“I am finally home”, king Mohammed VI said on Tuesday as the African Union readmitted Morocco after a 33-year absence, deferring the issue of Western Sahara for another day.
Morocco’s return came a day after 39 of the AU’s 54 member state agreed to allow it back in the fold, despite stiff resistance from countries such as South Africa and Algeria over the status of the disputed former Spanish colony.
Faced with the AU’s decision, Western Sahara officials appeared to accept the new reality, saying AU membership might help speed up efforts to end a protracted conflict.
ENCA reports that his speech came after a long day of feverish speculation in the halls of the AU headquarters over whether he would indeed show up.
Morocco quit the then organization of African unity in 1984 after the bloc admitted the former Western Sahara as a separate member.
Morocco maintains that the territory under its control which is home to large reserves of phosphate, a key ingredient in fertilizers, as well as rich fish stocks off its coast- is an integral part of the kingdom.