Morocco Should Repatriate its Citizens Stuck Abroad
Moroccan officials have yet to address the desperate circumstances of Moroccan tourists stuck abroad as tourist budgets dry up and borders close.
Moroccan tourists stranded in France talking to member of the Moroccan embassy in Paris
By Nada Chtinna - Mar 17, 2020
Paris – Moroccan officials have yet to address the desperate circumstances of Moroccan tourists stuck abroad as tourist budgets dry up and borders close.
Moroccan authorities have certainly taken excellent prevention measures to delay the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country, including border closures aimed at containment.
However, such measures should be accompanied by proper exceptions for Moroccans who are not residents in foreign countries that they are visiting with tourist visas.
In France alone, at least 300 Moroccans are stuck in the country. Many will see their visas expire soon and do not have adequate funds to stay at hotels and cover daily meals.
It is unfortunate that many countries are doing everything they can to bring their citizens back home while Moroccan authorities have so far done nothing for their own.
Officials say they have no instructions for the time-being, and that Moroccan tourists should remain where they are.
As Europe closes all borders and bans everyone from leaving, situations for those left behind are becoming more difficult.
Stranded Moroccans wonder how they will purchase groceries and prepare for confinement when their budgets are depleted.
A solution must be determined very soon to save these abandoned families who have the right to return to their country and be properly quarantined.
I am one of many Moroccan tourists stuck in France, and I am writing to shed some light on the situation after my compatriots and I were stopped from returning to our homeland.
We have all seen how the new coronavirus has impacted the world, and we agree that it is a serious problem which requires delicate handling.
In consequence, some drastic changes were implemented in Morocco in the last 72 hours, including closing the borders to Moroccan citizens who are currently abroad for different purposes such as surgery, attending conferences, tourism, and visiting family.
These drastic measures occurred without warning, in a nonchalant manner–no details were provided about the final flights to Morocco–and with immediate effect.
This means that all flights to Morocco were canceled and travelers were left facing the unknown.
Families with children, older people, and others who came to France on a limited budget are now homeless, as all hotels are closing.
They are sleeping in airports and spending their days in front of the Moroccan embassy to seek help.
The embassy, which is supposed to be the number one refuge for any Moroccan in distress, is merely collecting personal information and is not offering any concrete solutions to the situation.
We have witnessed how the French government handled the situation of French citizens trapped in Morocco: In less than 24 hours, several planes were ready to take them home.
This plan could have been implemented for Moroccan citizens as well, but no one seems to care about what we are enduring right now, and how difficult the situation is becoming day by day, especially with France’s current containment measures.
It is our right to be repatriated to our country, and we will agree to all the conditions that come with that provided we will be able
to rejoin our loved ones.