Entries in Morocco (5)


Arab Draft UN Resolution on Syria Supports Call For Assad to Step Down

Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images(UNITED NATIONS) -- Morocco circulated a draft resolution in the U.N. Security Council on Friday, created with input from the United States and its European partners. According to a copy of the resolution, obtained by ABC News, the proposed resolution would endorse a peace deal put forth by the Arab League which includes a call on President Assad to transfer power. It gives the Assad government 15 days to comply and warns of “further measures” to be taken in consultation with the Arab League.

A Russian proposal remains that the U.S. has said it is not prepared to support, but neither draft is ready for a vote yet. The Russian ambassador to the U.N. on Friday indicated his country’s disappointment with the Moroccan draft.

The U.N. Security Council on Tuesday will debate the situation going on in Syria.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Moroccan Protesters the Latest to Set Themselves on Fire

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(RABAT, Morocco) – The five Moroccan men who set themselves afire this week in the capital of Rabat marked the latest incident of self-immolation that has spread across the Middle East and North Africa in the past year and arguably touched off the so-called Arab Spring in late 2010.

The men acted in protest of soaring unemployment rates, particularly among young university graduates. Amateur video shows the five men standing on a wall Wednesday, dousing themselves with a flammable liquid from white plastic bottles.

The unemployment rate is just above 9 percent in Morocco but almost doubles to 16 percent among university graduates and exceeds 30 percent for people younger than 34. The five men were part of an “unemployed graduates” ongoing protest. About 160 people had occupied the building that belongs to the Ministry of Education.

Morocco hasn’t seen the same scale of unrest and violence as Tunisia and Egypt but it has been far from immune from the Arab Spring. There have been large and sometimes violent protests. King Muhammed VI pushed through reforms and an election was held in late November.

In landmark elections, an Islamist party, the Justice and Development Party, won most of the parliament’s seats and was awarded several of the most powerful seats in the cabinet, including prime minister. But many Moroccans believe the reforms didn’t go far enough, that the king still carries too much power and the government hasn’t responded to the people’s economic needs.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Moroccan Military Plane Crash Kills 78

George Doyle/Stockbyte/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- At least 78 people were killed Tuesday when a military plane crashed into a mountain in Morocco, according to the news agency, Maghreb Arab Presse (MAP).

Bloomberg News reports the C-130 was approaching a military airport near the city of Guelmim when it crashed, MAP said.

The plane was carrying members of the country's armed forces.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Moroccan King Announces Constitutional Reforms

Cairo, Egypt - (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)(RABAT, Morocco) -- On Friday, Morocco’s King Mohammed VI unveiled new constitutional reforms in response to national demonstrations which began in February.

In March, King Mohammed said he would review the constitution after protests that swept through the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) reached the nation of over 30 million residents. The king presented the new reforms, which cut some of his powers, in a televised speech on Friday.

The new constitution would provide executive powers to the prime minister who would be elected instead of being appointed by the king. The prime minister will also become the head of the government though the king retains control of the military.

Berber would become an official language as well as Arabic and there would be freedom of expression and religion in the nation which is dominated by Islam.

Protests in the MENA region that has seen leaders toppled in Tunisia and Egypt were a catalyst for the demonstrations in Morocco. Morocco faces high unemployment and poverty similar to the nations in the region.

The proposals will be put to a referendum in July.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Explosion Rocks Moroccan City of Marrakesh

Fizcairn/Getty Images(MARRAKESH, Morocco) -- At least 14 people were killed and another 20 injured after an explosion rocked the main square in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh on Thursday.

Despite initial reports that indicated the explosion was caused by gas, officials say the blast was “criminal,” according to BBC News.

Forty-five people were killed in a suicide attack on Casablaca, Morocco, in 2003.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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