Morocco restoring military service

Morocco's government is moving to restore military service, with men and women between the ages of 19 and 25 expected to serve a year in the army, navy or air force.

King Mohammed VI's ministerial council on Monday approved the draft law that is expected to comfortably win lawmakers' backing when tabled for parliamentary debate in October.

The council said the aim is "to strengthen the sense of citizenship among young people."

The plan provoked an immediate outcry on social media. Critics argued that the government wants to turn young Moroccans, among the hardest hit by unemployment, into brainwashed patriots.

Refusing to serve could be punished with 1 to 3 months in prison and a fine.

Morocco abolished military service in 2006 to save money.

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