Returning to the African Union since 2017, Morocco is still waiting to regain its place within the continental organization. As the election of new members to the Peace and Security Council (PSC) is underway, Rabat aims to run for a seat to advance reforms aimed at restoring credibility to this essential organ of the AU.
Strongly shaken by dysfunctions inherited since its creation in 2002, the African Union is trying to reinvent itself and establish more transparent elective methods based on skills and merit.
Since 2018, one year after the return from Morocco, the organization has embarked on institutional reforms which began to be effective from 2021. They concern in particular the African Union Commission (AUC) in charge of activities. daily life of the Union which now has 8 members including a president and vice-president as well as 6 commissioners;
The 2018 Conference of Heads of State also urged the Commission to bring legal instruments up to standard. On this subject in particular, Morocco announced upon its return to the AU that deep reforms had to be undertaken, particularly within the Peace and Security Council (PSC).
And for good reason, this organ is the most important of the AU since it is the permanent decision-making organ of the African Union which acts in the prevention and in the resolution of conflicts. Its importance is crucial given that the African continent is the one that knows the greatest concentration of armed conflicts, faces the jihadist threat and terrorism.
“The reform of the Commission for Political Affairs, Peace and Security cannot succeed without the overhaul of the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC)”, declared Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita during a press briefing with the AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Bankole Adeoye, on a working visit to Rabat in November.
But 4 years after the Kingdom’s return to the organization, Rabat is still working to take a prominent place within the various organs that make it up. At present, Morocco does not occupy any position of responsibility within the African Union and yet, it is not the skills that it lacks. Morocco has to its credit eminent qualified officials, of great caliber, able to strengthen the ranks of the African institution.
At the last African Union (AU) summit in 202, Rabat proposed no less than 4 different candidates to occupy the posts of commissioners at a time when 8 posts were to be renewed. The Kingdom has proposed candidates for the posts of AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Development, Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Industry and Mines and Commissioner to Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, but none of the applications were accepted, confirms a Moroccan diplomatic source.
To date, the only Moroccans occupying strategic positions within the African Union are Fathallah Sijilmassi, the Director General of the African Union Commission, and Ambassador Mohamed Belaiche, who occupies the post of Special Representative of the President. of the AU Commission in Sudan.
However, the kingdom is also facing low blows mainly led by South Africa and Algeria which has woven a very developed network within the organization since its creation in 2002 and, which it faces with many. resilience.
Indeed, within the Peace and Security Department of the African Union, Algeria has always reigned supreme to serve its anti-Moroccan propaganda in the Sahara issue. Since its creation, it has only been led by Algerian diplomats, namely Saïd Djinnit, Ramtane Lamamra and Smaïl Chergui who have chained the terms, before the election in February 2021 of Nigerian Bankole Adeoye.
If Morocco has already occupied a seat in the PSC for two years between 2018 and 2020, this time it is standing for a three-year mandate. On this issue, Libya has announced that it is behind Morocco’s candidacy, while Tunisia, which has also announced its candidacy, has not announced whether it intends to maintain it or support Morocco.
Only one seat is to be sought since for the North African region, only two seats are available according to the principle of equitable regional representation and Algeria is already a member for 3 years and its mandate does not expire until 2023.