300,000BC Scientists in 2017 reported that five
individuals from a site called Jebel Irhoud in Morocco looked like
modern humans and dated to about this time. This made them the
oldest Homo sapiens found to date. Up to now the earliest Homo
sapiens fossils found in Ethiopia dated back 195,000 years.
(SFC, 6/8/17, p.A14)(Econ 6/10/17, p.77)
49BC Mauretania (now northern
Morocco and Algeria) became a client kingdom of Rome.
(AM, May/Jun 97 p.22)
40AD Mauretania was divided
into the provinces of Tingitana and Caesariensis.
(AM, May/Jun 97 p.22)
439AD The Vandals took Carthage and quickly
conquered all the coastal lands of Algeria and Tunisia. Egypt and
the Libyan coast remained in Roman hands.
(Enc. of Africa, 1976, p.168)
c439 In Mauretania (now
northern Morocco and Algeria) Roman rule ceased in the mid 5th
century when barbarian incursions forced the legions to withdraw.
(AM, May/Jun 97 p.)
c600-700 Muslims began a wave of invasions. Arabic
was imposed on the local Berbers after the Muslims conquered
(SFC, 3/16/01, p.A14)
791 In Morocco Idriss I
(b.745), a descendant of the Prophet Mohammed, was laid to rest in
Moulay Driss Zerhoun. The Sufi saint founded Morocco's first Islamic
859 Fatima al-Fihri of Tunisia
founded the Qarawiyyin mosque and madrasa in Fez, Morocco. The
mosque was expanded in the 10th century to become a university
containing one of the world’s oldest libraries. It was incorporated
into Morocco's modern state university system in 1963.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatima_al-Fihri)(SFC, 4/20/16, p.A5)
1062 Marrakech [Marrakesh], the
Arab name for Morocco, was built as a fortified city by the first
Berber dynasty, the Almoravids. It was the terminus of a trade route
running southward to the Niger River and of another running eastward
(NH, 5/96, p.40)(SFEC, 7/25/99, p.T10)
1070 The 8 gates of Marrakech,
Morocco, were built.
(SSFC, 12/18/05, p.F5)
1100-1200 The Almohad dynasty replaced the
Almoravids and destroyed many of their royal buildings. Marrakesh
was rebuilt by Spanish artisans and the next 2 centuries became
known as the golden age of Marrakesh.
(SFEC, 7/25/99, p.T11)
1184-1199 In Morocco the Koutoubia Mosque was
built during this period in the heart of Marrakesh.
1269 The capital was moved
north to Fez after the Almohad dynasty fell.
(SFEC, 7/25/99, p.T11)
1325 Ibn Battuta (20), a
Muslim, left his home in Tangier to journey to Mecca. He traveled in
Arabia, Asia, Africa, and Spain and recorded many exciting
adventures. His travels lasted some 29 years were described in his
book “The Rihla." In 1986 Ross E. Dunn authored “The Adventures of
Ibn Battuta" based on The Rihla.
(ATC, p.13)(SSFC, 11/13/05, p.F3)
1492 Jews began arriving in
Morocco, Syria and elsewhere in the Arab world after their expulsion
(SFEC, 7/25/99, p.T11)(SSFC, 6/28/09, p.A8)
1513 Magellan, who served for
the Portuguese on many expeditions, was wounded in a campaign
against the Moroccan stronghold of Azamor. The wound caused him to
limp for the rest of his life.
1541 The Portuguese abandoned
their sea defense settlement at Mogador, later Essaouira. Mogador
had originally been named by the Phoenicians.
(SFEC, 1/2/00, p.T4)
1578 Aug 4, A crusade against
the Moors of Morocco was routed at the Battle of Alcazar-el-Kebir.
King Sebastian of Portugal and 8,000 of his soldiers were killed.
Sebastian was killed along with the King of Fez and the Moorish
Pretender in the Battle of Alcazar. He was succeeded by Cardinal
(TL-MB, 1988, p.22)(HN, 8/4/98)
1585 The ruler of Morocco
captured the Songhai’s salt mines in Taghaza and puts his eye on the
Songhai source of gold.
1590 Apr 25, The Sultan of
Morocco launched his successful attack to capture Timbuktu. Morocco
sent 4,000 soldiers under the Muslim Spaniard Judar Pasha to conquer
Songhai. After a five month journey across the Shara, Pasha arrived
with only 1,000 men, but his soldiers carried guns. The 25,000 men
of the Songhai were no match for the guns and Gao, Timbuktu and most
of Songhai fall.
(ATC, p.122)(HN, 4/25/98)
c1590 Ahmed al-Mansour, a
Saadian sultan, built El Badi Palace in Marrakesh. It was
cannibalized in less than 100 years by Moulay Ismail for his own
capital at Meknes.
(SFEC, 7/25/99, p.T11)
1680 Oct, King Charles II of
England was forced to recall Parliament in order to ask for money to
fortify the port of Tangier, Morocco, which was under assault by
(ON, 7/06, p.9)
1716 In the summer of 1716, a
Cornish cabin boy named Thomas Pellow (11) and fifty-one of his
comrades were captured at sea by Barbary corsairs. Ali Hakem and his
network of Islamic slave traders had declared war on the whole of
Christendom. Thousands of Europeans had been snatched from their
homes and taken in chains to the great slave markets of Algiers,
Tunis, and Salé in Morocco, where they were sold at auction to the
highest bidder. Pellow and his shipmates were bought by the sultan
of Morocco, Moulay Ismail, who was constructing an imperial palace
of such scale and grandeur that it would surpass every other
building in the world. In 2005 Giles Milton authored “White
Gold," an account of the trade in white slaves.
(SSFC, 6/19/05, p.C3)(http://tinyurl.com/7wv2s)
1727 Moulay Ismail the
Bloodthirsty (b.~1645), Moroccan ruler, died. The Alaouite sultan is
said to have fathered 888 children through a harem of 500 women. He
ruled from 1672 to 1727 succeeding his half-brother Moulay Al-Rashid
who died after a fall from his horse.
1755 Nov 1, An 8.7 earthquake
hit Lisbon, Portugal, and killed some 70,000 people. Heavy damage
resulted from ensuing fires and tsunami flooding in Morocco and
nearly a quarter of a million people were killed. In 2008 Nicholas
Shrady authored “The Last Day: Wrath, Ruin and Reason in the Great
1769 The Sea Gate (Porte de la
Marine) was built in Mogador, later renamed Essaouira, to link the
harbor to the medina. About this time Sultan Sidi Mohammad Ibn
Abdelah transformed Mogador into an open city and encouraged its
growth as a commercial port.
(SFEC, 1/2/00, p.T4)
1777 Dec, Moroccan sultan
Muhammad III included the United States of America in a list of
countries to which Morocco’s ports were open. Morocco thus became
the first country whose head of state publicly recognized the new
1786 Jul 11, Morocco agreed to
stop attacking American ships in the Mediterranean for a payment of
1786 Relations were formalized
with the Moroccan–American Treaty of Friendship negotiated by Thomas
Barclay, and signed by Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Muhammad
1787 Jul, The US Congress
ratified the 1786 American-Moroccan Treaty of Peace and Friendship.
1816 Robert Adams, the 1st
Westerner to reach Timbuktu, transcribed an account of his
experiences there as an enslaved American sailor.
(Econ, 12/20/03, p.126)
1832 Delacroix painted the
Moroccan scene “A Street in Meknes."
(WSJ, 9/27/00, p.A24)
1836 Sep 16, Morocco signed a
Treaty of Peace with the United States at Meccanez. A clause of
conclusion under the seal of the United States consulate at Tangier,
was signed by James R. Leib, consul and agent of the United States,
on October 1, 1836.
1859 Oct 22, Spain declared war
on the Moors in Morocco.
1884 Spain annexed the coastal
area of Western Sahara.
(SFC, 11/27/00, p.A12)
1904 May 8, U.S. Marines landed
in Tangier to protect the Belgian legation.
1904 May 18, Brigand Raizuli
kidnapped American Ion H. Perdicaris in Morocco.
1904 Jun 8, U.S. Marines landed
in Tangiers, Morocco.
1905 Feb 1, Germany contested
French rule in Morocco.
1905 Feb 21, France violated
the 1880 Treaty of Madrid by demanding control in Morocco of the
Sultan's army and police. These demands were made without consulting
Germany. In the “Morocco Crisis" German Chancellor Bernhard von
Bulow sent the Kaiser to visit Tangier on March 31 to see if France
1906 Apr 7, A general act was
issued by the international conference of Algeciras, Spain. Thirteen
powers participated in the deliberations on the Moroccan question,
and despite strong German objections, agreed to entrust to France
and Spain the management of the Moroccan police. The powers also
made arrangements regarding Morocco's state bank, system of
taxation, customs administration, and public works.
1906 Apr 16, It was reported
that a formidable revolt against Fez was maturing in the City of
(SSFC, 4/16/06, p.A13)
1906 May 31, France and Germany
signed an accord in which France agreed to yield control of the
Moroccan police, but otherwise retained effective control of
Moroccan political and financial affairs.
1907 Dec 2, Spain and France
agreed to enforce Moroccan measures adopted in 1906.
1908 Jun 21, Mulai Hafid again
proclaimed himself the true sultan of Morocco.
1909 Jan 21-22, An earthquake
in Morocco's northern region, near Tetouan, killed up to 100.
1909 Feb 9, France agreed to
recognize German economic interests in Morocco in exchange for
1911 Apr, The Agadir Crisis,
also called the Second Moroccan Crisis, or the Panthersprung, was
the international tension sparked by the deployment of a substantial
force of French troops in the interior of Morocco. France thus broke
both with the Act of Algeciras that had ended the First Moroccan
Crisis, and the Franco-German Accord of 1909. Germany reacted by
sending the gunboat Panther to the Moroccan port of Agadir on July
1912 Mar 30, The Treaty of Fez
was signed. Sultan Abdelhafid made Morocco a French protectorate,
resolving the Agadir Crisis of July 1, 1911.
1912 Aug 11, Moroccan Sultan
Mulai Hafid abdicated his throne in the face of internal dissent.
Most of the country became a French protectorate with Spain taking
the northern fifth.
(HN, 8/10/98)(SFEC, 7/25/99, p.T11)(AP, 5/17/03)
1912 France chose Casablanca as
the capital of its “protectorate" over Morocco.
(SSFC, 11/18/12, p.G5)
1912-1956 The French ruled Morocco.
(SFC, 3/16/01, p.A18)
1925 Jun 22, France and Spain
agreed to join forces against Abd el Krim in Morocco.
1929 Jan 24, An earthquake in
northern Morocco did material damage in Fez.
1934 Spain annexed the interior
area of Western Sahara.
(SFC, 11/27/00, p.A12)
1936 Jul 17, Gen. Francisco
Franco was flown from the Canary Islands, where he served as
military governor, to Spanish Morocco where he led a rebellion
against the elected Popular Front. This began the Spanish civil war.
