Nearly four months after announcing a draft bill to reinstate compulsory military service in Morocco, the government has added the service to the budget for 2019. The Administration of National Defense Minister Delegate Abdellatif Loudiyi recently gave a presentation before the members of the committees on foreign affairs, national defense, Islamic affairs and Moroccans overseas (MREs) to announce the budget allocated for the service.
Morocco has allocated MAD 35.1 billion for its national defense administration. The budget has slightly increased (2.3 percent) as the government allocated MAD 34.3 billion for defense in 2018. The overall budget, according to Loudiyi, will help reinforce and modernize the defense and security plans of the Royal Armed Forces (FAR) to protect national sovereignty and to defend the territorial integrity and stability of the country.
The budget will also improve border surveillance. Loudiyi added that the allocated expenses will support social projects improve the living conditions of soldiers and their families. Sixty-nine percent of the overall budget will be dedicated to staff costs, according to Loudyi. The overall budget will cover the regulation of the administrative situation of military and civil servants on their promotion for the year 2019.
The budget will be also pay the wages and allowances of conscripts for compulsory military service. The rest of the budget will be reserved for equipment, maintenance, and miscellaneous expenses. Other budgets will be allocated to maintenance and repair of equipment, water and electricity, fuel and the rental expenses of the Royal Gendarmerie’s houses.
The budget will also cover expenses for military training for the Royal Armed Force. According to Medias24, which shared statistics from Loudiyi’s presentation, more than 19,500 trainees, including auxiliary forces, received basic military training in 2018.
In recent years, Morocco has been upgrading its military services by acquiring new military equipment from its biggest supplier: the US. To “inspire patriotism,” Morocco announced its decision to reinstate military service for young Moroccan men and women. Parliament has not yet voted on the draft bill. Both men and women aged 19 to 25 would be subject to a 12-month military service, according to draft Bill 44.18 on compulsory military service.