Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:4AM
The African Union agreed on January 30 to readmit Morocco 33 years after it quit the bloc, following a difficult debate over the status of Western Sahara, according to presidents attending the summit. (Photo by AFP)
The African Union agreed on January 30 to readmit Morocco 33 years after it quit the bloc, following a difficult debate over the status of Western Sahara, according to presidents attending the summit. (Photo by AFP)
  • Embed

Morocco has been reinstated to the African Union after an absence of 33 years. The inclusion of one of Africa's wealthier countries was not, however, without controversy.

There have been tense and sometimes bitter debates about the status of Western Sahara.

Morocco left the AU’s predecessor, the Organization of African Unity, in 1984 after the body recognized the independence of Western Sahara. With Morocco set to rejoin ‘the family,’ could unresolved disputes be the AU’s undoing?

A member of the AU delegation, who voted in favor of Morocco's reinstatement, said the countries had decided “it was better to have Morocco inside the house, inside the family, and to try to reach African solutions to African problems.”

Will that really be the case or have AU members simply stored trouble for another time? With Morocco unwilling to drop the issue of Western Sahara and the AU largely supporting its independence, will the AU survive another regional fallout?