‘Readmission violates AU norms’

Source: ‘Readmission violates AU norms’ | The Herald February 1, 2017

Mabasa Sasa recently in ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia

President Mugabe led a gallant charge to get continental leaders to stand on principle on the matter of Morocco’s readmission into the African Union, but the majority still made a decision that violated organisational norms and potentially impinged on international law, Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi has said.In an interview in Addis Ababa following closed door talks between President Mugabe and South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma. This was after 39 of the AU’s 54 members voted to readmit Morocco, Minister Mumbengegwi said the bloc must nonetheless strive to resolve the quest for self-determination of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, better known as Western Sahara.

Morocco left the then OAU in 1984 after the organisation had two years earlier recognised the SADR’s sovereignty.

Morocco invaded the SADR upon the latter’s independence from Spain in 1975, and claims ownership of that country, as well as asserting sovereignty over land in Algeria, Mali and Mauritania.

Article 3(b) of the AU’s Constitutive Act calls for the defence of the “sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of its member states”, while Article 4(b) demands “respect of borders existing on achievement of independence”.

President Mugabe yesterday met President Zuma to deliberate on these violations of the AU Constitutive Act.

After that engagement, Minister Mumbengegwi said: “It’s most unfortunate, really, because our Constitutive Act is very clear as to the founding principles of the organisation, and therefore any new member who wants to join the organisation must first comply with the principles of the organisation they want to join.

“And the most outstanding founding principles of the African Union, which it inherited form the OAU, are the question of self-determination, the question of not using violence, the question of not occupying a fellow member state, the question of decolonisation.

“Now to have a member state who is in violation of all these principles being admitted into the organisation is something that we did not expect, we didn’t think it would happen.

“It was most unfortunate but obviously the question of Western Sahara is not going to go away; it is an issue that those of us who feel that we must respect our principles, we must respect the Constitutive Act, we are going to continue to push for the self-determination of Western Sahara in spite of Morocco’s admission into the AU.”

The Foreign Affairs Minister continued: “This is an issue that the AU must push because no member state can be in the organisation without defined territorial boundaries that are recognised at international law.

“This is the situation that we are facing now with Morocco; they are a member without clearly defined borders that are recognised at international law. And to make it worse they are in occupation of a member state of the AU.”

He said those who voted for Morocco’s readmission were of the view that the Northern African kingdom would be pressed to comply with the Constitutive Act afterward, a position he described as “extraordinary”.

“All organisations all over the world insist that a new member must comply with the founding principles of the organisation before they are admitted into the organisation.

“Now this has been turned upside down in the AU where a member who is in violation of the fundamental principles is admitted on the expectation that after they are admitted they will comply.”

On efforts to make Africa’s leaders see reason, Minister Mumbengegwi said President Mugabe had “worked very hard (during the 28th Ordinary Summit of the AU) to try and instil sanity into the organisation, to try and underline the importance of principles, the importance of rules and regulations, the importance of rules of procedure, the importance of creating consensus, the importance of putting together a committee of Heads of State who can then facilitate the compliance of Morocco with the principles of the organisation before they are admitted”.

He went on: “But unfortunately those who were bent on admitting Morocco said principles come after majority vote; let the majority prevail even if they are wrong.

“There were I think about 12 who stood firm on principle, including Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia — in fact, most of the countries in Southern Africa stood by principles.”


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    mugarbage is an unprincipled moron and has no right to lecture anybody on majority voting.

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    The pot calling the kettle black. Mugabe violates hundreds of laws, AU principles and even his own constitution on a daily basis.

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    Morty Smith 5 years ago

    5th word was “gallant” in connection with an action by Mugabe. Very bad writer to give away that the entire article is rubbish so soon.

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    Who the f… is Mugabe to lecture the world on principles? Let us start with the Gukuruhundi and then work our way from there. While we are about it we can get hold of Scoonsie, Carrington and Kissinger to a explain their handiwork?

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    Donato Matibili 5 years ago

    they lost elections, didnt they? they should have invited nikuv before they agreed to vote. Now he is talking of what principles when there was an election and they lost? they want to disrespect the will of AU and force their silly principle. why was there elections in the first place to vote on an “illegal” issue? tendai kudyiwa apa. majaira kurambira pose pamunodyiwa.