The first word of the rebellion was reported by Lester Ziffren
(1906-2007) of the United Press. The rebel Nationalist movement
under Francisco Franco gained support from the fascist regimes in
Italy and Germany in opposition.
(SFC, 11/12/96, p.A12)(SFC, 7/13/01, WBb
p.3)(WSJ, 11/24/07, p.A8)
1941 The 1942 film Casablanca
was set in 1941. In 1998 Richard E. Osborne published his book “The
Casablanca Companion: The Movie Classic and Its Place in History,"
in which the events of the movie are tied to the actual events of
(SFEC, 1/25/98, Par p.6)
1941-1945 James Rives Childs served as the US
Chargé d'Affaires of Morocco. During this time he helped 1,200
Hungarian Jews obtain visas to Spanish Morocco.
1943 Jan 14, Roosevelt,
Churchill, and de Gaulle met at Casablanca, Morocco, to discuss the
direction of the war. The Casablanca Conference, a pivotal 10-day
meeting during WWII between US President Franklin Roosevelt and
British PM Winston Churchill, determined unconditional surrender
would be the only basis of negotiations with the Axis. Roosevelt and
Churchill also pledged maximum aid to the Soviet Union and China in
the war. French generals Charles de Gaulle and Henri Giraud played
minor roles and were not part of the military planning.
1943 Jan 24, President
Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Churchill concluded a wartime
conference in Casablanca, Morocco.
1943 Mar 18, American forces
took Gafsa in Tunisia. In the crucible of Operation Torch, the men
of Sub-Task Force Goalpost received their baptism of fire capturing
the Moroccan town of Port Lyautey.
1943 Oct 4, Some 6,600
Moroccans accounted for the bulk of the fighting force that freed
Corsica. In 2013 France honored the Moroccan veterans and fallen
soldiers who freed Corsica.
1947 American writer Paul
Bowles settled in Tangiers with his wife, Jane Auer, author of "Two
(SFC, 11/19/99, p.D8)(WSJ, 11/23/99, p.A22)
1952 Dec 8, French troops shot
on demonstrators at Casablanca and 50 people were killed.
1952 Moroccan dissident Abraham
Serfaty (b.1926), one of a tiny minority of Jews, was imprisoned and
exiled by French colonial rulers. In the 9170s he was again
imprisoned by Morocco's independent government for plotting against
the state. The Rabat government forced him into exile in France in
1991. He returned home 10 years later.
1955 Aug 20, Hundreds of people
were killed in anti-French rioting in Morocco and Algeria.
1956 Mar 2, Morocco tore up the
Treaty of Féz and declared independence from France. A protocol on
Moroccan independence was signed in Paris.
(HN, 3/2/99)(EWH, 1968, p.1244)(SC, 3/2/02)
1956 Oct 20, Tangier became
part of independent Morocco.
(EWH, 1968, p.1228)
1956 Oct 22, France intercepted
a Moroccan plane and arrested Ben Bella, an Algerian statesman.
1956 Oct 29, International zone
of Tangier was returned to Morocco.
1956 In Morocco following
independence the northern region of the Riff mountains retained a
dispensation to grow cannabis, which was turned into hashish, but
not to sell it on a large scale.
(Econ, 7/15/06, p.46)
1957 Mar 30, Tunisia and
Morocco signed a friendship treaty in Rabat.
1957 Dec 25, Ramdane Abane
(b.1920), Algerian Berber revolutionary leader, was assassinated in
1958 Morocco’s crown prince and
army chief Hassan II crushed a rebellion in the Riff mountains.
1958 France exited from
(G&M, 7/31/97, p.A18)
1960 Feb 29, An 5.7 earthquake
in Morocco's southwest Atlantic coast killed as many as 12,000. The
town of Agadir destroyed.
1961 Feb 26, Mohammed V ibn
Yusuf (51), sultan, King of Morocco, died.
1961 Mar 3, King Hassan II, the
17th of the Alawite dynasty, ascended to throne of Morocco. He
succeeded his father Mohamed V.
(SFEC,11/16/97, p.A21)(SFC, 7/24/99, p.A9)(SC,
1962 The first constitution of
Morocco was ratified. It guaranteed freedom of the press and
religion and created an elected legislature. Article 19 of the
constitution enshrined the king’s role as Commander of the Faithful.
(SFC, 7/24/99, p.A9)(Econ, 6/18/11, p.52)
1962-1979 This period is covered by John Hopkins
in his book "The Tangier Diaries."
(SFEC, 2/21/99, BR p.9)
1963 Mar 27, John F. Kennedy
met with King Hassan II of Morocco.
1963 Oct, Algeria and Morocco
engaged in a brief border conflict called the Sand War. It resulted
largely from the Moroccan government's claim to portions of
Algeria's Tindouf and Béchar provinces. This led to a heightened
tensions between the two countries for several decades.
1965 Mar 23, Police in
Casablanca cracked down on students and workers campaigning for
social justice and about 100 were killed. In the 1970s the “March 23
movement" for social rights was named for this day.
(SFC, 4/13/01, p.A14)(SS, 3/23/02)
1965 Oct 29, Mehdi Ben Barka
(b.1920), a leading opposition figure to Morocco’s King Hassan II
(d.1999), disappeared in front of the famous Left Bank Lipp Cafe.
His body has never been found.
1965-1980 Abderrahman Youssoufi went into exile.
During this period he helped create the Arab organization of Human
Rights, SOS Torture, and the Morocco Organization for Human Rights.
(SFC, 4/13/01, p.A14)
1969 Jan 4, Spain returned the
Ifni province to Morocco.
1969 Feb 28, An earthquake in
Morocco's Atlantic coast killed about a dozen people and injured
1969 May 25, Thor Heyerdahl
(1914-2002), Norwegian ethnographer and adventurer, departed with
his crew on the reed raft Ra for from Morocco. They abandoned their
trip 1 week shy of Barbados. Heyerdahl sailed across the Atlantic in
his Egyptian reed boat, Ra, and reported on garbage floating
everywhere in the sea. On 16 July the crew was saved by the American
yacht Shenandoah. In just 56 days they had sailed a distance of
2,700 nautical miles.
1969 In Morocco a silver mine
began operating at Imiter, a Berber village nestled in the High
Atlas mountains. It was operated by the Metallurgical Society of
Imiter, a sister group of Managem, which is indirectly controlled by
a holding belonging to Morocco's royal family. By 2004 villagers
noted local water levels dropping. In 2011 local women began turning
out by the hundreds, along with their kids and men of all ages, to
block some of the main wells supplying water for mining operations.
1971 Jul 10, A coup against
King Hassan at the Skhirat palace failed. Nearly 100 guests were
killed. The coup leaders were publicly executed three days later.
The army officers were angered by Hassan's abandonment of thousands
of square miles in an Algerian border war.
(WUD, 1994, p. 1688)(SFC, 7/24/99, p.A9)(SFEC,
7/25/99, p.A19)(SFC, 4/13/01, p.A14)
1971 Jul 13, The Army of
Morocco executed ten leaders accused of leading a revolt.
1972 Aug 16, The Moroccan Air
Force attempted to shoot down a Boeing 727 carrying King Hassan II.
The attempt failed and the coup leaders were arrested. Gen. Mohammad
Oufkir was shot to death for the attack. In 2000 a letter was
produced that implicated Abderrahmane Youssoufi, the prime minister,
in conspiracy with Oufkir.
(SFC, 7/24/99, p.A9)(SFC, 12/15/00,
1973 Jul 21, Israeli
intelligence mistakenly assassinated Ahmed Bouchiki, a Moroccan
living in Lillehammer, Norway, as part of its retribution for the
Sep 5, 1972, terrorist attack in Munich. He was mistaken for Ali
Hassan Salameh (d.1979). Mossad agent Michael Harari (1927-2014)
escaped from Norway, but six Israeli agents were arrested. Five were
later convicted and sentenced one to five years in prison. Norway
later pardoned three of the agents.
1973 Robert Neumann (d.1999 at
83), an Austrian born scholar, was assigned as US ambassador to
(SFC, 6/24/99, p.A25)
1973 There were some 74,000
native Sahrawi in Western Sahara and 60 of them were in college.
(WSJ, 6/7/00, p.A8)
1974 Students staged a strike
for rights and equal education for women.
(SFC, 4/13/01, p.A14)
1975 May, Spain moved out of
Spanish Sahara and the native Sahrawi called for independence. Both
Morocco and Mauritania laid claim to Spanish Sahara (Western Sahara)
following Spain’s withdrawal. The Polisario Front, an armed
nationalist movement, sought to turn Western Sahara into an
independent state for its largely nomadic people.
6/7/00, p.A1)(Econ, 9/24/05, p.56)
1975 Nov 6, Morocco occupied
Western Sahara. King Hassan dispatched 350,000 unarmed Moroccans on
a "Green March" to the former Spanish Sahara. This began a long war
with the Polisario Front guerrilla group, tribal Bedouin who sought
(SFC, 5/7/97, p.C2)(SFC, 7/24/99, p.A9)(WSJ,
6/7/00, p.A1)(SFC, 11/27/00, p.A8)
1975 Morocco’s claims to
Western Sahara were rejected by the Int’l. Court of Justice.
(Econ, 2/25/17, p.40)
1976 Apr 13, In Morocco
Abdennaceur Bnouhachem's work as a left-wing student activist came
to an abrupt when plain clothed security officers cornered him in
the street and bundled him into an unmarked van. He was tortured and
spent 9 years in prison. Years later he was awarded 1 million
dirhams ($114,500) for his ordeal, but says the money will not erase
1976 Paul Bowles (1910-1999),
American-born composer and writer who lived in Tangier, Morocco,
wrote his short story Allal. In 1996 three of Bowles’ stories were
made into a film titled "Halfmoon" by Frieder Schlaich and Irene von
Alberti. Bertolucci had earlier transferred his novel "The
Sheltering Sky" into film. A biography of Bowles by Millicint
Dillon, "You Are Not I: A Portrait of Paul Bowles" was published in
(SFC, 6/14/96, p. C3)(SFEC, 4/5/98, BR
1976 Sahrawis of Western Sahara
proclaimed the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.
(Econ, 8/28/04, p.76)
1981 Jun 20, In Casablanca,
Morocco, riots left some 100 dead. In 2005 authorities exhumed the
remains of about 100 people killed during riots from a mass grave
and reburied them individually in a nearby lot.
1984 Morocco left the
Organization of African Unity after a majority of member states
recognized Polisario and granted it membership as the Sahrawi Arab
Democratic Republic SADR).
(Econ, 2/25/17, p.40)
1985 Pope John Paul II visited
the country and issued his first major plea for Christian-Islamic
solidarity against secular materialism.
1986 King Hassan II used a
bulldozer battalion to complete a massive earthworks down the
750-mile center of Western Sahara.
(WSJ, 6/7/00, p.A8)
1987 The UN coaxed Morocco and
the Polisario into peace talks.
(WSJ, 6/7/00, p.A8)
1988 Dec 19, Polisario Front
fighters opened fire on two DC-7s chartered by USAID to spray for
locusts over Morocco. One crashed, killing all five crew onboard.
