#MoroccoLeaks: Morocco colossal bribes to African diplomats prior to its joining the African Union

Despite its flagrant trampling on the objectives of the constitutive act of the African Union that stipulates to “Defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of its Member States”, the “Respect of borders existing on achievement of independence” and the “Prohibition of the use of force or threat to use force among Member States of the Union” Morocco, that by means of military force still occupies a large portion of the AU member founder Western Sahara republic, smoothly joined the African Union. 
Despite, also, declaring Joachim Chissano, the African Union’s special envoy to Western Sahara, a persona non grata in the Saharawi occupied territories and even in Morocco, the Moroccan king was hosted inside the premises of the African Union as an African liberator. An admission that, weirdly, took place with a relaxing majority. 
Why, then, the African Union admitted the membership of a country that not only tramples on this institution’s core constitutive act but also despises its role in the Saharawi cause, knowing that the peace plan set to resolve this protracted decolonization issue is under the auspices of the United Nations together with the African Union?
Some high officials from inside the African Union waxed lyrical on Morocco’s membership on the grounds that it might be a good opportunity to convince the Moroccans to abide by the Western Sahara peace plan of which the African Union is the second pillar partner. 
In a similar vein, some political pundits that often show up on various media outlets agree on this view based on the allegation that Morocco’s membership is a tacit recognition of the Saharawi republic as the Moroccan parliament ratified the AU constitutive act in which the Saharawi republic is a state member. 
On the other hand, some other analysts have an opposite stance considering that such move will even engender the destruction of this Pan-African institution as Morocco’s status goes against the very fundamental charter of the African Union
Nevertheless, amid all these conflicting views and speculations, a silent voice, through a twitter account baptized “Chris Coleman” and who in recent time brought global attention to a cache of authentic secret documents of the Moroccan diplomacy, has indeed the refutable evidence; Morocco succeeded in garnering support to its admission to the African Union thanks to a long course of colossal corrupt acts. 
As the content of the joined documents clearly witness, we can see mails of a Moroccan diplomat who seemed to have succeeded in setting up a network of relations behind the scenes at every summit of the African Union. Through these mails that were subsequently sent to his boss in Rabat, we learn that, at least on one occasion, cash money was handed over to some African delegations to swing the pendulum in favor of Morocco or, even worse, spy and leak secret information and internal files of the African Union to Morocco officials.
Morocco’s joining the African Union was the result of a lobbying policy in which an all pervasive corruption campaign has been its cornerstone. 
As shown in the mails, it is Moha Tagma, Director of the African Affaires at Morocco Foreign Department, briefing his superior the Moroccan minister of foreign affaires on his action plan. 
In a note he sent to his minister on May 05th, 2014, he put forward “proposals for the undertaken preparations to the next African Union Summit” that would be held in Addis Ababa. He suggests giving “individual envelopes of 5000 euros for each friend” and he lists those “friends” who represent the delegations of the following countries: Senegal, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Burkina Faso, Benin, Togo, Comoros, Djibouti, Niger Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Chad, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Somalia, Sudan, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Seychelles, Mali, Eritrea and Mauritania (Chair of the Council of the AU) “.
In another note dated on June 4th, 2014, Moh Tagma proposed to give Jean-Baptiste Natama from Burkina Faso, $ 2,500 “as an incentive to get him continue working with us.” Jean-Baptiste Natama was the Chief of Staff to the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, from October 2012 to February 2015. He was tasked of filtering out confidential documents from the African Commission to the Moroccan diplomat Moha Oualki Tagma, who currently serves as Morocco’s ambassador to Nigeria.
On July 29th, 2016, Morocco’s state-based “NGO” New Vision of Africa (NOV AFRIQUE) awarded Jean-Baptiste Natama the “PADEL 2016 international prize for the best promoter of diplomacy in Africa”.
Nevertheless, in spite of all these shenanigans, Morocco was unable to change the unwavering support of the majority of the Africans to the just cause of the Saharawi people. The role of the African Union, instead, intensified and its personal envoy, Mr. Chissano’s intervention before the UN Security Council in 2016 has accentuated Morocco’s isolation in front of a unified Africa on the right of the Saharawi people to self-determination and independence. 
Morocco, thus, has bought a seat at the African Union by its usual lethal and despicable weapon of corruption. The supposed economic development for the welfare of the African nation is no more than a smokescreen to the Moroccan main agenda; obstructing the mounting role of the African Union in decolonizing occupied Western Sahara besides coveting and taking hold of the Saharawi people’s land. 
Khalil Asmar 
Follow at: @Sahara_Voice

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