The African Union Summit agenda was full, as Morocco wanted to rejoin the union, and South Sudan was confronted with violence. Moreover, there is a Palestinian-Israeli conflict, in which the African Union has an important role. The 27th African Union Summit took place in Kigali, Rwanda, July 10-18, 2016.
Morocco Wants to Rejoin the African Union
One of the main issues that were discussed, during the African Union Summit, targeted Morocco’s desire to rejoin the organization. The country left the African Union in 1984, in protest, due to their decision to accept the Western Sahara as a member. For almost four decades the country refused to rejoin the African Union.
According to BBC News, the Moroccan King Mohammed VI declared that it was time for his country to take its place back within the organization. The King’s message was sent to the African Union Summit. He stated that, although for a long time Morocco left the group, “it never quit Africa.” In order to rejoin the African Union, Morocco’s desire will have to be validated by a vote of the union officials.
South Sudan Conflict Is an Urgent Issue of the Summit
The 27th African Union Summit had a full agenda. Another of the main issues that were discussed was the fighting in South Sudan.
For the last five-and-a-half years, the country has been confronted with the Sudanese nomadic conflicts. According to UN News Centre, in August 2015, there was a peace agreement signed, which ended the war but only on paper. The conflict and instability continued in the “previously unaffected areas in the Greater Equatoria and Greater Bahr-El-Ghazal regions of South Sudan.”
In order to put an end to the incidents that have caused many victims, on July 15, 2016, during the 27th African Union Summit, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon discussed the issue with several African leaders. Ban emphasized the seriousness of the situation and demanded responses from the leaders.
Palestinians Crave for Peace
Another topic on the summit’s full agenda was the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. According to Israel National News, on July 17, the Palestinian Authority Chairman, Mahmoud Abbas, pressed the African Union members to accept the French initiative for peace.
On June 3, during a summit of foreign ministers that took place in Paris, France, prospects for peace were discussed. Abbas considered that the union has to promote peace in their region and confirmed that his country agrees with the French initiative, which was rejected by Israel. He requested the involvement of the African Union to help organize an international peace conference.
The History of the African Union
The African Union, as it is now known, was found in July 2002. Prior to that time, it was called the Organization of African Unity. It has 54 member states and functions on a Pan-African Parliament Legislature. The union objectives target the unity and solidarity among African countries, their territorial integrity and independence. Also, it has to promote peace and stability on the continent and protect human rights. Moreover, the African Union works as an accelerator for the political and social-economic integration of Africa.
The leaders of the African Union are from Chad, South Africa, and Cameroon. Its political centers are located in the city of Johannesburg, the largest metropolis in South Africa, and Addis Ababa, the capital and largest city in Ethiopia.
By Bianca-Ramona Dumitru
Edited by Jeanette Smith
BBC: Morocco asks to rejoin African Union after 32 years
Israel National News: Abbas urges African Union to support French initiative
New Vision: South Sudan violence tops African Union summit agenda
UN News Centre: In Rwanda, Ban meets with African leaders on situation in South Sudan
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