1989 The Arab Maghreb Union was
created to encourage free trade between Algeria, Libya, Mauritania,
Morocco and Tunisia. It failed to hold summit meetings after 1994.
(Econ, 5/29/10, p.50)
1990 King Hassan II formed the
(CCDH) Royal Advisory Council on Human Rights to address
compensation owed to prisoners.
(SFC, 4/13/01, p.A14)
1991 Aug 3, US Secretary of
State James A. Baker III met with King Hassan the Second of Morocco.
Baker asked the monarch for his help in gaining Palestinian
participation in a Middle East peace conference.
1991 Morocco and the Polisario
of Western Sahara stopped fighting to let the United Nations hold a
referendum. It was still pending in 2000.
(WSJ, 6/7/00, p.A1)
1992 Oct 23, A 5.3 earthquake
in Morocco's Southeast Erfoud region killed two people.
1993 Aug 9, Mohamed M. Tabet
(54), commissar of Casablanca, was executed by firing squad. He had
committed violent acts against some 16000 women.
1993 King Hassan II published
his book "Memory of a King."
(SFEC, 7/25/99, p.A19)
1993 Morocco ratified the UN
Convention Against Torture.
(SFC, 4/13/01, p.A14)
1993 A new Human Rights
Ministry was created.
(SFC, 4/13/01, p.A14)
1993 Morocco’s King Hassan II
set up a commission to review the legal status of women.
(WSJ, 8/10/04, p.B1)
1994 Apr 15, Ministers from 109
countries signed a 26,000-page world trade agreement known as the
"Uruguay Round" accords in Marrakesh, Morocco. The TRIPS agreement
(Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights), negotiated
in the 1986-1994 Uruguay Round of the WTO, enabled governments to
allow generic drugmakers to produce patented medicines.
1994 Aug, In Morocco a
guerrilla attack by members of the Fez cell on the Atlas Asni Hotel
in Marrakech left two Spanish tourists dead.
1994 Aug 21, An Air Morocco
regional jet crashed and killed all 44 onboard. It was suspected
that the pilot steered the plane into the ground.
1994 Sep 1, Morocco established
low-level diplomatic relations with Israel.
1994 Algeria closed its common
border with Morocco after Morocco claimed Algerian secret service
agents were behind an Islamist extremist attack in Marrakech.
Algiers later set a global settlement of the conflict in Western
Sahara as a precondition for reopening the border.
1995 Mar, King Hassan II
visited the US to enhance economic ties.
(WSJ, 12/18/95, p.A-10)
1995 Spain and Morocco agreed
to build a channel tunnel under the Strait of Gibraltar. The plan
was for 3 tunnels at a cost of $4 bil.
(WSJ, 6/18/96, p.A10)
1996 May 15, The UN closed its
offices in Western Sahara due to a deadlock over election
registration. 4/5 of Western Sahara is under Moroccan
administration. The Polisario Front claims that Morocco is packing
the electoral rolls with supporters having only tenuous links with
the territory. Polisario has declared an independent republic and
said this is recognized by more than 70 countries.
(SFC, 5/15/96, p.A-10)
1996 Morocco’s government began
a series of reforms.
(SFCM, 3/27/05, p.13)
1996 The new Code of Penal
Procedure limited incommunicado detention to 48 hours.
(SFC, 4/13/01, p.A14)
1997 Nov 15, Elections results
split the new legislature into 3 near identical blocks after a voter
turnout of only 58.3 %. King Hassan II was expected to pick a prime
minister in consultation with the parties in Jan.
1998 Jan 4, King Hassan II
appointed Abderrahmane El Toussoufi (Abderrahman Youssoufi),
opposition leader of the Socialist Union of People’s Forces, as
(SFC, 2/5/98, p.A13)(SFC, 4/13/01, p.A14)
1998 Sep 25, A chartered
Spanish airliner crashed in Morocco and killed all 38 people
(SFC, 9/26/98, p.A11)
1998 Oct 30, The UN extended
its 460-member peacekeeping force in the Western Sahara over land
contested between Morocco and the Algerian-based Polisario Front.
(SFC, 10/31/98, p.A15)
1998 Nov 11, It was reported
that Pfizer and the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation initiated a $66
million effort to attack trachoma, a disease of the eye caused by
chlamydia. A one-gram dose of zithromax given once a year would
treat the disease. Focus was to be on Ghana, Mali, Morocco, Tanzania
(SFC, 11/11/98, p.D6)
1998 Dec 18, The ICO Challenger
balloon with Richard Branson, Steve Fossett and Per Lindstrand left
Marrakesh, Morocco, in an attempt to circumnavigate the globe.
(SFC, 12/19/98, p.B3)
1998 The film “In My Father’s
House" was about sexual politics in Morocco and showed at the SF
(SFEC, 4/12/98, DB p.55)
1998 Autopsies were made
standard for any detention-related death.
(SFC, 4/13/01, p.A14)
1999 May 11, Moroccan police
reported that at least 13 migrants drowned after smugglers told them
to jump and swim to the Spanish shore while still off the coast of
Morocco. 21 others were still missing.
(SFC, 5/12/99, p.C10)
1999 Jul 23, In Morocco King
Hassan II died at age 70. He was succeeded by his son, Crown Prince
Sidi Mohamed (36), who became King Mohammed VI.
(SFC, 7/24/99, p.A1)(AP, 7/23/00)
1999 Nov 10, King Mohamed VI
(Mohammed VI) dismissed Driss Basri, the minister of interior and
(SFC, 11/17/99, p.B3)(SFC, 4/13/01, p.A14)
1999 Nov 18, Paul Bowles,
author and composer, died in Tangiers at age 88. His written work
included the novel "The Sheltering Sky," which was made into a 1990
film. He also wrote "Let It Come Down," "The Spider's House" and "Up
Above the World." His music included a "Sonata for Oboe and
(SFC, 11/19/99, p.D8)(WSJ, 11/23/99, p.A22)
1999 Dec 8, A shoddily
constructed building collapsed in Fez and at least 47 people were
(SFC, 12/11/99, p.C2)
1999 The CCDH released
information on 112 “disappearances." Other claimed that the real
number was between 600 and several thousand.
(SFC, 4/13/01, p.A14)
2000 Mar 12, Some 500,000
Muslim fundamentalist marched in Casablanca in opposition to the
government's plan to extend women's rights. In Rabat another
200-300,000 people marched in support of the plan.
(SFC, 3/13/00, p.A11)
2000 Mar, Berbers submitted the
“Berber Manifesto," which called on the state to recognize Tamazight
as a national language.
(SFC, 3/16/01, p.A18)
2000 Jun 7, The Polisario Front
held some 3,000 Moroccan prisoners of war. Morocco held some 300.
Tribal Bedouin called Sahrawi were mostly settled at the Smara Camp
in Western Algeria.
(WSJ, 6/7/00, p.A1)
2000 Nov 5, Abdelkhader
el-Mouaziz of Morocco won the NYC Marathon in 2:10:9.
(WSJ, 11/6/00, p.A1)
2000 Dec, Prime Minister
Abederrhmane Youssoufi used Article 77 to shut down 3 weekly
newspapers after they published a letter that implicated him in the
1982 assassination attempt on King Hassan II.
(SFC, 12/15/00, p.D2)
2000 Morocco passed a landmark
education law aimed at employing graduates, but by 2006 it had still
not been implemented.
(Econ, 4/8/06, p.45)
2001 Jan, The Polisario Front
threatened to end the 9-year cease-fire if the 23rd annual Dakar
Rally from Paris to Dakar was allowed to cross their territory.
(SSFC, 1/7/01, p.D1)
2001 Nov 9, In Morocco
negotiators of over 160 countries reached agreement on a climate
control treaty and set mandatory targets for reducing greenhouse gas
(SFC, 11/10/01, p.A12)
2001 Morocco’s King Mohammed VI
launched an initiative to ready the country to receive 10 million
tourists by 2010.
(SSFC, 12/18/05, p.F5)
2002 Apr 8, US Sec. of State
Colin Powell arrived in Morocco as a large pro-Palestinian paralyzed
(WSJ, 4/8/02, p.A1)
2002 Jun 11, Moroccan police
arrested three Saudi nationals who were allegedly planning attacks
against U.S. and British war ships in the Strait of Gibraltar. They
were identified as: Hilal Jaber al-Assiri, Abdellah Ali al-Ghamdi
and Zuher al-Tbaiti.
(AP, 6/11/02)(WSJ, 6/12/02, p.A14)
2002 Jun 12, Horace Roye (97),
British fashion photographer, was stabbed to death at his home in
(SFC, 6/13/02, p.A30)
2002 Jun 25, In Morocco
authorities have arrested three more people in a widening
investigation into the Moroccan tendrils of al-Qaida, bringing the
number of suspects held here to 10, including three Saudis.
2002 Jul 11, Moroccan soldiers
planted a national flag on Perejil Island (parsley in Spanish), 200
yards off the coast near Ceuta. Spain had claimed control since the
17th century. Moroccans called the 0.58-square mile rocky outcrop
Leila (night in Arabic). Spanish troops swiftly dislodged the
Moroccans without a shot being fired. Under a diplomatic resolution,
both sides agreed to leave it as a no man's land.
(SSFC, 7/14/02, p.A20)(SFC, 7/20/02, p.A10)(AP,
2002 Jul 13, Morocco's
King Mohammed VI publicly celebrated his marriage to a 24-year-old
computer engineer during two days of festivities that showed the
38-year-old king's desire to modernize the monarchy.
2002 Jul 17, Spanish troops
reclaimed the island of Perejil off the coast of Morocco, a week
after it was occupied by Moroccan troops.
(WSJ, 7/18/02, p.A1)(SFC, 7/18/02, p.A17)
2002 Jul 22, Morocco and Spain,
prodded by the US, agreed to leave Perjil Island empty and free of
symbols of sovereignty and planned for future talks on the issue.
(SFC, 7/23/02, p.A8)
2002 Sep 27, In Morocco
26 parties, nearly a dozen of them formed in the past two years,
contested parliamentary in elections.
2002 Sep 25, Explosives
(pentrite) were discovered on a Moroccan jet after passengers left
the flight at an airport in eastern France. There was no detonator
attached to the 3 1/2 ounces of explosives discovered in the
passenger section of a Royal Air Maroc airplane after it landed at
the Metz-Nancy-Lorraine airport.
2002 Sep 27, In Morocco 26
parties, nearly a dozen of them formed in the past two years,
contested parliamentary in elections. A fundamentalist party that
wants to apply Islamic law, performed strongly in elections. The
socialists of Prime Minister Abderrahmane Youssoufi finished first
with 50 seats, Jettou said. The conservative Istiqlal Party, the
socialists' coalition partner in the previous parliament, won 48
(AP, 9/26/02)(AP, 9/28/02)(AP, 9/29/02)(AP,
2002 Oct 9, Morocco's king
appointed former Interior Minister Driss Jettou as prime minister,
directing him to move quickly on economic and social reforms.
