*ECOWAS BUSINESS NEWS TALKING POINTS* *INSIGHTS*:
*MOROCCO BEHAVING BADLY*
By E.K.Bensah Jr
30 August, 2017
In a communiqué sent simultaneously by an Accra-based Namibian diplomat and an African Union Commission official, but seen by both Ecowas Business News, and its sister initiative “East Africa Rising 2.0”, the republic of Mozambique has expressed its unhappiness at the manner in which Morocco comported itself at the just-ended TICAD meeting that took place from 23-25 August in the country.
In the communiqué issued by Mozambique’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, the country explains how much of an honour it was for the country to host the three-day meeting, “ *which is also an acknowledgement of the excellent level of relationship between Mozambique, Japan and the other TICAD co-organizers*. ”
However, the government expresses its dismay at Morocco’s attitude: “ *Notwithstanding and regrettably, the delegation of the Kingdom of Morocco, beyond its mandate, has hijacked the competencies of the co-organizers and of the host country by awarding to itself the right to control the accesses to the Joaquim Chissano International Conference Center, venue of the meeting, and to the meeting room, having even resorted to violence*. ”
The statement explains how the government of Mozambique “ *had to restore normalcy to ensure the safety of all participants and ensure smooth continuation of the event*. ”
It has expressed dismay at Morocco’s “unacceptable behaviour against another member of the organization, and a breach of the guiding principles on the respectful and cordial relations between States.” The statement calls Morocco’s attitude “ *a chocking[sic] lack of composure and respect for the high office of His Excellency the President of the Republic, for the nature of TICAD, as well as for other participants, distinguished representatives of sovereign states, international organizations and development partners.* ”
We have two video clips (pls see below) available of the bust-up for your consumption. It shows what is, arguably, a shocking disregard for everything the AU stands for.
One can only wonder whether this is the kind of behaviour and disruption Ecowas wants to invite in its fold?
*WHAT YOU MUST READ ABOUT THIS DIPLOMATIC FRACAS*
A Saharawi journalist, specialized in African issues, who belongs to the whatsapp group of Ecowas Business News’ authoritative sister initiative “East Africa Rising 2.0” sent us a riposte to the communiqué by the Mozambican government:
Hi everyone. The problem of Morocco is that it never had a clear and genuine discours when it deals with international partners. Especially Africans. This s not something new. The Moroccan discourse to AU is that it came to join so as to participate to the “integration” of African States” but as soon as the PSC called for a meeting to discuss Western Sahara issue last Marsh in Addis. The excuse Morocco gave is that this question should not be treated in AU but only in UN. Now that may sound like an argument if it wasn’t that the initial peace plan and all subsequent mediation is a UN-AU initiative. Also This is a perfectly African-African issue.
Then Morocco started a new strategy of destroying the AU from within. Morocco is reluctant to let any AU meeting without creating problems. It did that is the AU-Arab Summit in Malabo, then again in the AU-ECA meeting of ministers of Economy in Dakar, and here it is trying harder this time in Maputo making African meetings really look surreal.
You will notice in the video that this time the Moroccan official delegation, including its minister of foreign Affairs were trying to physically stop the Saharawi delegation from getting into the room of the meeting despite the fact that the presidency of the meeting had agreed with Japan to start the meeting with the participation if SADR like all 55 AU members!
Worse, the few Japanese and Moroccans who were blocking the door refused even to listen to the orders of the Mozambican Minister of Foreign Affairs! This is why he decided to take the Saharawi delegation with him to enter from the entrance dedicated to the presidency of the meeting and order security to forcibly move those trouble-makers from on the door because in the end they were also stopping many other African delegations from getting into the meeting.
Now, going back to the other reality of the Moroccan discourse, the one the King himself keeps repeating in his speeches to his subjects, which is no more than a speech of total rejection if peace, persistence in the colonial presence in Western Sahara and refusal to accept any African mediation. So! My question is why the hell join AU then? The only answer I can have is that for Morocco AU is a competition, it is not an ally. Because Morocco since 84 has created all sort of parallel bodies and organisation just to hinder the AU goal of integrating all AU member States into one unified block everywhere. Worse, it s obvious now that Morocco is not even waiting to spend its first year in AU without been a problem. And in the end all African dreams will suffer because if the ego of the king and its bandit state.
I wrote few articles back in 2016 to warn against the Moroccan plans, but of course my voice is so tiny to be noticed anywhere. And beside the Moroccans are using more convincing arguments to gain support: money and corruption.
*Emmanuel is an AU & Ecowas Policy Analyst, with 15 years research in comparative regional integration & 13 years in civil society activism. Since 2012, he has been actively monitoring and writing about aspects of East Africa’s integration*
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