agenda.
In July 2016, King Mohammed VI of Morocco sent a message to the 27th AU summit in Kigali, Rwanda, saying that his country “should not remain outside its African institutional family, and it should regain its natural, rightful place within the AU.”
The king however, explained the reasons for returning to the pan African organisation.
He mentioned the repeated call of many African friends of the kingdom as well as a thorough reflection, which concluded that “when a body is sick, it is treated more effectively from the inside than from the outside.”
He also stressed that from within, “Morocco will contribute to making the AU a more robust organisation, one that is both proud of its credibility and relieved of the trappings of an obsolete era.”
Two months after the king’s message to the African leaders, the North African kingdom formally submitted a request to re-join the continental body in September.
The request was submitted after Morocco received the support of a group of 28 AU member states, representing over the majority of the 54 AU member states required for admission.
Following this request, the Moroccan king toured numerous African countries, including some that Rabat has long regarded as hostile to its territorial unity, on the top of which the African giant, Nigeria.