2002 Nov 1, In Morocco a fire
erupted at an overcrowded Sidi Moussa jail in coastal El Jadida,
killing 50 inmates and injuring dozens of other people. Authorities
blamed electrical short circuit for Morocco's worst prison fire.
(AP, 11/1/02)(AP, 2/16/12)
2002 Nov 6, In Morocco King
Mohammed VI said the call for a referendum in Western Sahara to
determine whether the people want independence is "null" and
"inapplicable," his first public dismissal of the plan first put
forward in 1991.
2002 Nov 25, Floods caused by 2
days of heavy rains in Morocco killed at least 37 people, collapsed
homes, shut down rail travel and damaged the country's huge oil
2003 Jan 18, Moroccan rescue
workers found the bodies of 16 people who drowned while trying to
illegally enter Spain by crossing the Strait of Gibraltar in an
2003 May 16, In Morocco suicide
attackers set 5 nearly simultaneous explosions in the heart of
Casablanca, killing 33 people and a dozen suicide bombers at a
Jewish community center, the Belgian consulate, a Spanish social
club and a major hotel. The attackers all came from the shantytown
of Carriere Thomas. In 2007 a Paris court convicted eight people of
supporting the suicide bombers.
(AP, 5/17/04)(SFCM, 3/27/05, p.10)(AP, 7/12/07)
2003 Jun, Moroccan authorities
warned Spain that Jamal Zougan, a radical Islamist with suspected
links to terrorists, had returned to Madrid.
(WSJ, 3/19/04, p.A11)
2003 Jul 12, Western Sahara's
rebels unexpectedly accepted a peace plan for the mineral-rich
region, but Morocco remained opposed.
2003 Aug 11, Saudi Crown Prince
Abdullah flew to Morocco for talks with King Mohammed VI about Iraq
and the Palestinian territories.
2003 Aug 19, Morocco sentenced
four men to death and 83 others to prison in a trial centered on
deadly terror attacks that raised fears Islamic extremism is
2003 Sep 1, A rebel group
trying to win independence for the Western Sahara has released 243
Moroccan prisoners, some of whom have been held for nearly three
decades. It was the first prisoner release since the UN Security
Council voted in July to urge Morocco and the Polisario to accept a
new plan to settle the long-running dispute over the Western Sahara.
2003 Sep, Amazigh, the Berber
language, began to be taught for the 1st time in Moroccan schools.
The Royal Institute for Amazigh Culture was recently set up.
(WSJ, 9/10/03, p.A1)
2003 Oct 10, Morocco's king
announced plans to grant new rights to women regarding marriage and
divorce, reforms aimed at modernizing Moroccan society.
2003 Nov 15, Mohamed Choukri
(68), a Moroccan writer whose tales about his experiences with drugs
and homosexuality were banned at home, died in Tangiers. His
best-known work, "For Bread Alone" (1981), was published in
Paris and told of his difficult adolescence.
2003 In Morocco Swiss investor
Jean Victor Lovat filed a complaint against Abdelaziz Laafoura and
Abdelmoughit Slimani. Slimani, a former mayor of Casablanca, was
sentenced on appeal to 16 years in prison. In 2008 Laafoura, a
former Casablanca governor, was acquitted by the Supreme Court of
corruption. The court released assets it had frozen.
2004 Jan 7, Morocco pardoned 33
prisoners, including a prominent journalist.
2004 Jan, Morocco launched the
Arab world's 1st "truth commission." Mohammad VI appointed Driss
Benzekri (1950-2007), a former political prisoner, as head. Benzekri
was arrested for his left-wing student activities in 1974, and spent
17 years as a political prisoner until his release by Hassan II.
(WSJ, 1/29/04, p.A1)(SFC, 5/22/07, p.B5)
2004 Jan, Morocco’s parliament
passed legislation on women’s rights.
(WSJ, 8/10/04, p.B1)
2004 Feb 24, A 5.1 earthquake
struck northern Morocco near Al Hoceima, toppling houses and killing
(AP, 2/25/04)(SFC, 2/25/04, p.A3)(AP, 3/5/04)
2004 Jun 7, Pilots at Royal Air
Maroc, Morocco's national carrier, have decided to end their strike,
which began May 26 in response to the firing of 6 colleagues.
2004 Jun 17, Tahar Ben Jelloun
(59), a Moroccan-born novelist and poet, won the Int’l. IMPAC Dublin
Literary Award for the best work of English fiction for 2002. Linda
Coverdale, translator of “This Blinding Absence of Light," received
a quarter of the $120,000 prize.
(SFC, 6/18/04, p.E2)
2004 Jul 22, The U.S. House of
Representatives gave final approval to a new free trade agreement
2004 Jul 25, A Spanish
newspaper reported that Morocco had warned Spain earlier this month
that it lost track of 400 Moroccan Islamist militants who trained in
al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan, Bosnia or Chechnya.
2004 Aug 28, In Morocco a bus
trying to pass another vehicle on a winding mountain highway
collided with an oncoming truck and taxi, killing 29 people and
2004 Sep 15, South Africa
formally recognized the pro-independence government in the annexed
Moroccan territory of Western Sahara (Sahrawi statehood), prompting
Rabat to recall its ambassador from Pretoria in protest.
(AP, 9/16/04)(Econ, 10/30/04, p.53)
2004 Dec 21, Morocco tried to
blot out stains of past human rights abuses with public testimony
about tortures and disappearances in the Muslim kingdom.
2004 Dec 30, King Mohammed VI
of Morocco met with Canadian PM Paul Martin and ambassador Carmen
Sylvain for talks about cooperation between their two countries.
2004 Morocco banned cultivation
of cannabis. This pushed cultivation of the plant into the
hinterlands of the Rif Mountains.
(Econ, 7/15/06, p.46)
2005 Jan, Morocco’s parliament
approved a free trade agreement with the US.
(SFCM, 3/27/05, p.14)
2005 Mar, Morocco’s free-trade
agreement with the US was scheduled to go into effect.
(SFC, 2/23/05, p.C1)
2005 Mar 27, Morocco’s per
capita income was reported to be about $1,200 per year. One of 5
urban Moroccans was unemployed.
(SFCM, 3/27/05, p.11)
2005 May 10, A Moroccan jailed
for involvement in the Casablanca bombings two years ago died during
a hunger strike by some 1,000 predominantly Islamist inmates.
2005 May 23, Morocco's king
pulled out of the first North African summit in more than a decade,
over Algeria's latest comments in a long-running dispute over
independence for Western Sahara. Moroccan King Mohammed VI will be
represented at the two-day summit in Tripoli, Libya, by Morocco's
foreign minister, Mohamed Benaissa.
2005 Jun 13, Moroccan officials
said at least 12 people, six of them children, drowned when a rubber
dinghy carrying would-be immigrants to Europe capsized off Africa's
2005 Jun, In Morocco Nadia
Yassine (47), leader of the underground Justice and Charity Islamic
movement, was charged with publicly criticizing the monarchy after
she stated in a newspaper interview that the country would be better
off as a republic than as a kingdom. She demanded the abolition of
Article 19 of the constitution enshrining the king’s role as
Commander of the Faithful.
2005 Jun, The Trans-Sahara
Counter-Terrorism Initiative began operations. The US funded plan
intended to provide military equipment and development aid to 9
north-east African countries considered fertile ground for Muslim
militant groups. Participating countries included Algeria, Chad,
Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tunisia.
(SFC, 12/27/05, p.A1)
2005 Jul 4, A Moroccan court
convicted and sentenced Taoufik Hanouichi and Mohcine Bouarfa to
death. They were among those arrested in a sweep to dismantle
militant Islamic networks following suicide bombings in Casablanca.
Dozens of others were jailed. The two men were unlikely to be
executed, as Morocco has had a de facto moratorium on the death
penalty since 1993.
2005 Aug 16, Several new
computer worms hit systems running MS Windows 2000. On Aug 25
authorities in Morocco arrested Farid Essebar (18) for writing the
Zotob worm. Atilla Ekici (21) was arrested in Turkey for paying
Essebar to write the worm. In 2006 Morocco sentenced Farid Essebar
(19) to 2 years in prison and Achraf Bahlouo (21) to one year for
their role in unleashing the Zotob worm. Ekici’s trial continued in
(SFC, 8/27/05, p.A2)(WSJ, 9/14/06, p.B3)(WSJ,
2005 Aug 18, Western Sahara
guerrillas released their last Moroccan prisoners, 404 soldiers held
for up to 20 years from a long-ended war over the barren but
2005 Sep 29, Hundreds of
African migrants charged a razor-wire border fence at a Spanish
enclave in northern Morocco before dawn, and five people were killed
and 50 injured, prompting Spain to send troops to secure the
2005 Oct 2, Moroccan police
began rounding up African refugees. Doctors Without Borders soon
reported that Morocco had dropped about 1,000 people in the desert
and left them there to walk for nearly a week. As a result, the
government established the two holding centers at Touizgue and
Berden for those people to find refuge.
2005 Oct 3, More than 300
Africans tore through a razor-wire fence separating Morocco from the
Spanish enclave of Melilla, clashing with police in the latest wave
of undocumented immigrants seeking a foothold in Europe.
2005 Oct 4, Spain said it will
build a third high-security fence between its Melilla enclave and
Morocco after undocumented immigrants repeatedly stormed two
2005 Oct 5, Some 500 African
immigrants defied increased security and tried to surge across
razor-wire fences separating Morocco and the Spanish enclave of
Melilla, the 5th such rush in a week.
2005 Oct 10, Morocco began
deporting would-be immigrants, with a flight carrying 140 Senegalese
taking off for Dakar after hundreds of Africans stormed razor-wire
border fences in recent weeks.
2005 Oct 15, Moroccan
authorities flew 435 illegal immigrants home to Senegal and Mali,
starting a second wave of mass deportations of sub-Saharan Africans
who have tried to slip into Europe through the North African
2005 Nov 7, Thousands of
Moroccans marched through central Casablanca to demand the release
of 2 Moroccan Embassy employees in Iraq who al-Qaida has threatened
2005 Nov 8, The EU said Morocco
will join its Galileo satellite navigation program, becoming the
first African nation to participate in the project that aims to
rival the US' GPS system.
2005 Nov 11, In Morocco police
arrested 17 members of a terrorist network, including two former
prisoners at the U.S. base in Guantanamo, Cuba. At least some of the
suspects were linked to al-Qaida in Iraq.
2005 Dec 6, Morocco's national
airline completed an order for four Boeing Co. 787 jets and took out
an option for one more.
2005 Dec 16, Morocco’s state
news agency reported that a truth commission tasked with
investigating more than four decades (1956-1999) of human rights
abuses uncovered nearly 600 disappearances and the deaths of about
500 people during street riots or while in police custody.
2006 Jan 6, Morocco's King
Mohammed, under pressure from human rights groups to apologize for
more than four decades of past repression by the state, offered his
sympathy for the victims.
2006 Jan 8, In Morocco a senior
official said Royal Air Maroc (RAM), encouraged by its majority
shareholdings in the national airlines of Senegal and Gabon, is
planning a major expansion of routes in Africa.
