France Offers Earthquake Aid to Morocco Amid Controversy

    France Offers Earthquake Aid to Morocco Amid Controversy
    Last updated Sep 11, 2023
    Image credit: Wikimedia Commons


    • On Monday, France's foreign minister, Catherine Colonna, announced that Paris is prepared to provide 5M€ ($5.4M) to Morocco in earthquake aid. The announcement comes amid controversy that Morocco is refusing France's assistance over the Western Sahara issue.
    • On Saturday, a catastrophic 6.8-magnitude earthquake rocked Morocco with an epicenter southeast of Marrakesh. Rescue operations are ongoing with thousands of people dead. [Editor's Note: The death toll is near 2.5K as of Monday and is expected to rise.]
    • Morocco and France have shared a strained diplomatic relationship in recent years as Morocco seeks France's recognition of Western Sahara as Moroccan territory.
    • Relations have become further complicated as France's President Emmanuel Macron has sought to foster closer ties with Algeria [with whom Morocco also shares strained ties.]
    • France has rejected the allegation of the denial of aid. Colonna said, "Morocco, which is a sovereign country...[and] chose to prioritize the arrival of support, regarding the countries who are available, including France."
    • Rabat, Morocco's capital city, has accepted aid from Qatar, Tunisia, and Spain. While Spain has 56 rescue personnel already on the ground, France has experienced teams on standby that include rescue dogs and equipment.


    Establishment-critical narrative

    Morocco's message is being heard loud and clear around the world with its refusal to accept aid from France. Paris is actively trying to sweep its diplomatic tensions and colonial past under the rug by pushing the decision back on Rabat. King Mohammad VI is working to provide aid to his people by surrounding them with the expertise and relief provided by friendly nations. The King is not willing to compromise the position of Morocco with a country with an imperial history willing to fraternize with hostile enemies.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    The UN estimates that even as the death toll climbs, more than 300K people in Morocco have been affected by the earthquake and will require assistance. Even so, the leadership in Rabat is in no hurry to accept aid from the international community. The US, France, the UK, Turkey, Algeria, and Taiwan are examples that all have rescue teams, medications, supplies, and equipment standing by. Time is of the essence and this issue must transcend geopolitics.

    Establishment split



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