Menu

News

Moroccans stuck in Sub-Saharan Africa exhaustedly awaiting a flight home

Stranded since March, several Moroccans have found themselves unable to afford their forced, long stays in Sub-Saharan African countries. Three of them have been exhaustedly awaiting a flight home.

DR
Estimated read time: 3'

When Mohamed, 35, landed in Dakar, he had plans in mind when it came to his career. Sent on a three-month work mission by his company to Senegal, the father-of-three had no clue that the path he carefully drew for himself would take such turn because of the coronavirus crisis.

Two months into his mission abroad, Mohamed learned that Morocco and Senegal had closed their borders as part of the effort to avoid the spread of the virus. «I was sent to Senegal after I had resigned from my work and this mission was my last one», he told Yabiladi.

Stranded and jobless in Dakar

Stranded in the Senegalese capital, Mohamed found himself jobless after his notice period ended and he was officially considered as a resignee. «I was supposed to return to Morocco on March 17th to start work at a new company that had already accepted to hire me, but that did not happen», he regretted.

While in Dakar, Mohamed contacted his new bosses-to-be, who were very understanding in the beginning. However, weeks later, the situation changed. While battling to keep his head above water during his forced stay, Mohamed was told that his work contract was canceled.

«By May, my new company told me that they couldn’t keep me and because I couldn’t join work it became very important for them to replace me», he explained. Jobless and stranded away from his wife and children, Mohamed tried to get by with his savings after losing his job.

«I rented a very small apartment in Dakar, which remains very expensive», he explained. «Unlike what people might think, the cost of life in some Sub-Saharan countries and rent can be very expensive», he added.

The city of Dakar, Senegal. / WikipediaThe city of Dakar, Senegal. / Wikipedia

In addition to these belt-tightening times, Mohamed has been dealing with pain and worries that come with separation. «I have a family that I miss, my kids are very young and are aged between 2 and 7 years old», he said with a sad voice. «My 7-year-old son keeps crying on the phone whenever I call and my 4-year-old refuses to talk to me because she thinks I am not back on purpose», the father said.  

Depressed, frustrated with the situation and unsure of his next step, Mohamed said that he is «unable to sleep at night». «I keep thinking of this constantly as I don’t know what comes next. How would I support my family and how am I supposed to meet my duties as a father and pay school fees?», he wondered.

A long business trip

Just like Mohamed, Reda is exhausted and awaiting his repartition. Stranded in the Republic of Congo since mid-March, the entrepreneur was forced to extend his work visit in the Central African country after the crisis forced both Brazzaville and Rabat to ground all their flights.

«I came here on a five-day visit, a business trip that included meetings with companies and businesses for my startup back home», he told Yabiladi. The Agadir-based entrepreneur, was supposed to head back to Morocco after a few days in the Congolese capital.

Awaiting repatriation, Reda who works in the transportation and logistics field, was forced to rent an apartment and get by with the money he brought with him. «I stayed in that apartment for more than one month, until all my money was gone», he said.

«I called the embassy for a solution and they got me a hotel room», he explained. While Reda is stranded in Brazzaville, his business in Morocco is going through harsh times because of the current crisis. «Although it is, fortunately, not as bad as other businesses and startups that had to close their doors, the situation is very difficult on us», he told Yabiladi.

Yet the Moroccan entrepreneur has other worries too. «What is really tiresome and annoying is having to wait with no clear answers», Reda argued, referring to the repatriation of the thousands of Moroccans stranded abroad.

«We don’t know what is awaiting us, hence don’t know what to do next and that is very frustrating, we lost all confidence», he said.

Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo. / DRBrazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo. / DR

Stranded in South Africa

Hassan, a tourist guide who found himself stranded in South Africa amid the lockdown, is going through a similarly frustrating and unclear situation. «I came to South Africa on March 2 on a trip», he told Yabiladi. «I travelled across the country and was also supposed to visit Zimbabwe and Zambia», he recalled.

However, the coronavirus put an end to his trip. Stranded in Johannesburg, Hassan quickly ran out of resources while staying in the country and was forced to find shelter. «I was lucky enough to have friends in Johannesburg», he said. «I contacted them and they said that I could stay at their place, which I have been doing even since», he recalled.

Even with a roof over his head and supporting friends, Hassan explains that it is hard to get by. «I have been living with these people for two months and that is a lot, I feel like I am a burden guest and the money I have is just enough to afford my daily needs», he explained.

In addition to that, Hassan is unaware of what awaits him, even when home. «I work in the tourism industry and for the moment it is hit hard by the crisis and there is nothing that can be done about it», he pointed out. «I feel stressed and mentally exhausted to think that I am unable to go home», he concluded.

Johannesburg, South Africa. / Ph. BritannicaJohannesburg, South Africa. / Ph. Britannica  

Thousands of other Moroccan nationals are in the same boat, awaiting a flight home. While the Moroccan government has not given a specific date about repatriations, several operations were carried out during the last couple of weeks to repatriate Moroccans stranded in Melilla and Ceuta.

