UN: Maghreb-Africa  deals may undermine Arab Maghreb Union

 

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) warned yesterday that new memberships of Maghreb countries to African economic unions might lead to the dissolution of the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU), Anadolu reported.

In a report issued in Morocco the UNECA said that the North African region has recently signed several trade deals.

The AMU was established on 17 February 1989 in Marrakesh and included five countries: Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania.

It aimed to open the borders between the five countries to facilitate the movement of people and goods and establish security cooperation.

According to the UNECA report Morocco and Mauritania have recently joined West Africa’s economic bloc.

Tunisia is been preparing to join the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), which is a free-trade area with 20 member states stretching from Libya to Swaziland and is set to sign the deal later this month.

The UN report also stated that Algeria has already started talks to join COMESA too.

“It is impossible to deny that these deals open attractive economic horizons for the Arab Maghreb countries,” the report stressed, noting that these deals could replace the AMU.

It also said that these developments raise doubts about the intention of the AMU members about finding a solution to ongoing hardships.

Since 1994 the AMU has not convened due to differences between Algeria and Morocco over the Western Sahara. Algeria closed its borders to Morocco in 1994.

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