Rabat organizes repatriation of Moroccans from Syrian camps

Rabat has reportedly organized the return of Moroccan women and children in the "Al-Hol" and "Al-Roj" camps in northern Syria.

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The International Observatory of Human Rights (IOHR) said on Wednesday that Moroccan authorities are deciding to prepare for the repatriation of women and children stranded in “Al-Roj” and “Al-Hol” camps in northern Syria.

The independent observatory announced in a statement published on its official social media that 81 women and 251 children of Moroccan nationality are detained in the “Al-Hol” and “Al-Roj” camps.

Previous Moroccan reports had mentioned the presence of several Moroccan women with their children stranded in Syria and Iraq, after the arrest of their husbands who were fighting in the ranks of the Daesh/ISIS terror group.

The statement considers that “it is inhumane to deprive dozens of children of their rights to education, health, and a safe and healthy environment.” According to the same source, the Observatory has “for years implored the return of Moroccan women and children who are in detention camps in northern Syria”.

So far, there has been no immediate comment from the Moroccan authorities on the matter.

During a parliamentary session last week, Abdellatif Wehbe, MP and secretary-general of the opposition “Authenticity and Modernity” party, said his country should take “responsibility for its children wherever they are in the world”.

Morocco expressed, in November 2019, its concern about the “return of fighters within terrorist organizations in hotbeds of tension, such as Syria, Iraq, and Libya” to their native country, which hinders, among other things, their repatriation, according to data published by the Ministry of the Interior.

There are no official statistics available on the number of women and children stranded in these camps, but Boubakar Sabik, the official spokesperson for the Moroccan security services in December 2018, had informed that 1,692 Moroccan fighters were in Syria, in affiliation with Daesh/ISIS.

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