2006 Jan 10, Spanish police
arrested 20 people, mostly Moroccans, linked to Islamic terrorism
and violence in Iraq in raids across Spain.
2006 Jan 12, Spanish police
detained Omar Nakcha (23), a Moroccan whom they suspect of being the
leader of two extremist groups recruiting volunteers to fight in
2006 Jan, A free trade
agreement between the Morocco and the US came into force and covered
industrial and agricultural goods, intellectual property, services,
customs, employment, the environment and telecommunications.
2006 Feb 6, In Morocco police
broke up an international network helping Indians migrate illegally
to Europe with 70 arrests.
2006 Feb 9, Moroccan state
media reported that the US has handed over three suspected Islamic
militants held at the Guantanamo Bay prison.
2006 Feb 13, British Foreign
Secretary Jack Straw and his Moroccan counterpart, Mohamed Benaissa,
agreed to boost economic ties between the two countries and hold an
annual business forum to this end.
2006 Mar 25, Morocco's King
Mohammed VI wrapped up a 6-day visit to Western Sahara with talks on
a plan to give the territory greater autonomy which will be
submitted soon to the UN.
2006 Apr 3, Morocco’s state
news agency MAP said security forces were holding nine suspected al
Qaeda activists. Local newspapers said they were part of a ring that
plotted bomb attacks in France, Italy and Morocco.
2006 Apr 18, In Morocco an
appeals court upheld record damages imposed on a weekly newsmagazine
in a defamation suit that some rights groups say the government is
using to intimidate independent media.
2006 Apr 22, Morocco's King
Mohammed VI pardoned all prisoners from the disputed territory of
Western Sahara currently being held in jails in the kingdom.
2006 Apr 28, It was reported
that Morocco has just graduated its first team of women preachers to
be deployed as a vanguard in the kingdom's fight against any slide
towards Islamic extremism. A pioneer group of 50 Morchidat, or
guides, finished a 12-month course in early April. They were trained
to "accompany and orient" Muslim faithful, notably in prisons,
hospitals and schools.
2006 May 19, In Morocco the
prime ministers of Morocco and Pakistan expressed hopes for closer
bilateral ties, especially economically, after inking several
agreements during a visit by Pakistan's Shaukat Aziz.
2006 Jun 2, The 12th edition of
the Fez Festival of World Sacred Music opened in Fez, Morocco. It
brought together spiritual and religious music from Syria, Iran,
India, Mali, Latin America, Japan, Tibet, Azerbaijan and the
Mediterranean under the theme of "harmonies."
2006 Jun 25, In Morocco police
reported that 4 men were arrested in Rabat in connection with the
February 22 theft of more than 53 million pounds from a Kent cash
depot, considered Britain's biggest ever bank robbery.
2006 Jun 28, Morocco and the US
agreed to give the African country's exports to North America a
2006 Jul 10, In Morocco
ministers from 57 European and African countries gathered in Rabat
to seek ways to combat illegal immigration to Europe "with dignity
but firmness", from tightening border controls to stimulating
2006 Aug 7, Morocco’s state
news agency reported that security services have arrested 44
suspected terrorists and dismantled a network allegedly planning
2006 Sep 1, Morocco’s Interior
Ministry said security agents broke up a group planning terrorist
attacks on tourist sites and government facilities, arresting 56
people who included soldiers and the wives of two pilots at the
2006 Sep 7, Russia's
state-owned nuclear power company said it was seeking to build
Morocco's first nuclear plant, as Russian President Vladimir Putin
signed cooperation deals with the Moroccan king as part of an
economic mission to expand Russia's African reach.
2006 Oct 24, Moroccan King
Mohamed VI pardoned 617 prisoners in honor of Eid al-Fitr, the
holiday marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
2006 Oct 30, In Morocco the
world's five leading nuclear powers and eight other nations kicked
off a new program aimed at keeping nuclear weapons beyond the reach
of terrorists. Morocco became the first Arab state to join a global
initiative led by Russia and the United States to combat nuclear
(AP, 10/31/06)(Reuters, 10/31/06)
2006 Nov 10, in Morocco 3
former detainees at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba,
were convicted for creating a criminal group and forging documents.
2006 Dec 5, Pro-Moroccan
leaders in the Western Sahara presented a self-rule plan for a
government, parliament and legal system in the territory, while
acknowledging Rabat's sovereignty.
2006 Dec 8, The MAP news agency
said Qatar will invest 335 million dollars in tourist development
schemes in the northern Moroccan city of Tangiers.
2006 Dec 18, A senior
government official said money sent home by Moroccans overseas
amounted to 40.7 billion dirhams (3.6 billion euros) last year, or
roughly 9 percent of Morocco's gross domestic product.
2007 Jan 15, The editor and a
journalist at a Moroccan news weekly that published jokes relating
to Islam were convicted of insulting the religion. The court gave
three-year suspended sentences to Driss Ksikes, editor of Nichane,
and to journalist Sanaa al-Aji. Both were barred from journalistic
activity with Nichane for two months and the independent
Arab-language magazine was suspended for two months. They were fined
(AP, 1/15/07)(AP, 1/30/07)
2007 Jan 16, King Mohammed VI
of Morocco launched work on a major road linking Fez to the Algerian
border as part of construction on a north African highway stretching
from Mauritania to Libya. Construction of the 328-kilometer road
(204-mile) from Fez to the eastern city of Oudja, on the border with
Algeria, is expected to cost 820 million euros (one billion
2007 Jan 19, Five Moroccans
sent home from the Guantanamo US military camp in 2004 were
acquitted of terrorism charges leveled at them on their return.
2007 Mar 1, Morocco’s King
Mohammed VI pardoned 8,836 prisoners to celebrate the birth of his
baby girl. Princess Lalla Salma gave birth to a baby girl a day
earlier. The king also reduced the sentences of 24,218 other
2007 Mar 2, In Morocco 12
Islamic militants were convicted of terrorism-related charges,
including eight with alleged ties to al-Qaida who had volunteered to
fight in Iraq.
2007 Mar 3, In northern Morocco
a bus skidded off a treacherous mountain road, killing nine people
and injuring 45 others.
2007 Mar 6, Moroccan officials
arrested Saad Houssaini, an alleged member of a terrorist group that
is believed linked to the 2004 Madrid bombings and 2003 attacks in
2007 Mar 11, In Morocco a man
with explosives hidden under his clothes had a dispute with the
owner of an Internet café in Casablanca and a blast occurred as the
two men were coming to blows. Another man at the scene who attempted
to flee was arrested by police and found to be carrying explosives.
2007 Apr 10, Moroccan police
surrounded a building in Casablanca where four terrorism suspects
were holed, causing three to flee and blow themselves up with
explosives. The fourth was shot dead by a police sharpshooter as he
apparently tried to detonate his bomb.
2007 Apr 11, Morocco presented
its plan to grant self-rule to the disputed Western Sahara territory
to United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon.
2007 Apr 12, Morocco’s police
detained two men near the scene of three suicide bombings in
Casablanca, and a police official said one was carrying explosives.
2007 Apr 14, In Morocco 2
brothers strapped with explosives blew themselves up near the US
consulate. Moroccan officials said they had discovered a broader
suicide bombing conspiracy.
2007 May 2, Ahmed Errachidi
(41) a Moroccan man sent home from the US detention camp at
Guantanamo Bay last week, was released by local authorities after
terrorism-related charges were dropped.
2007 May 8, The Moroccan
Association of Human Rights, formed in 1979) announced that it had
chosen Khadija Ryadi (47) as its first woman president.
2007 May 17, Moroccan police
clashed with student protestors from Western Sahara demanding an end
to Rabat's control over the disputed region.
2007 May 20, Police in
Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara arrested three leading human rights
campaigners following weeks of crackdowns against students and
activists in the territory.
2007 May 30, Moroccans were
able to access the video sharing Web site YouTube for the first time
since access was blocked last week.
2007 Jun 6, Morocco said
scientists from Morocco, Britain, France and Germany had dated
perforated shells in a limestone cave in eastern Morocco to 82,000
years ago, the oldest adornments ever found.
2007 Jul 2, UN
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reissued a report on the Western
Sahara that eliminated controversial recommendations on the future
of the disputed region.
2007 Jul 4, The foreign
ministers of Israel and Morocco held their first publicly disclosed
talks in years, with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the heart
of the discussion.
2007 Jul 6, EU officials said
they have asked Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia to join patrols of
Europe's border control agency in a bid to stop massive clandestine
2007 Jul 21, Italian police
arrested three Moroccans, an imam and two of his aids, they accuse
of being part of a militant cell that allegedly used a mosque in a
central Italian city as a terror training camp.
2007 Jul, Tanger Med, a new
seaport on northern Morocco, opened its frist docks. Over the next 8
years it was expected to become the largest container port in the
(Econ, 7/12/08, p.78)
2007 Aug 7, Ahmed Benchemsi,
the publisher of two Moroccan weeklies charged with showing
disrespect to the monarchy, defended himself, reserving the right to
criticize his country's political system. A day earlier magistrates
in Casablanca charged Benchemsi, the publisher of the Nishan and
TelQuel weeklies, and ordered him to stand trial.
2007 Aug 27, Morocco's former
interior minister, Driss Basri (69), died in a Paris hospital, to be
mourned in some circles as a loyal servant of the crown and
condemned by others as a ruthless axeman.
2007 Sep 1, In Morocco
Renault-Nissan head Carlos Ghosn signed a deal to build an assembly
plant in Tangiers, with a planned investment of one billion euros
(1.36 billion dollars) and final capacity of 400,000 vehicles.
2007 Sep 7, Moroccans began
voting in parliamentary elections likely to make the country's
leading political force an Islamist party that has tapped into
people's mounting disillusionment with the parties in power. The
main opposition Islamist party failed to make its hoped-for
breakthrough in legislative elections, marked by an historic low
turnout of only 41 percent. Voters handed power to a secular
conservative party that is a member of the ruling coalition.
(AP, 9/7/07)(AFP, 9/8/07)
2007 Sep 9, Moroccan
nationalist party Istiqlal vowed to keep an alliance with socialists
after emerging as the surprise winner in elections marred by the
lowest turnout ever in the north African nation.
2007 Sep 10, Final election
results showed that Morocco's conservative Istiqlal party won the
most seats in parliamentary elections, allowing it to form the next
government with its current ruling coalition allies.
2007 Sep 19, Morocco’s King
Mohammed VI named Abbas El Fassi (67), a longtime government
minister and the leader of a secular political party, as prime
minister. He replaced Driss Jettou, a longtime businessman who had
served since 2002.
2007 Oct 15, Moroccan leaders,
after nearly a month of tough negotiations, formed a new government
that includes seven women but no one from the Islamic party that
placed second in September's parliamentary elections.
