Morocco Re-Admitted into AU, Fate of Western Sahara’s Independence Undecided
The atmosphere was tense Monday as some countries raised the issue of the Independence of Western Sahara which is now considered Africa’s last Colony.
Members States decided to leave the question of the disputed territory of Western Sahara for another day.
The foreign minister of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic SADR, Mohamed Salem Ould Salek, which claims sovereignty over the entire territory of Western Sahara said “From the moment that Morocco did not impose conditions … we take their word for it and accept that Morocco be admitted to the African Union.”
Morocco left the African Union in 1984 when the body recognized the former Western Sahara as a separate member.
Contrary to popular opinion that Morocco would demand the expulsion of SADR as a precondition for its own return to the AU, the former did not.
Morocco maintains that the former Spanish colony under its control is an integral part of the kingdom, while the Polisario Front, which campaigns for the territory’s independence, demands a referendum on self-determination.
Moussa Faki Mahamat Replaces Zuma
Chadian Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat, 56, has been voted as the new chairperson of the AU Commission, beating four other candidates to replace South Africa Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.
The choice of Faki comes six months after the election was postponed and mandate of Zuma extended for six months. The former Chadian Prime Minister who has spent his time fighting Islamists in Nigeria, Mali and Sahel region is expected to hold firm and continue the fight to eliminate poverty, extremism and other ills which have gained centre stage on the Continent.
Meantime Guinean President Alpha Conde has replaced Chadian Idris Derby Itno as chairman of the African Union.