Blog archive: Morocco

  • 18th June 2011
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The clear message from the Arab Spring is that the region's leaders must initiate swift and far-reaching reforms or risk being overthrown. So far, though, the only country that seems to be heeding that message with anything close to the level of determination that the situation requires is Morocco...
  • 3rd April 2011
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    With the presidents of Tunisia and Egypt gone, and continuing turmoil in Libya, the two North African regimes still largely undamaged by protests are those of Morocco and Algeria. Early in January, at the height of the Tunisian uprising, it looked as if Algeria might be heading in the same...
  • 21st March 2011
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Aside from Libya, which is getting wall-to-wall media coverage, here are some other noteworthy events from the weekend: SYRIA:  In the southern city of Deraa, protesters clashed with security forces on Sunday, for the third day running. Numerous buildings associated with the regime were...
  • 10th March 2011
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Amid continuing popular discontent in the Arab countries, King Mohammed of Morocco promised constitutional reforms in a speech yesterday (full text here). Among other things, he talked of consolidating the rule of law, enhancing the independence of the judiciary and making the prime minister "...
  • 16th December 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The problem of Arab governments 
  • 5th December 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Two attempted coups in Morocco during the 1970s (which came close to succeeding) continue to cast a long shadow over relations between the king and his military, according to a Wikileaks document. The document – a memo from the US embassy in Rabat dated August 2008 – says Mohammed VI has...
  • 30th October 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Moroccan authorities yesterday suspended al-Jazeera's operations in the country by withdrawing press accreditation its staff who are based there. A statement from the communications ministry said the Qatar-based TV station had "seriously distorted Morocco's image and manifestly...
  • 28th October 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The World Economic Forum is currently meeting in Marrakesh and the photograph above, showing an odd but official-looking banner, is being passed around on the internet.  The wording says: "Wolrd [sic] Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa. Can We Cut to...
  • 3rd October 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Another Moroccan magazine bites the dust. Following the closureof Le Journal Hebdomadaire earlier this year – driven out of business by an advertisers' boycott and crippling libel fines – the publishers of Nichane (the first weekly magazine in colloquial Arabic) have announced that...
  • 9th July 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Once corruption becomes institutionalised, it is very difficult to eradicate. Morocco, ranked 89th worldwide in last year'sCorruption Perceptions Index, is a typical example and a new report from the kingdom's Central Authority for the Prevention of Corruption (ICPC) examines the nature of the...
  • 9th June 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Ali Amar was co-founder of the independent Moroccan weekly, Le Journal Hebdomadaire, which was forced to close last January. He is also author of Mohammed VI: Le grand malentendu, a book critical of the king which was published last year (extracts here, in French).  Zineb El...
  • 28th May 2010
    By
    Brian Whitaker
       A story of a kind that's all too familiar in the Middle East. Last Friday night, an altercation broke out between two motorists in the streets of Rabat, right in front of the parliament building. In the ensuing scuffle, one of the motorists (a local doctor) was injured...

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