“The North African Maghreb countries of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia—seemed to have stalled out in their revolutionary zeal,” said the report.
Rabat – Morocco’s position in the 2019 Fund for Peace Fragile States Index (FSI) is no better than its 2018 score.
The report, previously called the Failed State Index, ranked Morocco 78th most fragile out of 178 countries with a total score of 73 points. The score puts Morocco in the “elevated warning” zone.
Fund for Peace bases its FSI rankings on 12 indicators in four broad categories: Cohesion, economic, political, and social and cross-cutting indicators.
Morocco scored worst in the “group grievance” indicator with 8.5 points out of 10. The indicator focuses on social disparities and “schisms between different groups in society.”
Morocco also scored poorly in “human flight and brain drain” with 7.9 points. The category looks at the “economic impact of human displacement.”
Morocco scored best in the “security apparatus” indicator with 5.2 points, owing to its reinforced security mobilization. The category considers “security threats to a state, such as bombings, attacks, and battle-related deaths.”
The report also looks at nine other indicators: Economic decline, factionalized elites, state legitimacy, uneven development, public services, human rights and rule of law, demographic pressures, refugees and IDPs, and external intervention.
The report spoke about migration issues in North Africa, especially in Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia, noting that many seek to immigrate for better economic conditions in Europe.
“This trend, also known as ‘brain drain,’ and reflected in the Human Flight/Brain Drain indicator on the FSI, can be slow to change, but the effects are no less devastating, particularly to countries aspiring to democratic transitions,” said the report.
The argument in the report backs other surveys, which indicate that the majority of Moroccan young people would like to emigrate for better living conditions because of a lack of job opportunities.
Moroccan jobs website Rekrute said that 91% of Moroccan professionals aged 35 and younger are interested in working abroad to secure better work conditions and quality of life.
In addition to Rekrute, a survey from a Moroccan marketing agency found that 40% of Moroccans want to leave the country.
Commenting on the 2011 Arab Spring in Morocco, the index said the North African country “managed to stave off the spiraling violence that gripped much of the Arab world” in the uprising.
The report also recalled the mass protests in 2016 and 2017 that Morocco faced, known as the Hirak Rif, after the death of fishmonger Mohcine Fikri in Morocco’s northern Al Hoceima province.
The report said that the protests and the arrest of Hirak Rif activists drew thousands of Moroccans to the streets to demand economic adjustments and reforms.
The report acknowledged that the government was willing to make some reforms to end the crisis. However, despite the government’s “lip service” to reforms, the general population “has seen little or no benefits.”
The crisis in Algeria and Tunisia were also part of the report, which highlighted the ongoing mass protests opposing Bouteflika and the impact of the Tunisian revolution.
Algeria ranked 72nd most fragile, while Tunisia ranked 95th out of the 178 countries.
“Morocco, for its rising levels of group grievance, still appears willing to tolerate, and occasionally give into, popular protests and demands for reforms,” said the report.