Thursday, 12 April 2018

Ecowas Would Regret Accepting Morocco Into Their Fold – Falana

Human rights activist and lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) on Monday advised against the acceptance of Morocco as a member-state of the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas). He opined that such a move would negate all that the regional body stood for as Morocco’s entrance would spell the end of the promotion of the economic development of member-states in the sub-region.

According to him, this negation is due to the ulterior motive behind Morocco’s desire to join. He said the North African nation seeks to join in order to create a market for the manufactured goods of member-states of the European Union (EU). This is contained in a paper the legal luminary presented at the multi-stakeholders consultative meeting on “Strengthening the ECOWAS Court of Justice and Enhancing Access to Justice in the West African Sub-region.”

In the paper, titled, “Deploying the ECOWAS legal architecture for addressing impunity in West African sub-region”, Falana said: “Despite so-called Morocco’s strong ties with ECOWAS member states, trade between them remains low as it is less than $1bn a year.“This is insignificant, as West Africa has a GDP of $345bn. Even then, the volume of trade is expected to reduce as some of the trade agreements between Morocco and ECOWAS member states are illegal to the extent that they relate to the mineral resources in Western Sahara.

"Both the European Court and the High Court in South Africa have ruled that Morocco lacks the legal capacity to mine the mineral resources in the territory of Western Sahara. "Through the cancellation of tariffs, the neo-colonial economic agenda is designed to allow the industrialised members of the European Union to flood the region with manufacture goods and thereby destroy the infantile industries in the member states of ECOWAS.”

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