Morocco has allocated approximately MAD 120 million ($13.12 million) to upgrade judicial infrastructures in its southern provinces.
On November 5, Minister of Justice Mohamed Ben Abdelkader inspected some of the ongoing projects in the cities of Laayoune and Dakhla. The ministerial visit came on the eve of the 45th anniversary of the Green March—the historic event that led Morocco to regain control of its southern provinces.
Ongoing projects include the creation of a court of first instance in Dakhla on a budget of MAD 44.63 million ($4.85 million) and a regional archive center in Laayoune for MAD 23.5 million ($2.57 million). The archive center will be built on a surface of 16,367 square meters, including 4,500 square meters of indoor facilities.
Meanwhile, a project to build a court of first instance in Laayoune on a MAD 52 million ($5.68 million) budget is still in the study phase.
Another important project is the renovation of the court of appeal in Laayoune. With a budget of MAD 12 million ($1.31 million), the project seeks to extend the court’s surface by 1,850 square meters.
A second renovation project is ongoing in the building that temporarily hosts the court of first instance in Laayoune. The project concerns the renovation of the hearing room, the offices of judicial and administrative civil servants, the archive room, and the detention room. It has a budget of MAD 2.91 million ($318,068).
According to Minister Ben Abdelkader, the projects aim to facilitate access to judicial services and improve their quality. They also seek to enhance the working conditions of civil servants.
Several officials accompanied Ben Abdelkader during his field visit, including Morocco’s Public Prosecutor, Mohamed Abdennabaoui, and the Governor of the southern province of Laayoune, Abdeslam Bekrate, among other local officials.
Agreement between ministry and lawyers
The visit concluded with the signature of a memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Justice and the association of lawyers working at the courts of appeal in Agadir, Guelmim, and Laayoune.
The agreement relates to training lawyers on how to use the ministry’s online exchange platform.
Under the memorandum of understanding, the justice ministry pledged to offer training sessions for lawyers and provide them with technical support. Meanwhile, the lawyer’s association expressed its readiness to cooperate with the ministry and provide it with all the necessary information to facilitate the training sessions.
The ongoing and planned infrastructure projects in Laayoune and Dakhla testify to Morocco’s development efforts in Western Sahara. Since 2015, Morocco has intensified its efforts in its southern provinces by launching a series of socio-economic projects that seek to improve the quality of life of the local population.