With our special correspondent in Addis Ababa, Florence Morice
The fight between Morocco and Algeria has already begun. It’s all about the post of first vice presidentAfrican Union for this year 2023. This seat is traditionally attributed to the country that takes over the rotating presidency the following year.
Algeria was the first to declare itself a candidate, followed a few days later by Morocco, which decided not to hand over the keys to the institution to its great rival. Since then it has been blocked. Result: The position of first vice president, which was to be filled on Saturday, remained vacant.
Diplomatic sources have urged Mauritania to apply and unlock the situation. But Nouakchott declined rather than play the risky referee role.
The post of first vice president remained vacant last year due to a lack of agreement. It was coveted by both Kenya and Comoros. Eventually Nairobi gave in. But behind the scenes was the rivalry between Morocco and Algeria, after Algiers pounced on Kenya’s candidacy at the last minute to prevent the Comoros, believed to be close to the Kingdom of Cherifia, from chairing the organisation.
► Also to discover: From the OAU to the African Union: History and Institutions [webdoc]