2007 Oct 22,
French President Nicolas Sarkozy met with Morocco's King
Mohammed XVI and signed a string of deals aimed at fostering closer
cooperation between the two countries and economic development
2007 Nov 7, Moroccan PM Abbas
El Fassi condemned Spain's "occupation" of two disputed enclaves, in
the wake of a visit by Spain's King Juan Carlos which prompted Rabat
to recall its ambassador to Madrid.
2007 Nov 18, German prosecutors
filed terrorism charges against a Moroccan man, identified as
Abdelali M. (25), was accused of helping recruit foreign fighters
for al-Qaida in Iraq. He was arrested in Sweden in March and handed
over to Germany in May.
2008 Jan 4, A Moroccan court
sentenced 51 Islamists of the Ansar El Mahdi group to between two
and 25 years in jail for plotting to overthrow the government here
and install an Islamist regime.
2008 Jan 8, A human rights
campaign group called on Morocco to stop "muzzling" independence
campaigners in the vast disputed region of Western Sahara, as
UN-brokered peace talks on the 32-year row got underway in New York.
2008 Jan 9, The latest round of
UN-led peace talks between Morocco and the pro-independence
Polisario Front ended in stalemate, with the two sides agreeing to
try again in March to resolve a 32-year dispute for control of
2008 Jan 13, King Abdullah II
of Jordan arrived on a three-day official visit to Morocco for talks
on boosting cooperation between the Arab allies.
2008 Jan 16, In Morocco 16
people were killed and 30 injured when an apartment block being
built in Kenitra collapsed.
2008 Jan 18, Renault-Nissan
signed an accord with the Moroccan government for what it says will
be one of its largest automobile-making operations in the world, set
to be constructed near Tangiers.
2008 Feb 12, A boat was wrecked
off southern Morocco leaving 24 African migrants missing, but 11
others were rescued.
2008 Mar 9, Moroccan security
forces arrested 19 members of the country's largest Islamic
opposition group. Another 25 were arrested as day earlier after they
tried to hold marches in solidarity with the Palestinians.
2008 Apr 7, In Morocco 9
Islamists serving long sentences for the deadly 2003 Casablanca
bombings escaped from Kenitra prison, north of Rabat. In January,
2009, Hicham Alami one of the escapees who had been sentenced to
life, was captured in Algeria and returned to Morocco.
(AFP, 4/7/08)(AP, 1/9/09)
2008 Apr 18, In Morocco French
PM Francois Fillon announced the signing of economic tie-ups with
Morocco, alongside the sale of a naval warship to aid defense
2008 Apr 26, In Morocco fire
broke out at a mattress factory in Casablanca, killing at least 55
people, and fire-fighters were still searching the smoldering
building for more bodies.
(Reuters, 4/26/08)(AFP, 4/27/08)
2008 Apr 27, A summit aimed at
kick-starting Maghreb economic integration was disrupted when
Moroccan and Algerian government ministers clashed over the disputed
Western Sahara region.
2008 Jun 7, In Morocco violent
clashes between unemployed youths and the police left 44 people
including 27 police officers injured in the southwestern port of
2008 Jun 10, A Moroccan court
convicted 29 people of planning terrorism attacks and supporting
combatants in Iraq.
2008 Jun 19, A Moroccan court
ordered a newspaper to stop publishing testimony given by victims of
years of repression under late king Hassan II to a royal truth
2008 Jun 30, The Socialist
International (SI), meeting in Lagonissi, Greece, granted observer
status to the Polisario Front, a group fighting for full
independence in Western Sahara. The disputed Western Sahara region
is largely controlled by Morocco, but the Algerian-backed Polisario
Front is committed to securing independence.
2008 Jul 2, The Moroccan news
agency said 35 alleged recruiters for Al-Qaeda operations in Algeria
and Iraq were arrested by police in Morocco, where they were also
accused of planning attacks. The suspects allegedly belong to a
Salafist group, Salafiya Jihadiya.
2008 Jul 19, Morocco's police
seized more than 10 tons of drugs during raids in the north of the
country and along its coasts.
2008 Jul 30, Morocco's King
Mohammed VI condemned Algeria's continuing closure of their common
border, despite repeated calls by Rabat for it to be reopened.
Algiers has set a global settlement of the conflict in Western
Sahara as a precondition for reopening the border, which it closed
in 1994 after Morocco claimed Algerian secret service agents were
behind an Islamist extremist attack in Marrakesh.
2008 Sep 9, Morocco said it
would start vaccinating all livestock after the outbreak of Peste
des Petits Ruminants, a deadly viral disease, ahead of the Eid
festival when millions of animals are sacrificed.
2008 Sep 24, In Morocco at
least 12 people were killed and 43 injured when a bus overturned in
the southern province of Taroudannt.
2008 Oct 30, Morocco’s
Interior Minister Chakib Benmoussa said flooding over the last week
has killed 28 people and caused major damage in various parts of the
2008 Oct 30, Scientists
reported that 1 in 17 men living on the coasts of North Africa and
southern europe may have a Phoenician direct male line ancestor.
Evidence was based on Y-chromosomes collected in Cyprus, Malta,
Morocco, the West Bank, Syria and Tunisia.
(SFC, 10/31/08, p.A14)
2008 Nov 2, The Moroccan
government banned an issue of the French magazine L'Express
International, claiming it insults Islam in articles exploring the
relationship between that religion and Christianity.
2009 Jan 5, Ahmed Aboutaleb
(47), a Moroccan immigrant, was installed as mayor of Rotterdam, the
Netherlands' second largest city, in a move hailed as a significant
step for the integration of minorities in the European Union nation.
2009 Feb 7, Officials in
Morocco said heavy rains have claimed 24 lives and forced 2,000
people to be evacuated over the past week.
2009 Feb 15, A rickety boat
carrying illegal migrants from Morocco capsized in rough seas just
off Spain's Canary Islands and 19 of them drowned. At least three
2009 Feb 18, In Morocco
Abdelkader Belliraj (50) was arrested together with a number of
other people, allegedly in possession of a large arsenal of
firearms. The Belgian-Moroccan national was suspected of
spearheading a presumed 35-member terrorist ring.
2009 Mar 2, In Morocco Hassan
Al Haski (41), a Moroccan man already convicted over the 2004 Madrid
bombings, was sentenced on appeal to 10 years in jail for his role
in suicide attacks the year before in Casablanca that killed 45
2009 Mar 6, Morocco cut
diplomatic links with Iran after an outcry in the Sunni Muslim world
over a statement by an Iranian official questioning Sunni-ruled
2009 Mar 17, Portuguese police
said they have captured more than 7.7 tons (7 metric tons) of
hashish from Morocco with an estimated street value of more than
euro70 million (US$91 million). Police said they netted the drug in
a series of coordinated operations over three days beginning last
2009 Mar 24, It was reported
that the Moroccan government has begun a clampdown on what it sees
as threats to the kingdom's religious and moral foundations, with
Shiite Islam and gays particularly targeted.
2009 Apr 2, Morocco transferred
to Spain Hassan Al Haski, an Islamist convicted in both countries
for terrorist acts, apparently to resume serving time behind bars
2009 Apr 11, Morocco blamed
Algeria for a "serious and blatant" violation by the Polisario Front
of an 18-year-long ceasefire in the disputed Western Sahara and
urged the UN to intervene.
2009 May 12, Moroccan
authorities announced the arrest of a group of alleged Islamists,
who planned to attack Jewish interests in the country. The suspects,
alleged to be members of a cell that was part of the radical
Islamist movement Salafia Jihadia, were also said to be preparing
attacks against Moroccan security services.
2009 May 22, Police in Morocco
uncovered more than 20 tons of cannabis resin, one of the country's
largest ever hash hauls, hidden in steel crates destined for France.
2009 May 24, In Morocco 11
people were killed in a stampede at a stadium in the capital, Rabat,
overnight when thousands of spectators hurried to leave at the end
of a concert wrapping up the city's landmark music festival.
2009 Jun 3, Moroccan customs
officers seized 19.5 tons of cannabis resin worth about 17.3 million
euros (24.5 million dollars) at the northern port of Nadir. The
drugs were concealed in a lorry transporting frozen octopus from a
seafood processing plant in the southern town of Agadir and the
Italian driver and his Spanish companion were arrested.
2009 Jun 12, Moroccans voted in
a local election that opposition Islamists hope will extend their
influence in big cities.
2009 Jun 13, In Morocco with
more than 80% of seats counted, the Authenticity and Modernity Party
(PAM) had 4,854 seats, ahead of the governing Istiqlal
(Independence) party with 4,246. PAM, founded by Fouad Ali El Himma,
was created last year by lawmakers from five parties. It has
positioned itself as an alternative to both opposition Islamists and
Istiqlal, and has sought to combat voter apathy with promises to
follow through on policy commitments. Provisional figures put the
turnout at 51%.
(Reuters, 6/13/09)(Econ, 7/4/09, p.42)
2009 Jun 15, Libyan leader
Moamer Kadhafi sued three Moroccan newspapers for defamation,
seeking eight million euros in damages for "attacks on the dignity
of a head of state."
2009 Jun 26, In Morocco a
security official said security forces have arrested five suspected
members of a militant cell that operated in Morocco and Spain. The
five alleged members of the Salafiya Jihadia group, whose leader
uses the pseudonym Abou Yacine, were picked up during the course of
2009 Jun 29, Three Moroccan
newspapers were ordered to pay a total of three million dirhams
(270,000 euros) to Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi, who had sued them
for writing critical articles.
2009 Jul 28, In Morocco a man
accused of leading a terrorist network was sentenced to life in
prison for terror attacks in Morocco, holdups in Europe, large-scale
money laundering projects and arms trafficking. Abdelkader Belliraj
(51), a dual Moroccan-Belgian national, had faced the death penalty.
34 co-defendants were handed sentences ranging from 30 years in
prison to one-year suspended sentences.
2009 Jul 29, Morocco's King
Mohammed VI (45), on the eve of commemorations of his 10th
anniversary on the throne, granted pardons to 24,865 prisoners, and
commuted 32 death sentences.
2009 Aug 1, Two Moroccan
magazines were taken off news stands after they published an opinion
poll on the 10 years under the reign of King Mohammed VI. The poll
revealed that 91% of Moroccans who were interviewed say that the
performance of the reign of King Mohammed VI is positive or very
2009 Sep 19, Off the Moroccan
coast an inflatable dinghy sank before dawn off Perejil, a rocky
Spanish-owned islet in the Mediterranean Sea. Some 42 would-be
illegal immigrants were crammed onto the boat. 11 migrants from
Niger and Senegal survived and 8 bodies were recovered. The next day
the 11 migrants were expelled from Morocco.
(AFP, 9/21/09)(AFP, 9/22/09)
2009 Sep 23, Morocco’s interior
ministry said security services have arrested 24 members of a
"terrorist network" linked to Al-Qaeda that recruited volunteers for
suicide bombings in Iraq.
2009 Sep 26, In Morocco Akhbar
Al Youm published a caricature of a member of the royal family,
Prince Moulay Ismail, cousin of King Mohammed VI. On Dec 29 an
appeal court in Casablanca upheld a four-year suspended jail term
for the chief editor of Akhbar Al Youm, Taoufiq Bouachrine, and
cartoonist Khalid Gueddar.
