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Compulsory Military service: 10,000 youths called from September 2019

Discussions on the military service bill began in Parliament. According to the Minister Delegate in charge of the National Defense Administration, 10,000 conscripts will be called in September 2019.

Bad news for the young Moroccan fans of Kenitra football club, who sang last September, from the stands, their refusal of conscription. On 18 December, Abdellatif Loudiyi, Minister Delegate in charge of the National Defense Administration, explained to the first chamber of Parliament the contours of Rabat’s re-establishment of a compulsory military service.

10,000 young people a year will be called up in September 2019, the minister explained to the Committee on Justice, Law and Human Rights, which was considering the draft law No. 44.18, on military service . The Council of Ministers adopted the text on 20August, quickly triggering stupor in society and comments on social networks.

Women and MREs potentially excluded

“The text, which awaits the green light of parliamentarians, sets the age of appeal of taxpayers at 19, while military service is due until the age of 25”. Provisional or definitive exemptions are provided for in the draft law: “in particular physical or health unfitness (…), breadwinner or further education. Answering questions from parliamentarians, Abdellatif Loudiyi has also suggested that women and Moroccans living abroad (MRE) could be exempted.

The reinstatement of compulsory military service will cost MAD 500 million in 2019 (€ 46 million)

The reinstatement of compulsory military service will cost MAD 500 million in 2019 (€ 46 million), according to the forecasts of the finance bill for the coming year. Compulsory military service, introduced in 1966, was abandoned by Rabat in 2006.

The debate around military service remains timid in the political class: the reinstatement comes from above. But in civil society, comments are going well. For some, conscription will be a means of fostering civic sense, patriotism and social diversity. For its detractors, on the contrary, it risks being synonymous with large expenditures and narrow nationalist culture. They believe that the benefits of compulsory military service are equally attainable through public education.

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