The election Friday of Morocco to the African Union’s Peace and Security Council was hailed by several African officials as an additional asset to this body, which is tasked with conflict prevention, management and resolution, and peacekeeping in Africa.
The election of Morocco to this supreme decision-making body on peace and security issues, took place in Addis Ababa Friday, at the 32nd Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the continental Organization, held on the eve of the 30th AU Summit convening in the Ethiopian capital this January 28-29.
Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita told the media in Addis Ababa after the election announcement that this is “an acknowledgment of the very constructive role and solidarity-based actions carried out in the continent, under the leadership of King Mohammed VI, in terms of peace, security and human development”.
This election translates, if need be, the support and confidence enjoyed by King Mohammed VI among his African peers, he said.
The Foreign Minister also underlined that the kingdom’s unique experience in the continent, primarily in the field of conflict prevention and crisis management and its participation in several peacekeeping operations will be additional assets for the CPS work.
Actually, over 60,000 Moroccan peacekeepers have participated within five UN peacekeeping missions in Africa. Besides, Morocco deployed 11 Medical and Surgical Field Hospitals in 10 African countries, where more than 530,000 people benefited from medical services.
Several other African officials attending the AU meetings hailed Morocco’s election to the Council, stressing that this new member will play a role of paramount importance in consolidating peace and stability in Africa.
In this vein, Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama hailed Morocco for its ceaseless and commendable efforts in the areas of peace and security on the continent.
Tanzanian Foreign Minister, Augustine Mahiga, on her part stressed that Morocco’s presence in the Council will provide the kingdom a platform to upgrade its valuable contribution to peace and security in the continent, recalling that Morocco has played a key role in peacekeeping in Africa since the establishment of the Organization of African Unity, the AU’s predecessor.
“We hope that Morocco’s entry into the CPS will be an opportunity to redefine and strengthen Morocco’s position in the AU,” added the Tanzanian Foreign Minister. Morocco has always responded voluntarily and without hesitation to the solidarity calls of his African brothers, she said.
Burundi’s Foreign Minister Alain Aimé Nyamitwe also praised Morocco’s unwavering commitment to peace and security in Africa, saying the Kingdom is carrying out a stunning action in the continent, underpinned by a humanitarian dimension.
He said the Kingdom’s commitment to humanitarian causes in Africa is highlighted every time King Mohammed VI visits African countries.
Morocco, the unique candidate from the North-African region, was elected to the Peace and Security Council for a renewable two-year term (2018-2020) by 39 votes, while the minimum of votes required is 36.
The council 15 members are elected by the AU Executive Council on regional basis (three from Central Africa; three from East Africa; two from North Africa; three from Southern Africa; and four from West Africa).
Ten members are elected for a two-year term and five are elected for a three-year term, to ensure continuity in the actions of the CPS.