Morocco has lined up a series of events to celebrate the Africa Day, which this year coincides with the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), now the African Union (AU).
The Africa Day is observed annually 25 May to commemorate the founding, in 1963, of the defunct OAU.
Morocco was among the founding members but left the continental grouping in 1983 to protest the membership of Western Sahara.
Activities lined up by the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation include the opening of an exhibition of photographs and books on Morocco and Africa at the National Library.
The programme also includes a conference under the theme “Casablanca 1961-Addis Ababa in 2013, more than 50 years of African Unity: Problems and Perspectives of the Project of the United States of Africa” that will be hosted by former Senegalese Foreign Minister Cheikh Tidiane Gadio.
Morocco’s Africa policy is fundamentally based on two principles – its identity and its irreversible commitment to the continent’s development, a spokesman for the Ministry of Communication told PANA.
In view of this, Morocco supported the struggle for independence and liberation of African countries from colonial rule.
Kings Mohammed V and his successor Hassan II provided valuable support to national liberation movements of several countries.
Morocco has always supported the initiatives of the UN for the restoration of stability in Africa and has, from 1960 up to date, send peacekeepers to UN operations in Congo, Somalia, Angola, DR Congo and Côte d’Ivoire.
As a member of the International Contact Group for Liberia, Morocco has also contributed to the restoration of peace in the West African nation.
In December 2006, Morocco sent a contingent of its Royal Armed Forces to participate in a demining operation in the region of Casamance, southern Senegal.
As observer member in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Kingdom is also strongly committed to the resolution of the crisis in Mali and the preservation of its territorial integrity.
In December 2012, Morocco, which held the presidency of the Security Council, pushed for the adoption of the 2085 resolution authorising the deployment of an African-led force in Mali.
At the donor conference on Mali held January in Addis Ababa, the Kingdom pledged US$5 million for the force, known as the Africa-led international Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA).