Kenyan CNN Journalist Larry Madowo has called out Morocco over alleged discrimination of African journalists covering the earthquake aftermath.
In a statement on Tuesday, September 13, Madowo decried a case where a journalist was allegedly denied entry into the country despite his long-standing career.
He claimed that Moroccan immigration authorities denied the journalist of Sub-Saharan descent a visa while allowing journalists from European and American countries visa-free access.
“I’m not a fan of the “Sub-Saharan Africa” term but it was useful to point out how the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Residing Abroad treated this journalist’s visa request,” Madowo stated.
“They’ve been reporting around the world since I was in diapers and this visa denial is deeply insulting,” he added.
His statement attracted reactions from users online including from fellow journalists.
Fabien Muhire, an award-winning video journalist at CNN, commented on the matter adding that visa applicants were forced to prove possession of a valid “Schengen, USA, or a Canadian Visa” as a condition.
“And to make the matter worse, while applying online, one has to prove that s/he has a valid Schengen, USA, or a Canadian Visa,” the video journalist noted.
“If not, you cannot even proceed with the application,” he added.
Users React to Madowo’s Claims
Other users recounted their past experiences trying to secure visas while visiting Morocco amid claims of discrimination against Africans.
However, a section of the users who commented shared diverging opinions noting that their experiences were different.
Abiol Deng, an expert in Communications and International Relation noted that the denial could have been a result of other reasons apart from being from Sub-Saharan Africa.
According to her, not all Sub-Saharan countries require a visa in advance to visit Morocco.
She further noted that nationals of countries like America get a visa on entry depending on diplomatic relationship with Morocco.
“There are sub–Saharan Africans, like Senegalese, who do not require a visa in advance for Morocco and are non-visa nationals,” Deng noted.
Another user with the username @tmutogo noted: “I just got the Morocco Visa, and the process was great. There may have been some anomaly with your application that should be able to get resolved”.
Madowo’s complaint came at the back of a devastating earthquake that rocked the Kingdom of Morocco on Friday, September 8.
The earthquake, with a magnitude of 6.8 ravaged the city of Marrakech leaving over 2,000 people dead.
Moreover, thousands were trapped in the debris of collapsed buildings.
Since news about the earthquake broke, international media have trained their focus on the country as humanitarian and rescue missions continue.