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40 Years of Solitude

What will become of families stranded in Vietnam since their Moroccan fathers defected from the French army in 1953?

Last updated: 05 Feb 2014 07:31
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In the 1940s, young Moroccans joined the French army to earn a living and support their families.

In 1953, many were serving in Indo-China when they learned of the exile of King Mohamed V and deserted to join the forces of Ho Chi Minh.

Some soldiers moved to Huang Houn in northern Vietnam, and continued to live in the region for years, marrying local women and starting families there.

Unusual in that they were half-Vietnamese and half-Moroccan, these families nevertheless made lives for themselves in the region.

After a lengthy absence abroad, most of the soldiers eventually returned to Morocco in 1972. But three families remained stranded in Vietnam.

They are unable to return to Morocco because their fathers have died and their mothers are unable to prove Moroccan parentage.

Now all many of them can do is wait for the Moroccan government to decide their fate, as they remain forgotten victims of a war that ended decades ago.

This episode of Al Jazeera World can be seen from Tuesday, February 4, at the following times GMT: Tuesday: 2000; Wednesday: 1200; Thursday: 0100; Friday: 0600; Saturday: 2000; Sunday: 1200; Monday: 0100; Tuesday: 0600.

Click here for more Al Jazeera World.

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