King Mohammed VI of Morocco and Rwanda's President Paul Kagame - photo by Abdeljalil Bounhar / AP
In a message to the African Union (AU) at their summit in Kigali, Rwanda on Sunday, the king of Morocco Mohammed VI said "the moment has now come" for Morocco to retake its place in the AU, expressing the country's desire to rejoin the union after leaving 32 years before.

Morocco left the AU in 1984 after the organization recognized Western Sahara as an independent state. Morocco regards Western Sahara as apart of their southern provinces and even threatened to pull out its military troops from United Nations global peacekeeping missions because of the dispute over the area. 

Morocco sent a special envoy to the summit this weekend to lobby for their request.

The AU has said that it will continue to support a self-determination referendum in Western Sahara.


to recognize (verb) - to acknowledge / accept the existence or state of something
to regard (verb) - to look as / to look upon
dispute (noun) - an ongoing conflict / disagreement

envoy (noun) - a messenger or representative 
to lobby (verb) - to try to influence or change a group's decisions on an issue
self-determination (noun) - self-rule; independence;  controlling your own life