Mauritius: When will Morocco fill the consular gap?

11 May 2023
Mauritius: When will Morocco fill the consular gap?

Assahafa EN

In his show “Adraoui Live,” Abderrahmane Adraoui, director of the Canada-based news website, invited two Moroccan residents living in Mauritius to discuss the issues faced by the Moroccan community, especially in the absence of a temporary or permanent consular representation from the kingdom.

Among the main grievances against the Moroccan Embassy in Madagascar, to which this community must address its administrative procedures, those mentioned during this video conference were:

  • A small survey conducted among a sample of MREs showed that:
    • The average response time by phone from the Moroccan Embassy in Madagascar was 3 days.
    • The average response time to emails is 3 days.
    • The average time between the start of the procedures and obtaining the documents is one month, and in some cases, 3 months.
    • In a large part, the needs expressed by MREs in Mauritius are not understood by the embassy staff. Most respondents believe that the relevance of the embassy’s responses to their needs is lacking. Many of them criticized the attitude of the head of the consular service of the Moroccan Embassy in Madagascar, who only responds to requests as she sees fit.
  • Administrative errors on important documents such as the national identity card or passport are often made, forcing MREs to redo sometimes long procedures, or even to have to go to court in Morocco to correct certain errors, such as those made on birth certificates. These errors are costly to correct for MREs, sometimes up to 8 million centimes (80,000 DH).
  • While the embassy previously granted multiple-entry visas to Mauritian husbands of Moroccan nationals, it has stopped issuing them. This poses problems for the husbands who wish to travel to another country.
  • So far, no solution has been found to facilitate the payment of administrative fees such as stamps or processing fees. Previously, MREs could do this via DHL, but this service is no longer provided by the company. According to the multinational, the problem lies with the embassy. The only solution is to pay the fees to someone in Madagascar to pay the embassy, which has led to the emergence of intermediaries who profit from the distress of MREs.
  • Most MREs in Mauritius cannot afford the costs incurred by this situation. Just calling the embassy’s landline costs a considerable amount of money, and not all MREs can afford it.
  • The embassy does not have a website, it only has a Gmail address and a Facebook page. Often, emails to the Gmail address go unanswered (are they read?), forcing the MRE to call the landline, at a high cost, if they answer, of course.
  • In a personal initiative, an embassy employee provided his own WhatsApp number, but he cannot solve all the problems.

The Moroccan community in Mauritius numbers around 10,000 people: “We demand a census and consular representation on the island,” says Marwa, a Moroccan living in Mauritius.

These problems raised by Moroccans in Mauritius particularly call into question the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of the Interior.

The creation of a permanent consulate has become an absolute necessity, even urgent. Or, at the very least, the dispatch of an itinerant consular caravan to address the many problems of MREs, as is done in Europe and as has already been done in Mauritius in 2017. “The despair is such that some MREs are considering contacting the Moroccan Embassy in South Africa,” laments Safaa.

Why not create a dedicated desk and an instant digital payment channel as is done elsewhere? This is no longer a luxury today, it has become essential.

This suffering has been going on for years, and Moroccan nationals are patiently enduring it, thinking that the future will be better, except that things are getting more complicated every day.


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