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Morocco voted onto African Union Peace and Security Council

January 27, 2018 at 12:18 pm

Morocco was voted onto the African Union Peace and Security Council on Friday during the 32nd Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the organisation. The meeting was held in Addis Ababa in preparation for the summit of the heads of states and governments that will begin on Sunday.

Morocco’s membership of the Peace and Security Council is for a renewable term of two years. It was the only candidate from the North Africa region and received 39 votes, three more than the necessary two-thirds required for election. It succeeds Algeria, which held the position for several years.

Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel announced earlier this week that his country would not stand for a new term this year, but will do so next year. He pointed out that this is nothing out of the ordinary, having abstained from standing as a candidate for the 2010-2013 term.

Morocco was elected to the Peace and Security Council of the Union as one of ten new members out of the total 15, for two years. The other five members will be elected in 2019 for a three-year term.

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The government of Morocco applied last year to rejoin the AU, from which it withdrew in 1984 in protest at the organisation’s acceptance of the Polisario Front as a member. The Front is fighting for Western Saharan independence from Morocco.

The Peace and Security Council is an organ of the African Union that is responsible for implementing the decisions of the organisation and is to some extent similar to the UN Security Council. Members are elected by the African Union Assembly to reflect the regional balance in the continent, in addition to a variety of other criteria, including the ability to contribute militarily and financially to the Union and having the political will to do so.