Mali, Guinea and Congo-Brazzaville targeted by travel restrictions in Morocco
Since 1 November, Morocco is imposing new restrictions for entry on its territory to nationals of Mali, Guinea-Conakry and Congo-Brazzaville. Citizens of these three countries must now obtain online a digital authorisation to travel to Morocco (AEVM).
According to a source at the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the measure is “an experiment for these three countries and there are no plans for now to expand it to other African countries,” reports RFI.
Travelers from all three countries will have to clearly indicate on their application form the purpose of their stay in Morocco in order to “smooth the crossing of the border” according to Moroccan diplomatic sources quoted by the Spanish agency EFE.
News media like the Spanish daily La Vanguardia have suggested that the measure applies precisely to nationals of the three countries with the highest number of irregular migrants in Morocco. This could indicate Rabat’s desire to better control the migratory flow of sub-Saharan Africans passing through Morocco to reach Europe.
In the countries concerned, the press is talking about a “disguised visa”, especially since the measure was not informed through an official public announcement but in a Royal Air Maroc press release shared on social networks.
According to the said document, the citizens of the three countries concerned will have to present their AEVM at the time of departure at the airport of origin as well as upon their arrival in Morocco. It is not clear however whether those arriving in the Kingdom of Morocco by land will also have to carry this travel authorisation.
“It is not said like this, but it is a subtle way to introduce the visa between Mali and Morocco,” says Brehima Dicko, specialist in migration issues and coordinator of the Migrant Project in Mali.
For its part, the Moroccan government ensures that the AEVM “is not a restriction but at most a regulation of the flows and an acceptable thoughtful response to try to take charge of all aspects of the migration problem,” according to Hassan Naciri, ambassador of Morocco in Bamako in an interview to maliactu.net.
“Our partners wanted us to introduce a visa as part of the fight against clandestine migration. With full sovereignty, we cannot submit our brothers and friends to it,” added the diplomat.
TMP – 06/12/2018