Hit by a violent 6.8 magnitude earthquake on September 8, 2023, Morocco saw the whole world running at its feet.
From the High Atlas mountain ranges, this earthquake caused considerable damage throughout the country. The city of Marrakech was the most affected. The death toll to date is nearly 3,000 and several thousands injured. Entire villages were destroyed. Amid this tragedy, several countries around the world came to Morocco’s rescue by offering humanitarian aid. While some aid was received graciously, some was turned down by the Moroccan authorities. This is the case with aid from France.
Put an end to Humanitarian Paternalism
Although on its knees in the eyes of the world, Morocco has managed to maintain its dignity in the face of this catastrophe. Among the countries which extended their hands, the Shereef kingdom accepted help from Spain, Great Britain and Qatar. But the country turned a deaf ear to help from France. A refusal which exposes the tension between the two countries.
At the heart of the issue is France’s refusal to recognize the Western Sahara as part of Morocco as the United States, Israel and even Spain have done. Through this refusal, Morocco sends a strong message to France and the West that it is time to put an end to humanitarian paternalism. Morocco proves that it can cope with its internal affairs without Western countries involvement.
On its own, Morocco took several measures: first the assessment of the needs, then the deployment of aid to low population densities and the establishment of precarious housing in rural areas. The Moroccan army and civil security were also sent to clear the roads, distribute food, water and blankets by helicopter, when necessary, in the remote villages on the High Atlas region.
France increasingly humiliated in Africa
When will France definitively leave Africa? The breakup is effective. This is the question everyone is asking themselves right now.
The numerous countries within which France carried out its manipulations are wresting their sovereignty. The banning of french media, the dismissal of its ambassadors, the withdrawal of its troops, the rupture of bilateral agreements and now the refusal of its humanitarian aid, among others, are alarming signs of humiliation.
African countries are now able to stand on their own. Moreover, several European countries are going through periods of tumult. France would benefit from offering them its help instead of being humiliated in Africa. For example, French soldiers will be welcome to Ukraine.