Rabat – The head of states of the Economic Community for West African States want to run a thorough study on the impact of Morocco’s membership in the West African body, before delivering their final verdict. No deadline or “extraordinary session” was mentioned during the 52nd summit, raising more questions about the fate of Morocco’s accession to the ECOWAS.
The kingdom isn’t alone in its quest to join ECOWAS. If Beji Caid Essebsi, Tunisia’s leader wishes to makes of his country an observer member of the West African organization, Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz, Mauritanian president, is adamant to recover the seat his state abandoned in 2000.
Now, the fate of these three North African countries lays in the hands of “a committee (set up by the summit) composed of Togolese, Ivorian, Ghanaian, Guinean, and Nigerian presidents to adopt the terms of reference and oversee the in-depth study of the implications of these accessions,” announces a communiqué sanctioning the work of the the 52nd Ordinary Session of the Pan African Organization held on December 16 in Abuja.
Surprisingly enough, the “extraordinary session” set for the first quarter of 2018 and supposed to settle this matter, as announced by a diplomatic source to Morocco World News and reported massively by local media, wasn’t mentioned at all during this 52nd summit.
On the eve of the summit, a day before King Mohammed VI was expected to land in Abuja, the news of the postponement of Morocco’s membership to the ECOWAS sparked a wave of speculations about the kingdom’s fate in joining the West African organization.
A diplomatic source in the Moroccan Foreign Affairs Ministry told Morocco World News that this delay was due to mere technicalities. “The congested agenda of the 52nd summit, as well as the delay in the delivery of the impact study are the only reasons behind this postponements,” the source disclosed.
Will Morocco have to fight tooth and nail to finally join the West African body? The agreement in principle granted to Morocco back in June, as well as the mobilization of the kingdom’s allies such as Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, and Togo seem to all support Morocco’s candidacy.
Even the appointment of Ivorian Minister Jean Claude Brou as new head of the commission for a four years mandate is great news for the King, as his former counterpart, Marcel de Souza, had shown his negative opinion about Morocco’s membership.
This question could also be on the agenda of Tuesday, in Conakry, between King Mohammed VI and his Guinean counterpart, especially as the head of state has a great influence in the region, as well as a solid friendship with the Nigerian President Muhammadu Bouhari. The latter is facing fierce opposition from trade unions, investors and former diplomats to Morocco’s admission within ECOWAS.
The royal trip to Guinea was, moreover, announced this Sunday by guinee7.com, which cites Malick Sankhon, director of the National Social Security Fund, considered by the local press as an “unconditional supporter” of Condé.