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Moroccan Workers Stranded in Tunisia Face Uncertain Future

Rabat – Hundreds of Moroccan nationals who have been working in Algeria for several decades are stranded in Tunisia. 

Recent developments have left them facing an uncertain future as the Tunisian authorities prevent their return to Algeria.

Most were returning from holidays in Tunisia or had to transit through Carthage airport, having arrived from various countries, including Morocco, as direct flights between Algeria and Morocco remain suspended due to the Algerian government’s unilateral decision in August 2021 to freeze bilateral relations and close its airspace to Morocco. 

These Moroccan nationals are all in a perfectly legal situation

Through videos shared from within Tunis-Carthage airport, some of the stranded Moroccans indicated that approximately 400 of them have completed their formalities to return to Algeria. However, they now find themselves stranded on the premises of the airport without access to food for several days. 

The Moroccan authorities have intervened diplomatically to address the issue, but as the situation has garnered attention through Tunisian and Moroccan media as well as social networks, there have been allegations of an unfriendly “blockade” or even a deliberate “detention” of Moroccan citizens, lasting several days at Tunis-Carthage airport.

The Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs acknowledged that this impasse is due to the fact that “the country of destination for the Moroccan nationals (Algeria) has refused to welcome them, forcing the airline (Tunisair) to halt the registration processes for these travelers.”

While the Tunisian authorities have made efforts to facilitate the departure of these stranded individuals from Tunis-Carthage airport, they argue that some had exceeded the legal duration of their stay in Tunisia. 

The current situation highlights a diplomatic tension between Morocco and Tunisia. In August last year, tensions erupted between Tunis and Rabat after Tunisian President Kais Saied hosted Brahim Ghali, the leader of the Polisario Front, the separatist group claiming independence in southern Morocco.  The future of the stranded Moroccan workers in Tunisia remains uncertain as such strained relations between Morocco and Tunisia. 

Source : Morocco