Morocco: Follow-up to MAR32403.F on civil service in Morocco; whether fulfilling civil service can replace military service; whether Sahrawis living in the Western Sahara have to perform service in the Moroccan army; if so, treatment they receive in the army; whether Moroccan authorities accept conscientious objectors
|Publisher||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||21 December 2000|
|Citation / Document Symbol||MAR35682.E|
|Cite as||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Morocco: Follow-up to MAR32403.F on civil service in Morocco; whether fulfilling civil service can replace military service; whether Sahrawis living in the Western Sahara have to perform service in the Moroccan army; if so, treatment they receive in the army; whether Moroccan authorities accept conscientious objectors, 21 December 2000, MAR35682.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3df4be660.html [accessed 20 June 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
In January 1999, the Minister of National Defence presented a bill modifying military service to the government council (Actualité marocaine du jour 28 Jan. 1999). According to the bill, as mentioned in MAR32403.F of 19 July 1999, the duration of military service was to be reduced from 18 months to 12 months (ibid.). A Moroccan male will have up to the age of 50 to complete his military service. As well, the penalties for draft evasion will be stronger (ibid.). Moroccan women who want to and who are fulfilling the conditions will be able to perform military service (ibid.).
No further information on military service, nor on civil service as an alternative could be found among the sources consulted.
On 24 October 1999, Sahara Press Service quoted a release from the Sahrawi Department for the Occupied Territories and the Diaspora that a campaign to forcibly recruit young Sahrawis was going on in El-Aaiun, the capital of Western Sahara. The report specified that around 180 young people from the ages of 20 to 25 had been taken to the Tifnit military camp in Agadir. According to the release, young people and their families: [translation] "are exposed to different types of pressures to join the army." In June 1999, some 250 young Sahrawis from Zag and Assa (southern Morocco) had been recruited and taken to the same military centre (ibid.). Later, on 7 October 1999, another group from El-Aaiun, Tan-Tan and Assa were also forcibly recruited and taken to Agadir for military instruction (ibid.).
No information on the treatment of Sahrawis in the Moroccan army, nor on the treatment of conscientious objectors by Moroccan authorities, could be found among the sources consulted.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Actualité marocaine du jour. 28 January 1999. "L'âge minimum du service militaire fixé à 20 ans."
Sahara Press Service. 24 October 1999. "Enrôlement de force de jeunes Sahraouis dans l'armée marocaine."
Additional Sources Consulted
Unsuccessful attempt to reach one source
Human Rights report 2001
Internet sites including:
Human Rights Watch
Delegation of the Polisario Front in Spain
Association des juristes pour le Sahara
Maratón del Sáhara
Association de soutien à un référendum libre et régulier au Sahara occidental (ARSO)
Harvard's Center for Middle Eastern Studies: Links
Commentaires sur la presse marocaine
Search Engines including: