Chronology: Morocco

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Sept. 10: Nine international institutions, including the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and the Islamic Development Bank, pledged $38 billion to Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, and Jordan at a meeting of the G7 plus Russia. The loans were intended to mitigate economic instability and promote democratic reform. Along with the post-revolutionary states, Jordan and Morocco were included in the so-called Deauville Partnership to bolster the democratic reforms promised by their kings. [AJE, 9/10]

Sept. 18: About 3,000 protestors gathered in Casablanca and 2,000 in Tangier as the February 20 movement, the democracy group that conducted mass demonstrations starting in February, attempted to revive protests after their frequency and size had diminished over the summer. Though much of the country still supported King Muhammad VI, activists expressed frustration with the substance and pace of reforms that he promised, claiming that they did not shift enough power from the king to the parliament. [AP, 9/18]

Sept. 23: The Interior Ministry announced that it had dismantled a three-member terrorist cell planning an attack inside Morocco. Al-Battar Brigade was affiliated with AQIM and was planning to receive arms and military training at their camps outside Morocco, prior to returning and ambushing security services. AQIM was historically most active in Algeria and deep in the Sahara Desert, but in an August video message it announced its intention to renew attacks across Africa to avenge the death of Usama bin Ladin. [AP, 9/23]

Sept. 25: A weekly demonstration by the prodemocracy February 20 movement attracted 10,000 protestors, the largest turnout in months, in Casablanca's lower-income neighborhood of Sbata. Protestors threatened to boycott upcoming parliamentary elections; the February 20 movement had not made an official decision on participating, though it had denounced July's reformist constitution. The protest focused on government corruption and the poor state of health and education services. [AP, 9/25]

Sept. 25: A soccer match led to violence that left seven dead and 27 injured in the contested region of Western Sahara. According to Moroccan officials, clashes started when fans from opposing teams threw stones at each other and "criminals" joined in. The town of Dakhla was divided between native residents and those who moved from Morocco proper following its 1975 annexation of Western Sahara, and tensions frequently arose between the communities. …


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