Organization for African Unity

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 Ethiopia 651

     In 1963 the Organization of African Unity was formed with 33 members. By 1973 8 more independent African states had joined, and by 2002 when the OAU was replaced by the African Union there were a total of 53 of 54 African states who were members.
     In 1983 Ethiopia issued a set of five stamps celebrating the 10th anniversary of the OAU. One of the stamps has two maps, one showing an outline map of Africa, with all of the countries who joined the OAU in white. The other map shows the same outline map of Africa with all of the countries who belonged to the OAU in 1973 in white.
     In 1984 Morocco withdrew from the OAU when the Sehrawi Arab Democratic Republic was recognized. Zaire, now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo, suspended its membership for the same reason. The SADR is a proposed independent state occupying the Western Sahara, once claimed by Mauritania. It is recognized by many of the other African states.

SCN 651