Monrovia — Liberians students studying in Morocco are once again raising alarm that they are still stranded in Morocco while "government is yet to apply any effort in addressing the eight-months arrears owed by them.
The students who are reportedly 23 in numbers, said they have completed their studies and would like to return home, but remain stranded for months while awaiting the Ministry of Education to settle their arrears as promised to allow them clear two years of accumulated debts (rents, bills, etc.) before leaving Morocco.
"Our lives are at risk with the state of emergency in Morocco due to the COVID 19 pandemic with no means to pay rent or buy food for the past months now," the spokesperson of the student Titus Kardric Williams told FrontPageAfrica via online conversation from Morocco Sunday, May 10.
In mid-2019, the Liberian students' community staged a protest at the Liberian Embassy in Morocco following series of failed diplomatic approaches to the Government of Liberia, through the Liberian Embassy in Rabat, relative to government's 'abrupt neglect' of its students in Morocco for eight (8 ) months at that time.
Due to the protest, Williams said Education Minister D. Ansu Sonii 'drastically terminated' the contracts of every old student - revoking allowance payment that was pending, the government's responsibility to said students and their scholarship.
A communication in the possession of FrontPageAfrica shows that Minister Sonii in a communication to Liberian Ambassador to Morocco, Richelieu A. Williams, dated July 4, 2019, instructed that the eight-month arrears of the students be settled, because they have completed their studies.
"In his public addresses, the Minister accused the old students of overstaying without the Ministry's knowledge.
But Williams says most of them have completed their studies, and just want to return home.
"In the Minister last communication sent to us through the Embassy and also mentioned on OK.FM, the eight months owed was going to be paid to every old student along with their return tickets, and incidental fees for the students to return."
Williams said they jointly apologized for the protest and accepted the Minister's decision, but since then, all diplomatic approaches to get their eight-months allowances owed have "fallen on deaf ears."
Added Williams: "Several letters have been sent to the Ministry directly and through the Embassy, but we have not received any positive feedback."
This latest situation according to Williams, has left them indebted to their landlords and other businesspeople in Morocco, while others have been threatened to leave their apartments.
"Our landlords have ceased our passports and other essential documents which cannot allow us to do anything," lamented.
The stranded students are also calling the attention of President George Mannah Weah, Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, the National Legislature, the people of Liberia and particularly Minister Sonii to see reasons in settling their arrears.
Williams has at the same time extended appreciation to government for the opportunity given them to realize their dreams through various scholarships.
"We acknowledge the uniqueness of this opportunity which we are utilizing appropriately, to ensure that our motherland will soon bear the fruits as hundreds of Liberians in Morocco are wrapping up to contribute positively to our nation's building," he maintained.