BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Africa
Front Page 
Middle East 
South Asia 
From Our Own Correspondent 
Letter From America 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

The BBC's David Bamford
"The Moroccans have been working to secure support for their position"
 real 28k

Sunday, 8 July, 2001, 15:02 GMT 16:02 UK
OAU considers Morocco readmission
Zambian President Frederick Chiluba (right) and President Pierre Buyoya of Burundi at Lusaka airport
African leaders are divided over Morocco's readmission
By North Africa correspondent David Bamford

African foreign ministers meeting in Zambia ahead of Monday's summit of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) have been discussing a proposal to allow Morocco to become a member of the OAU's successor next year, the African Union.

Behind the scenes in recent weeks, the Moroccans have been working to secure support for their position

But there is division between African states about whether to allow Morocco to return to the fold.

Morocco is the only country in Africa to have been excluded from the organisation.

However, the Moroccans believe the OAU's transformation over the coming year into a new regional grouping, the African Union, is an opportunity to rejoin the African family.

Behind the scenes in recent weeks, the Moroccans have been working to secure support for their position.


The country's new king, Mohammed VI, has received a number of African heads of state, including the president of Ghana, and has visited Senegal, where the issue of Morocco being admitted into the African Union is believed to have been discussed.

King Mohammed VI
King Mohammed VI has met several African leaders
Morocco was forced out of the OAU in 1984, when a majority of African states lined up behind Algeria to recognise the Polisario movement's claim to the territory of Western Sahara, which Morocco had annexed in 1975.

For 10 years, the United Nations and the OAU have jointly supported the idea of a referendum to resolve the issue.

But this has failed to take place and last month the UN shifted its position, apparently acknowledging Moroccan sovereignty over the territory.

But the Algerians remain hostile, and they believe they can count on some heavy players in Africa, including Nigeria and South Africa, to ensure that the Moroccan bid to be re-accepted in Africa ends in failure.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
See also:

25 May 01 | Africa
OAU gives way to African Union
25 May 01 | Africa
The future of African unity
02 Mar 01 | Africa
Leaders agree on African union
11 Jul 00 | Africa
United States of Africa?
31 Oct 00 | Africa
United States of Southern Africa?
03 Jul 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Morocco
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Africa stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Africa stories