Politics, Africa

Moroccan cabinet approves mandatory army service bill

If ratified by parliament, legislation would make military service obligatory again following 11-year hiatus

21.08.2018
Moroccan cabinet approves mandatory army service bill file photo

By Mohamed Tahiri

RABAT

The Moroccan cabinet, under the leadership of King Mohammed VI, has approved a bill restoring mandatory military service following an 11-year hiatus, according to a royal statement.

In a statement released after a Monday evening cabinet meeting, Abdul Haq al-Marini, a spokesman for Morocco’s Royal Court, said the bill had been drafted in line with the king’s instructions.

If passed, the draft legislation would oblige all Moroccan citizens between the ages of 19 and 25, both male and female, to perform 12 months of military service.

The bill will now be referred to parliament for debate -- and possible ratification -- in October.

Morocco first made military service mandatory in 1966 (a decade after gaining independence), with all male citizens, except family breadwinners and those with disabilities, expected to serve for at least a year and a half.

In 2007, however, King Mohammed -- fearing that radical groups were infiltrating the army -- abolished the policy of mandatory conscription.

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