2009 Oct 6, Moroccan police
began rounding up 276 young people and continued with an overnight
crackdown on juvenile delinquency in Sale, the twin town of the
2009 Nov 1, US Secretary of
State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived in Morocco for a series of
meetings with Arab leaders to discuss Middle East peace and other
2009 Nov 3, In Morocco US
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced a package of measures
designed to help businesses and non-governmental groups around the
Muslim world. Clinton made the announcement at the sixth Forum for
the Future conference in Marrakech, which she attended for two days.
2009 Nov 4, Morocco ordered the
immediate departure of a Swedish diplomat accused of handing
official Moroccan documents to Western Sahara-linked "separatists."
2009 Nov 13, Moroccan
authorities detained a Western Sahara activist close to the
Polisario Front rebels, Aminatou Haidar, in the disputed territory's
main city. Haidar, the winner of several human rights awards, was
arrested on her arrival in Laayoune from Spain's Canary Islands.
Immigration officials immediately sent her back to Spain’s Canary
Islands after confiscating her passport. She used her Spanish
residency permit to re-enter the country and began a hunger strike
in Laayoune at midnight on Nov 15.
(AFP, 11/13/09)(AFP, 11/21/09)
2009 Nov 13, In Morocco
journalists Rachid Nini and Said Laajal were sentenced to 3
months and 2 months in prison for publishing "false information"
about a drug trafficking ring. Their newspaper report concerned the
dismantling on August 17 of a major drug smuggling ring, named
"Triha" after its alleged boss, who was part of a group of 15 drug
barons arrested in 2008 in a crackdown across Morocco. Both
journalists were released on Dec 5, 2009.
2009 Dec 5, Morocco expelled
five foreign Christian missionaries for holding "undeclared
meetings" in the mainly Muslim north African kingdom. Two of the
foreigners came from South Africa, two from Switzerland and one from
Guatemala. They were part of a group that also included 12
Moroccans, who were freed the same day.
2009 Dec 14, Morocco charged
that Aminatou Haidar, a Sahrawi activist on hunger strike in Spain's
Canary Islands, is part of a "systematic, methodical plot devised by
Algeria." Haidar (42) has been on hunger strike for almost a month
on Lanzarote, after being refused entry to the Western Sahara, which
is territory occupied by and claimed by Morocco.
2009 Dec 18, Aminatou Haidar, a
Western Sahara independence activist, returned home after a 32-day
hunger strike at a Spanish airport, defusing a diplomatic spat
between Spain and Morocco and potentially strengthening separatist
2009 Dec 24, In Morocco heavy
rains and gale force winds battered parts of the country, killing at
least five people and flooding large parts of the northern city of
2010 Jan 6, In Morocco the
first Berber TV channel in the ancient but marginalized tongue of
Amazigh was launched after a decades-long struggle.
2010 Jan 7, A Moroccan court
sentenced 14 members of a suspected terror cell to prison terms of
four to 15 years for planning attacks against tourist and government
targets. Prosecutors had alleged that the group known as Fath Al
Andalous (Conquest of Andalusia) was well advanced in planning
attacks on tourist sites in the southern city of Agadir and a
military barracks in Laayoune.
2010 Feb 19, In Morocco the
minaret of the 18th century Bab Berdieyinne mosque collapsed in the
city of Meknes, killing 41 people and injuring 76 others.
2010 Mar 2, The Moroccan state
security service announced that police have dismantled a terrorist
network “of six people imbued with Takfirist ideology," that was
active in several towns in the northeast. Takfiris, a tiny minority
of Muslims in Morocco, believe that society and its leaders have
turned away from the narrow path of what they see as true Islam.
2010 Mar 10, The Moroccan
government expelled 20 foreign Christian missionaries after
religious authorities accused them of proselytism. The expelled
missionaries included couples from Britain and The Netherlands who
had adopted Moroccan children.
2010 Mar 26, The head of Abu
Dhabi's sovereign wealth fund, the world's largest, went missing
after his glider crashed in Morocco. Ahmed bin Zayed Al Nahyan's
glider went down in a lake in Morocco. The pilot of the aircraft was
rescued in good condition. The body of al-Nahayan was found on March
(AP, 3/27/10)(AFP, 3/30/10)
2010 Apr 26, Morocco’s
government said security forces have broken up a militant cell with
links to al Qaeda that was planning assassinations and acts of
sabotage targeting the security services and foreign interests.
2010 May 3, Mohamed Abed
Al-Jabri (b.1935), Moroccan Islamic philosopher, critic and
political ideologue for a socialist opposition party, died in
2010 May 11, Volcanic ash from
Iceland wound its way down to North Africa and curled over to
Turkey, forcing authorities to shut down Casablanca airport in
Morocco as well as airports in Spain and airspace over Turkey.
2010 May 26, In Morocco
Islamists were outraged by the visit of gay pop star Elton John,
while the royal palace, government and his many fans backed his
appearance in Rabat.
2010 Jun 1, A court in Morocco
sentenced Ibrahim Lee Murray (32), a cage fighter with British and
Moroccan nationality, to 10 years in jail for Britain's biggest cash
robbery carried out on Feb 22, 2006.
2010 Jun 21, Morocco’s official
MAP news agency said security forces have broken up a
Palestinian-led radical Islamist cell that was planning attacks in
the north African country.
2010 Jun 25, In Morocco a 5-day
meeting of the International Whaling Commission ended. Native people
of Greenland won a long battle to extend their annual whale hunt to
humpbacks, overriding objections from conservation-minded members of
the IWC. A 2008 investigation showed about one-fourth of the whales
the Greenlanders caught were sold on the market in violation of the
2010 Jul 29, Morocco’s King
Mohammed VI granted pardons or reduced sentences to nearly 1,000
people to mark his 11 years on the throne.
2010 Aug 11, Morocco’s official
media said security forces have broken up a radical Islamist cell
that was planning attacks in Morocco and foreign assets there.
2010 Aug 12, Demonstrators in
Morocco slapped a commercial blockade on Melilla, a Spanish enclave,
allowing in only some trucks in a dispute over alleged police
violence and racism against Moroccans entering the city. Besides a
bustling commercial flow, about 35,000 Moroccans cross daily into
Melilla, population 70,000, to work or shop.
2010 Sep 8, In northern Morocco
9 Portuguese tourists were killed and 14 injured when their tour bus
plunged into a ravine.
2010 Sep 30, Doctors Without
Borders said Morocco has expelled hundreds of illegal immigrants,
including women and children, to a no-man's-land without food or
water after violent raids in several cities. The humanitarian group
claimed 600 to 700 people were arrested during raids from Aug. 19 to
Sept. 10 and abandoned near the Morocco-Algeria border.
2010 Oct 2, In Moroccan
publisher Ahmed Benshemsi said his Arab-language weekly magazine
Nichane has gone bankrupt and been forced to close because "the
highest circles of power" had organized a boycott of advertisers.
The boycott was launched in August last year after Nichane, its
French-language stablemate Telquel and France's prestigious Le Monde
conducted an opinion poll on the monarchy.
2010 Oct 17, In Morocco world
leaders at the World Policy Conference (WPC) in Marrakech examined
frameworks for global governance ahead of a G20 summit in Seoul,
with UN chief Ban Ki-Moon stressing no single power could tackle key
2010 Oct 25, Humans Rights
Watch said in a new report that suspects detained under Morocco's
counterterrorism laws are routinely subjected to human rights
2010 Oct 29, Morocco’s
communications ministry said it has suspended the operations of the
Qatar-based Al-Jazeera television news channel in Rabat and
withdrawn the accreditations of its staff. A government official who
declined to be named said the authorities took exception to the way
Al-Jazeera handles the issues of Islamists and Western Sahara.
2010 Oct 29, Morocco’s interior
ministry said two Al-Qaeda linked cells have been broken up and that
9 people have been arrested including a Yemeni national and a former
2010 Nov 1, In Morocco IMF
director general Dominique Strauss-Kahn said world leaders gathering
at the Group of 20 summit must take action to fix the financial
2010 Nov 8, In Western Sahara a
paramilitary gendarme and a fireman were killed and almost 70 people
badly injured when Moroccan forces raided a camp outside Laayoune. A
Moroccan raid to clear a refugee camp in the Western Sahara left at
least 12 refugees dead and more than 700 wounded, while another 159
are missing. Moroccan authorities announced 11 deaths on their side
after the clash.
(AFP, 11/8/10)(AFP, 11/9/10)(AFP, 11/11/10)(AFP,
2010 Nov 13, In Western Sahara
a statement from the prosecution services in the territory's main
town of Laayoune said 67 people accused of crimes against the
security forces and destruction of public and private property had
been arrested, seven of whom had been cleared. Moroccan authorities
said they had arrested 96 people accused of inciting violence during
the controversial police raid on a squatter camp near Laayoune.
(AP, 11/13/10)(AFP, 11/13/10)
2010 Nov 18, Moroccan dissident
Abraham Serfaty (b.1926), one of a tiny minority of Jews in
predominantly Muslim Morocco, died. He was imprisoned and exiled by
French colonial rulers in 1952 and again by Morocco's independent
government in the 1970s for plotting against the state. The Rabat
government forced him into exile in France in 1991. He returned home
10 years later.
2010 Nov 27, Morocco’s foreign
minister in a published interview rejected a probe into violent
clashes between its security forces and residents of Western Sahara
by the UN. A day earlier, Human Rights Watch said Moroccan security
forces repeatedly beat and abused people they detained during
disturbances in Western Sahara earlier this month.
(AFP, 11/27/10)(AFP, 11/26/10)
2010 Nov 28, Hundreds of
thousands of Moroccans demonstrated against a Spanish political
party's criticism of their country's raid on a protest camp in
2010 Nov 30, In Morocco a bus
carrying workers plunged off a road into a ravine during heavy rain,
killing at least 20 passengers and injuring three others.
2010 Dec 27, Morocco’s interior
ministry said security forces have arrested six Moroccans suspected
of planning attacks in the country and abroad.
2010 Morocco’s population stood
at about 32 million; almost all Sunni Muslims.
(Econ, 7/31/10, p.36)
2011 Jan 5, Morocco said it had
arrested a member of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) among 26
others who planned to attack security services and rob banks using
weapons they hid in an area of the disputed Western Sahara.
2011 Jan 12, Morocco’s interior
minister said soldiers had turned a blind eye to the smuggling of
weapons that were seized in the recent dismantlement of a terrorist
cell with links to Qaida's North African branch. 5 Moroccan soldiers
stationed in disputed Western Sahara were arrested for accepting
kickbacks and allowing smuggled goods into the occupied territory.
(AP, 1/12/11)(AFP, 1/13/11)
2011 Feb 14, Moroccan PM Abbas
El Fassi met with the opposition to discuss parliamentary polls. The
impact of the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia weighed on the talks.
2011 Feb 15, Morocco, ahead of
a planned pro-reform rally, announced it would inject 1.4 billion
euros in subsidies to soften price hikes for staples, a key factor
behind the spreading unrest in the Arab world.
