Morocco: MPs Approve Bill Restoring Compulsory Military Service

Morocco’s House of Representatives has approved a bill reinstating compulsory military service in the country, after it was abolished in 2006. The aim of the service is to strengthen social cohesion, to ease professional and social integration and to instill a military culture based on discipline, courage, commitment and responsibility.

The Moroccan Constitution states that all citizens must contribute to the defense of the homeland and its territorial integrity against any attack or threat.

The Government rejected a proposal making military conscription optional for Moroccan women, saying such a proposal is against equality principles set by the Constitution and would be discriminatory.

The government also turned down an amendment promising jobs to those enlisted and reducing prison sentences for deserters. However, the government endorsed an amendment affirming that the applicants with disabilities caused during the period spent in the military service camps will be compensated as any other soldiers.

Implemented for the first time in Morocco in 1966 and banned in August 2006 through a royal decree, compulsory military service will be reinstated again, twelve years after its abolition.

The new measure will target young people aged between 19 and 24 years old, except those who are still studying and others who are physically challenged

In his address made last October at the opening of the parliamentary fall session, King Mohammed VI has stressed the importance of military service for the young people, saying the conscription “enhances the sense of belonging to the homeland”.

The Moroccan Sovereign made it clear that the compulsory military service, to enter into force in 2019, will concern all Moroccans without exception and regardless of social background, diploma or education.

The draft “gives access to training which opens up opportunities for the professional and social integration of qualified conscripts who demonstrate a sense of responsibility and commitment”, had said the Monarch.

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