Morocco has been readmitted into the African Union on Monday more than three decades after it left when the continental body recognised the independence of the disputed territory of Western Sahara.
Morocco’s readmission was approved during the 28th AU Summit in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa after it formally announced its wish to rejoin six months ago.
Morocco had asked the African Union (AU) to readmit it, as it seeks support for its plan to offer autonomy to the disputed territory of Western Sahara while keeping it under Moroccan sovereignty.
AFP quoted Senegalese President Macky Sall as saying that 39 heads of state out of 54 voted for the return of Morocco.
Morocco garnered the votes despite strong opposition by countries including South Africa who support the Polisario Front’s call for a referendum on self-rule which Morocco is against.
“Even if the question of Western Sahara remains a question being raised, one can continue to find solutions as a family. Admission has been made and the most important thing today is that Morocco is an integral member of the African Union,” Sall said.
Morocco’s King Mohammed VI, who had been campaigning since last year to join the bloc, told African leaders at the AU summit in Addis Ababa: “Africa is my home, and I am coming back home.”