August 22, 2018
Compulsory military service is reinstated in Morocco

Morocco's government is moving to revive military service, with women and men between the age range of 19 and 25 likely to serve a year in the military, navy or air force. 

According to a statement released by the royal palace, announcing the decision, Moroccans aged between nineteen and twenty-five years, including women, will be serving for a year in the army. Military service, mandatory for men only, was abolished in 2006.

The Moroccan authorities say they have reinstated conscription to promote patriotism among the country's citizens. Public reaction to this decision is considered mixed by some local media. Le360, an independent news site, believes that this measure will serve to promote "values, not least", including "the sense of citizenship, respect for others and citizenship". 

Some Moroccans see the return of compulsory military service as an effort to encourage loyalty among young people who have protested in recent years against the country's economic problems. Others welcome the return of compulsory military service which, in their opinion, is a way to fight youth's unemployment, by facilitating their integration into professional and social life, as explained by the authorities. 

Unemployment affects more than 4 out of 10 urban youth in Morocco, according to data from the “Haut Commissariat au plan”, the national statistical institute. "We must no longer accept that our educational system functions as a machine to produce legions of unemployed people," said King Mohammed VI in the statement released Monday.  

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