Morocco Purchases US Missiles, Food Price Protests


The US has announced the $524.2 million sale of 18 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (Himars) and other equipment to Morocco, a Defence Department agency said.

The State Department approved the foreign military sale to Rabat on April 11th and the Defence Security Co-operation Agency notified Congress the same day.

The sale, many Moroccans would argue, could be considered ill timed given the demonstrations which are demanding that the government reduces the basic cost of living for millions who are struggling to even buy basic foodstuffs. Food inflation in Morocco stands currently at 20% which has brought Moroccans to the streets in most cities organised by left wing parties in early April with more protests planned.

Morocco buys US missiles

The 500 million dollar sale of Himars is just one purchase of many others in the pipeline.

Washington said the sale would improve Morocco’s ability to detect and counter future threats, control its borders and maintain regional stability.

It will also strengthen the operations of the Royal Armed Forces focusing on tackling terrorist threats in the Maghreb and Sahel. The RAF regularly conducts exercises with the US military.

“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a major non-Nato ally that continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress in North Africa,” the Defence Security Co-operation Agency said.

The Moroccan government has also requested the purchase of 40 tactical missile systems, dozens of launch rocket systems, tactical data systems, tactical vehicles and other equipment, according to Moroccan media.

The proposed sale would not cause military imbalance in the region, the agency said, and added that it would also not negatively affect US defence readiness.

The National/Agencies/DOD


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