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Monday, November 5, 2018

WAOM berates Morocco over Africans travel restrictions - NaijaAgroNet

The West African Observatory on Migrations (WAOM), has berated Morocco for joining the European Union (EU) against African migration, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Morocco, NaijaAgroNet gathered is a North African country bordering the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.

As said by WAOM, the travel restrictions for Malians, Guineans and Congolese wishing to travel to Morocco, is disheartening.

A press statement from International conference on environmental migration in West Africa made available to NaijaAgroNet, said "Far from appearing as an experiment as presented by the Morocco kingdom, this measure is a real step backward as it removes from the citizens of these countries the possibility that they had until then to travel without a visa to Morocco. A few weeks before the international conference to adopt the Global Compact on Migration in Marrakesh, the Moroccan decision shocks deeply because it goes against the will reaffirmed by the African Union to move towards the free movement of Africans on their continent.

"The dream of an African Schengen area, where citizens can travel without any visa or travel authorization requirement, seems to be called into question by the Kingdom of Morocco, which is nevertheless presented as the ” Leader ” for migration by the African Union. After returning to Africa Union, in January 2017, Morocco was given the responsibility by its African peers to propose the broad outlines of a migration policy for the African Union. In the wake of its reconquest of the continent, the Moroccan kingdom had then manifested its candidacy to join the Economic Community of States of West Africa (ECOWAS), which advocates a free movement for the citizens of its community. The glimmers of hope thus sent by Morocco seem to be buried in the face of pressure from the European Union, which is constantly reinforcing the role of the countries of North Africa and the Sahel as gendarmes of its policy against the immigration of Africans.

"This Moroccan decision, contrary to African interests, can only be understood in its perspective of pleasing the European institutions. Indeed, the European Union has just opened a series of negotiations with some African countries to demand that they repatriate their “undocumented” citizens residing in Europe on pain of having their Schengen visa restricted for their nationals wishing to travel legally to European countries. 

Morocco seems miraculously not threatened by this blackmail from the European Union despite recent events that saw Moroccan citizens trying to illegally gain Europe. It seems more than ever necessary for African civil society, as a whole, to raise its voice against the dictates of the European Union, which under the guise of development aid, weaken African integration and prevent Africans from traveling without visa in the same way as the citizens of the European Union. The West African Observatory on Migrations is appealing to all citizens of African countries to advocate on their States not to accept measures that undermine our mobility rights on our African soil and destroy our will to live a real fraternity life as sons and daughters of the same continent.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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