Coronavirus cases
143 842 820
Confirmed Covid-19 cases
3 058 145
total deaths
82 417 734
total recovered
 
Cases
Deaths
USA
31 862 094
569 402
India
15 930 774
184 657
Brazil
14 122 795
381 475
France
5 436 229
102 046
Russia
4 673 699
104 937
Turkey
4 446 591
36 975
United Kingdom
4 411 068
127 577
Italy
3 904 899
117 997
Spain
3 446 072
77 364
Germany
3 222 888
80 938
Argentina
2 769 552
60 083
Poland
2 718 493
63 473
Colombia
2 701 313
69 596
Mexico
2 315 811
213 597
Iran
2 311 813
67 913
Ukraine
2 027 544
42 565
Peru
1 719 088
57 954
Indonesia
1 620 569
44 007
Czechia
1 609 861
28 711
South Africa
1 569 935
53 940
Netherlands
1 451 071
17 202
Canada
1 155 053
23 761
Chile
1 141 403
25 353
Romania
1 037 009
26 793
Iraq
1 001 854
15 098
Philippines
962 307
16 265
Belgium
960 169
23 867
Sweden
924 340
13 863
Israel
837 492
6 346
Portugal
832 255
16 952
Pakistan
778 238
16 698
Hungary
757 360
25 787
Bangladesh
732 060
10 683
Jordanie
695 390
8 429
Serbia
670 801
6 095
Switzerland
642 131
10 546
Austria
600 089
9 997
Japan
547 836
9 737
Lebanon
515 088
7 027
Morocco
507 338
8 969
United Arab Emirates
502 791
1 561
Saudi Arabia
408 038
6 858
Bulgaria
392 913
15 618
Malaysia
381 813
1 400
Slovakia
377 473
11 304
Ecuador
362 843
17 804
Panama
361 678
6 196
Kazakhstan
349 987
3 301
Belarus
347 316
2 453
Greece
323 639
9 713
Croatia
313 423
6 692
Azerbaijan
305 933
4 235
Georgia
299 038
3 971
Bolivia
293 061
12 731
Tunisia
291 833
9 993
Nepal
289 787
3 112
West Bank and Gaza
286 028
3 096
Dominican Republic
262 404
3 435
Kuwait
261 307
1 482
Paraguay
257 706
5 561
Moldova
247 391
5 643
Ethiopia
246 484
3 474
Denmark
245 562
2 466
Ireland
244 695
4 856
Lithuania
236 533
3 802
Slovenia
234 067
4 176
Costa Rica
233 498
3 115
Egypt
218 902
12 866
Guatemala
216 329
7 309
Armenia
210 518
3 944
Honduras
202 413
4 976
Qatar
199 180
400
Bosnia and Herzegovina
193 115
8 082
Venezuela
186 745
1 965
Oman
183 770
1 926
Libya
173 683
2 924
Uruguay
172 601
2 083
Bahrain
167 165
607
Nigeria
164 488
2 061
Kenya
153 488
2 540
North Macedonia
148 618
4 556
Burma
142 661
3 206
Albania
129 980
2 358
Algeria
120 174
3 172
Estonia
118 789
1 109
Korea, South
116 661
1 808
Latvia
112 983
2 079
Norway
109 137
734
China
102 300
4 845
Kosovo
101 832
2 105
Sri Lanka
98 050
630
Cuba
96 760
547
Montenegro
96 048
1 444
Kyrgyzstan
92 626
1 561
Ghana
91 783
772
Zambia
91 119
1 238
Uzbekistan
87 551
640
Finland
84 797
899
Mozambique
69 437
805
El Salvador
68 007
2 086
Luxembourg
65 604
788
Cameroon
64 809
939
Singapore
60 880
30
Cyprus
58 865
295
Afghanistan
58 214
2 557
Namibia
46 954
609
Thailand
46 643
110
Cote d'Ivoire
45 697
277
Botswana
44 702
684
Jamaica
44 337
744
Uganda
41 475
341
Senegal
39 910
1 096
Zimbabwe
37 980
1 555
Malawi
33 975
1 142
Madagascar
33 592
569
Sudan
33 157
2 289
Malta
30 063
411
Australia
29 594
910
Congo (Kinshasa)
29 233
748
Maldives
26 920
71
Mongolia
25 364
56
Angola
24 883
570
Rwanda
24 112
327
Gabon
22 228
136
Guinea-Bissau
21 666
139
Syria
21 584
1 483
Cabo Verde
21 179
198
Eswatini
18 423
671
Mauritania
18 175
454
Somalia
13 459
689
Mali
13 336
451
Tajikistan
13 308
90
Burkina Faso
13 167
155
Haiti
12 918
251
Andorra
12 917
123
Togo
12 657
121
Belize
12 585
318
Guyana
12 132
274
Lesotho
10 720
316
Djibouti
10 633
129
South Sudan
10 486
114
Congo (Brazzaville)
10 084
139
Papua New Guinea
9 952
91
Bahamas
9 868
194
Suriname
9 791
189
Trinidad and Tobago
9 216
157
Cambodia
7 747
54
Benin
7 720
97
Equatorial Guinea
7 505
106
Nicaragua
6 835
181
Iceland
6 362
29
Central African Republic
6 175
85
Yemen
5 960
1 147
Gambia
5 788
171
Niger
5 141
191
San Marino
5 044
88
Seychelles
5 016
25
Chad
4 731
169
Saint Lucia
4 444
70
Sierra Leone
4 042
79
Comoros
3 822
146
Barbados
3 797
44
Guinea-Bissau
3 713
66
Burundi
3 706
6
Eritrea
3 564
10
Liechtenstein
2 849
56
Vietnam
2 812
35
New Zealand
2 600
26
Monaco
2 422
31
Sao Tome and Principe
2 288
35
Liberia
2 091
85
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
1 827
10
Timor-Leste
1 509
2
Antigua and Barbuda
1 217
31
Mauritius
1 204
15
Taiwan*
1 082
11
Bhutan
986
1
Diamond Princess
712
13
Tanzania
509
21
Brunei Darussalam
223
3
Dominican Republic
172
0
Grenada
157
1
Laos
88
0
Fiji
78
2
Saint Kitts and Nevis
44
0
Holy See
27
0
Solomon Islands
20
0
MS Zaandam
9
2
Marshall Islands
4
0
Vanuatu
4
1
Samoa
3
0
Micronesia
1
0
Be the first one to comment on our articles...