Refugees in Morocco stuck in limbo
RABAT — Thousands of migrants living in Morocco, including hundreds of refugees who fled wars in Africa, face a bleak dilemma — to settle in this transit country with scant opportunities or brave the perilous journey to Europe. "We do not know what to expect in the future," says Blessing, a 13-year-old Congolese girl, at a refugee centre in Rabat. Morocco was hosting up to 25,000 sub-Saharan migrants at the end of last year, the vast majority of whom at least initially were hoping to make it to Spain, nongovernmental organisations say.
Refugee status granted by the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR gives them hope of rebuilding their lives. But despite Morocco being the first Arab country to ratify the Geneva Convention in 1956, their situation there is "fragile and ambiguous" in the absence of an adequate legal framework, the UNHCR’s representative, Marc Fawe, said on the occasion of International Refugee Day.
Despite these hurdles, "Morocco is beginning to be treated as a final destination and not just a transit country", Mr Fawe said. "The situation is better than in Mali, where I first tried to settle," said Ronaldo, 16, who left Cote d’Ivoire two years ago.
"We tried Cameroon and then Benin, but had no success," said Blessing.... Read the full, comprehensive news article and discuss at Business Day