CLASHES BETWEEN MOROCCAN POLICE AND PROTESTERS IN HOCEIMA


31/05/2017




Adel Tayari -TDO- (TUNUSIA) The situation in the city of Al Hoceima in Morocco was greatly strained on Sunday (May 28th) after the arrest of the leader of "rural mobility" Nasser Zafzafi, which is still out of sight, and the arrest of 20 activists of the Popular Movement in Hoceima and several rural towns in the northeast of the country on charges of "harming the internal integrity and unity of the state" and "funding from abroad. Which prompted the citizens of several cities of Morocco to solidarity with the citizens of Al Hoceima and go out in night protests at the invitation of human rights and political bodies. Hundreds of protesters gathered in Rabat, Casablanca, Marrakech and Azilal in parallel with similar protests in several rural cities in northern Morocco to demand the release of the detainees. Protesters held banners calling for an end to what they called the militarization of the countryside, carrying flags of the February 20 Movement. The protesters also called for a halt to what they called the kidnapping of activists in the north of Morocco, where human rights reports say that the number of detainees reached 70 activists in less than 24 hours.

The province of Al Hoceima in the Rif region has witnessed rebellion and Protesters since the death at the end of October 2016 a fish vendor crushed inside a garbage truck by two policemen. Over time, the protest movement by local activists has taken a social and political dimension, calling for the development of the "poor" rural area, which they think has no interest in the government, its citizens say.
On the other hand, the government has been trying to calm the situation for several years and has launched a number of declarations on economic development in the region, sent to ministerial delegations in the past six months, but failed to calm the protests. In recent weeks, the government has revived a series of development projects for the region, saying it is a "strategic priority" and stressed that it "encourages a culture of dialogue."

Will the Moroccan government succeed with its many problems to calm the situation, or will the Kingdom of Morocco live in a very hot summer?


 

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