Morocco. During the spring, hundreds of Salafists outside the Parliament demonstrated in the capital, Rabat. The protesters demanded that the Islamists imprisoned after the 2003 terrorist attack in Casablanca be released. According to Countryaah.com, Morocco population in 2020 is estimated at 36,910,571. The same month, the government received criticism from the human rights organization Amnesty International, which said that the anti-terror laws that were founded after the terrorist act had also been used against journalists.
In May, Navi Pillay, the then UN Human Rights Commissioner, visited Morocco. During a press conference in Rabat, Pillay urged the Moroccan leaders to work further to strengthen human rights throughout the country, including in occupied Western Sahara. Among other things, Pillay urged the Moroccan authorities to adopt the Human Rights and Democracy Plan as soon as possible two years earlier.
Later in the fall, Morocco, which is scheduled to host the African Football Championships in 2015, asked that the tournament be postponed due to the ongoing outbreak of Ebola fever in West Africa. Morocco’s refusal to host the tournament during the current dates has led the African Football Association (CAF) to exclude Morocco from the upcoming championships. Instead, Equatorial Guinea was named organizer of the tournament.
In October, the Algerian ambassador was called up to the Foreign Ministry after a shooting drama at the border between the two countries kept closed since 1994. At the end of October, the southern parts of the country were hit by severe flooding and more than 30 people were reported to have died in accidents related to the rainy weather.
Western Saharans are blocking borders
The Western Saharan liberation movement Polisario sets up a protest camp at Guerguerat, where there is a border crossing with Mauritania. For the occupying power Morocco and its trade with West Africa, the road is of crucial importance. It is soon reported that a couple of hundred trucks got stuck on each side of the border. The Polisario is believed to want to draw attention to the conflict with Morocco, as the movement sees signs that the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara is about to become internationally accepted, especially since Morocco was re-admitted to the African Union (AU) in 2017.
Military agreement with the United States
A ten-year agreement on military cooperation is concluded between the United States and Morocco. US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper is touring the region and signing similar agreements with Algeria and Tunisia. All the countries concerned are concerned about the conflicts in neighboring Libya and Mali. The United States also has the goal of selling weapons; Morocco already buys American fighter jets and armored vehicles, among other things.
Stricter rules against infection in large cities
20th of August
Corona restrictions are tightening in the city of Casablanca and in the tourist magnet Marrakesh. Opening hours are limited and some blocks are isolated. In Casablanca, beaches by the sea are closed, as was done in Rabat a couple of days earlier. In both Rabat and Tangier, the military monitors that traffic to and from certain districts is obstructed. About 750 deaths in covid-19 have been confirmed in the country as a whole and the rate of infection has increased, so that one now finds over a thousand new cases per day.