Archive for Morocco
Following ambiguous circumstances surrounding the recent assassination of Fatmi Noureddine, an officer in charge of consular affairs at the Moroccan Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa, the Pretorian police arrested a man in connection with the murder last week of the Moroccan diplomat. According to the South African website Timeslive, the police arrested a Zimbabwean at his Monument Park home, close to the murder scene. The Moroccan diplomat was found lying in a pool of blood at his Pretoria home on Tuesday. “The suspect was found with a watch, a camera and a cellphone and other items linking him to the murder,”according to Timeslive. In his possession also were “passports of at least 30 people, as well as several photographs, and passport and visa applications.”
Theft is suspected to be the motive in the death of a Moroccan diplomat whose body was found in a pool of blood at his guesthouse in Pretoria. Colleagues at the Moroccan embassy say they investigated after the normally punctual Fatmi Noureddine failed to arrive for work. Noureddine’s body was found in a pool of blood at his guesthouse on Tuesday. Officials say an autopsy is currently underway to determine the cause of his death. A cellphone is missing from his room but Moroccan diplomats say they don’t know if Noureddine was in possession of a large sum of money. Morocco hasn’t had an ambassador in South Africa for a decade. It withdrew its chief representative in protest against Pretoria establishing diplomatic relations with the Western Sahara that Morocco has occupied in defiance of the international community since 1975. Earlier this year, Rwanda’s former head of external intelligence Patrick Karegeya was found murdered in his hotel room in Sandton.
he headquarters of the Embassy of the Republic of Panama in Morocco was inaugurated in Rabat, in the presence of the Panamanian Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mayra Arosemena and several Moroccan officials. The Panamanian Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs welcomed, in a statement to the press, the opening of Panama’s embassy in Morocco, expressing her country’s readiness to promote bilateral cooperation with Morocco. She expressed optimism about further strengthening bilateral economic and trade relations, adding that Morocco is a gateway to Africa, while Panama is considered an entry point to South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. For her part, Bouaida said the inauguration of the Panamanian Embassy in Rabat is a landmark in Moroccan-Panamanian relations which is heralding a promising future in terms of political and economic exchanges.
Morocco has summoned the French ambassador in Rabat to protest against a French lawsuit filed against the head of Morocco’s domestic intelligence for alleged complicity in torture, the foreign ministry said. It was a rare diplomatic spat between France and Morocco, a former French colony and strong ally of Paris, which has faced criticism from rights groups over police abuses, press freedom and judicial independence. The lawsuit filed by Moroccan activists in France accuses the Moroccan intelligence service, known by its French acronym DST, of torturing them while in detention in Morocco. During a visit by DST chief Abdul Latif Hammouchi to France this week, French police officers went to the Moroccan embassy to ask about him, the Moroccan statement said. “It is a serious and unprecedented incident regarding the relationship between the two countries, which could affect the climate of confidence and mutual respect between Morocco and France,” the statement said. The Moroccan ambassador in Paris told the state news agency MAP that Moroccan authorities heard about the lawsuit via the French press. The French Foreign Ministry said in a statement an investigation had been opened to shed light on the “regrettable” incident, without giving more details.
Morocco recalled its ambassador to Algeria on Wednesday after Algeria’s ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika said international monitoring of human rights in Western Sahara was needed “more than ever.” Morocco’s official MAP news agency hit back accusing Algiers, which backs the pro-independence Polisario Front, of seeking to further “its hegemonic designs in the region.” It also charged that Algeria was trying “to distract attention from the serious rights abuses which take place daily on its territory.” Algeria’s Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra then responded back calling on Morocco to show restraint, saying “this incident, as well as the outrageously expansionist statement by the leader of a Moroccan political party, are totally unacceptable and irresponsible.” He said Bouteflika’s comments were “a reminder of Algeria’s well-known position.” The Algerian president’s call for a mechanism to protect Sahrawi rights follows a U.S. proposal in April, angrily rejected by Morocco and later dropped, to task the U.N. peacekeeping force in the Western Sahara with a human rights monitoring mandate. Morocco annexed the former Spanish colony in 1975 in a move never recognized by the international community, and has proposed broad autonomy for the territory under its sovereignty. This notion is rejected by the Polisario guerrillas, who are based in the western Algerian city of Tindouf and fought Moroccan troops for a decade and half until the United Nations negotiated a ceasefire in 1991.
The U.S. Embassy says two U.S. Marines were killed and two severely injured in the crash of a hybrid aircraft in Morocco on Wednesday. The Marines were taking part in joint U.S.-Moroccan military excercises located in the south of the country based in Agadir. Osprey, which takes off and lands like a helicopter and flies like an airplane. The aircraft was participating in a U.S.-Moroccan military exercise known as “African Lion.” The annual exercise which began in 2008 runs from April 7 to 18 and involves 1,000 U.S. Marines and 200 soldiers, sailors and airmen working with some 900 Moroccan soldiers.
Morocco said it has recalled its ambassador to Syria after its embassy in Damascus was attacked by Syrian demonstrators. Rabat announced the measure a few hours after it hosted an Arab League foreign ministers’ meeting that gave Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad three days to agree to end his government’s crackdown on protesters and allow in teams of observers. “King Mohammed VI on Wednesday decided to recall the ambassador of Morocco to Syria after the attack by Syrian demonstrators on the kingdom’s embassy in Damascus,” Foreign Affairs Minister Taieb Fassi Fihri was quoted as saying in a report by the official MAP news agency. “We have seen in recent days unacceptable, not-so-spontaneous and planned protests during which several demonstrators attacked the embassies of European, American and Arab countries,” Fihri added. Speaking earlier on the sidelines of the Arab League meeting, Fihri said that “Syrian demonstrators pelted the facilities of the Moroccan embassy with tomatoes and eggs”. He said there were no casualties.