2011 Feb 20, In Morocco
thousands of people marched in cities across the country, demanding
a new constitution to bring more democracy and limits on the powers
of King Mohammed VI. Leaders of the 2 biggest opposition forces
boycotted the movement.
(AP, 2/20/11)(AFP, 2/20/11)(Econ, 2/26/11, p.28)
2011 Feb 21, Morocco’s King
Mohammed VI announced the creation of a new Social and Economic
Council tasked with carrying out reforms. Interior Minister Taib
Cherkaoui said 5 burned bodies were found in a bank set ablaze in
the north Moroccan city of Al Hoceima in unrest that erupted after
weekend demonstrations for change. Thousands of young Moroccans have
joined the "February 20" movement on the social networking site
Facebook, calling for peaceful demonstrations demanding a new
constitution limiting the king's powers and more social justice.
(Econ, 2/26/11, p.28)(AFP, 2/21/11)
2011 Feb 24, In Morocco one of
the biggest parties in the ruling coalition, the Socialist Union of
Popular Forces, called for a timetable for implementing political
reforms to meet popular demand.
2011 Feb 25, Italian police
arrested six Moroccan men suspected of inciting hatred against Pope
Benedict XVI for converting a Muslim journalist in Italy to
2011 Mar 9, Morocco’s King
Mohammed VI said the constitution will be revised for the first time
in 15 years to strengthen democracy. He said voters will get to vote
on the project in a referendum.
(SFC, 3/10/11, p.A2)
2011 Mar 13, In Morocco
security forces prevented about 100 people from holding a pro-reform
demonstration in Casablanca, leaving several people wounded.
2011 Mar 14, The 4th $50
thousand International Prize for Arabic Fiction was split between
Mohammed Achaari of Morocco, author of “The Arch and the Butterfly,"
and Raja Alem of Saudi Arabia, author of “The Dove’s Necklace." Alem
was the first women winner.
(Econ, 3/26/11, p.95)
2011 Mar 20, Thousands of
Moroccans demonstrated in Casablanca, Rabat and other cities calling
for more democracy and social justice despite recent promises of
deep political reform.
2011 Apr 14, Morocco's Justice
Ministry says the king has granted pardons or lightened sentences
for 190 prisoners in response to a request from an official human
2011 Apr 22, In Morocco masked
students with sticks and knives went on the rampage in a university
campus in Rabat after a student from the disputed Western Sahara
territory was stabbed to death. The clashes followed the deadly
stabbing of student Abbad Hammad (25), from the Western Sahara, in a
brawl the previous evening near the campus when Hammad got drunk and
harassed a woman.
2011 Apr 24, In Morocco
thousands of demonstrators marched peacefully in several cities to
demand more democracy and social justice despite King Mohammed VI's
concessions, including the release of political prisoners.
2011 Apr 26, The
Transparency-Maroc (Morocco) Association called on all public
institutions in the north African country to account for their
spending and to accept inspections.
2011 Apr 28, In Morocco a
massive explosion ripped through the Argana café, popular among
tourists in Marrakech, killing 16 people including 2 Canadians, 8
French citizens, 3 Moroccans, a Dutchman, a Portuguese, a Swiss and
a British national. More than 20 people were wounded. The Al-Qaeda
terror network was suspected of involvement. Another Swiss national
died a week later raising the death toll to 17. In 2012 a court
confirmed the death sentence for the ringleader, Adel al-Othmani,
and changed the life sentence of his associate Hakim Dah into
capital punishment. Six other defendants convicted of being
associated with the bombing had their prison sentences of two and
four years increased to 10 years. Only one defendant, Abdel-Fattah
Dehaj, kept his two-year sentence.
(AP, 4/29/11)(AP, 5/2/11)(AP, 5/6/11)(AP,
2011 May 1, In Morocco
thousands marched in an umber of cities demanding a faster
transition toward democracy and decrying terrorism.
(SFC, 5/2/11, p.A2)
2011 May 5, Morocco said 3
nationals have been arrested in the April 28 deadly bombing at the
Argana café in Marrakech, including the main suspect Adel Othmani, a
man with loyalties to al-Qaida who had attempted to travel to Iraq
(AP, 5/6/11)(AP, 8/18/11)
2011 May 8, In Morocco
thousands of protesters marched to demand reform in the Arab world's
longest-serving dynasty and to oppose militant violence after a
deadly bomb attack.
2011 May 10, The Gulf
Co-operation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia,
UAE) said it welcomed Jordan’s request to join the 6-member group.
Jordan had first applied for membership in the mid-1980s. The GCC
said it would encourage Morocco to also join.
2011 May 15, Moroccan security
services used truncheons to disperse a pro-democracy protest on the
southern outskirts of the capital Rabat, injuring several people.
2011 May 22, Moroccan police
beat protesters who defied a ban on demonstrations across the
country, leading to arrests and dozens of injuries, some of them
2011 May 29, Moroccan police
used truncheons to break up a new pro-reform demonstration in
Casablanca, leaving around two dozen people wounded.
2011 Jun 2, In Morocco Khaled
al-Amari (30), a member of the main opposition Islamist group, died
from wounds sustained during a pro-reform demonstration several days
2011 Jun 5, Hundreds of young
Moroccans flouted a government ban and held a peaceful pro-democracy
rally in Rabat. The protesters expressed their anger at the beating
death of Kamal Al-Amri, a leader of the opposition, as authorities
promised not to crack down on protesters.
(AFP, 6/5/11)(AP, 6/5/11)
2011 Jun 17, Morocco's King
Mohammed VI announced a series of constitutional reforms in a speech
that he said will turn the North African country into a
constitutional monarchy, though pro-democracy activists remain
2011 Jun 18, Morocco's
youth-based February 20 Movement rejected constitutional reforms
proposed by King Mohammed VI, calling for nationwide protests.
2011 Jun 19, In Morocco several
thousand rallied in Casablanca to answer a call from the youth-based
February 20 Movement that has rejected constitutional reforms
proposed by King Mohammed VI. Pro-government demonstrators attacked
democracy activists protesting constitutional reforms recently
unveiled by the king.
(AFP, 6/19/11)(AP, 6/19/11)
2011 Jun 22, Morocco's
pro-reform February 20 Movement urged a boycott of the
constitutional referendum proposed by King Mohammed VI and called
for peaceful nationwide protests.
2011 Jul 1, Moroccans voted on
whether to adopt a new constitution that the king has championed as
an answer to demands for greater freedoms, but that protesters say
will still leave the monarch firmly in control. The preliminary
results showed a 98.94 percent approval rating and 72.56 percent
2011 Jul 1, Moroccan
constitutional reforms made Tamazight, a form of Berber, an official
language. Its written tradition extended to at least 200BC. The
Tuareg traditionally use their own alphabet, called Tifinagh, to
(SSFC, 7/17/11, p.N3)
2011 Jul 3, In Morocco
thousands of pro-democracy activists protested across the country to
demand more reforms two days after voters overwhelmingly approved a
new constitution the king said will expand freedoms.
2011 Jul 10, In Morocco
thousands of demonstrators, including Islamists, held rallies in
Rabat and Casablanca to demand greater political reform and social
2011 Jul 17, In Morocco
thousands of demonstrators, including Islamists, held peaceful
rallies in Rabat, Casablanca and Tangiers to demand greater
political reforms and social justice.
2011 Jul 22, A clash between
Moroccan border guards and armed men coming from Algeria left one
2011 Jul 26, In Morocco a C-130
military transport plane crashed into a mountain in Western Sahara
in bad weather, killing 78 people. There were three survivors.
2011 Jul 29, Morocco's King
Mohammed VI pardoned 14 prisoners and commuted the sentences of 954
others, on the eve of his coronation's 12th anniversary.
2011 Jul 30, Morocco's King
Mohammed VI called for parliamentary elections to be held soon, in
his first speech since a July 1 referendum overwhelmingly approved
curbing some of his prerogatives.
2011 Jul, A meteor shower
dropped rocks from Mars on the ground in Morocco. 15 pounds of the
rocks were found in December.
(SFC, 1/18/12, p.A7)
2011 Aug 4, Morocco took
delivery of the first of 4 of 24 F-16 fighter jets from the United
States as part of its air force modernization program.
2011 Sep 18, Thousands of
Moroccans demonstrated calling for greater political freedoms, as
the country's pro-democracy movement attempted to regain momentum
lost over the summer.
2011 Sep 23, Morocco announced
that an Al-Qaida-linked militant cell planning attacks inside the
country has been dismantled. The 3-man cell was based in Casablanca.
(SFC, 9/24/11, p.A2)(AP, 10/2/11)
2011 Sep 25, In Morocco
thousands of protesters turned out in Casablanca to demand deep
political reform, unappeased by a recently-agreed package limiting
the powers of King Mohammed VI.
2011 Sep 29, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy arrived in Morocco to kick off work on Africa's
fastest rail line, in a bid to highlight France's role in the
2011 Sep, Mouad Belghouat (24),
a rapper nicknamed "Al-Haqed" (the Vengeful One, in Arabic), was
arrested after a brawl with a monarchist. He served four months in a
Casablanca prison for assault but was acquitted of another charge.
2011 Oct 1, Morocco’s national
intelligence agency said a five-man militant group, operating in the
cities of Casablanca and Sale, has been dismantled. An agency report
said one of the members was related to a high-ranking al-Qaida
operative in Iraq.
2011 Oct 10, In Morocco some 50
imams protested in the capital over tight controls on their
preaching, the first time such a demonstration has been allowed to
2011 Oct 28, A Moroccan court
convicted all defendants for their role in the April 28 cafe bombing
that killed 17 people, mostly tourists, sentencing Adel al-Othmani,
the chief suspect, to death. All the defendants protested their
2011 Nov 25, Moroccans voted
for a new parliament in Arab Spring-inspired elections that are
facing a boycott by democracy campaigners who say the ruling
monarchy isn't committed to real change. Under the new constitution,
the largest party must form the government. The moderate Justice and
Development Party (PJD) captured 107 seats in the 395-seat assembly.
(AP, 11/25/11)(AFP, 11/26/11)(AP, 11/28/11)
2011 Nov 29, Morocco’s King
Mohammed VI received Abdelilah Benkirane, the secretary general of
the Justice and Development Party, in the mountain town of Midelt
and named him head of government with the task of forming a
2011 Dec 4, Morocco's main
leftwing party said it had decided not to take part in a government
coalition led by the country's moderate Islamists.
2011 Dec 14, European
Parliament lawmakers blocked a deal allowing special access for EU
fishermen to Moroccan waters, prompting Rabat to issue an immediate
ban on European fishing boats. European lawmakers said they wanted
to wanted to wait until the interests of Western Sahara trawlers
were taken on board before agreeing to a 12-month extension.
2012 Jan 19, Five unemployed
Moroccan men set themselves on fire in the capital Rabat as part of
widespread demonstrations in the country over the lack of jobs,
especially for university graduates. Three were burned badly enough
to be hospitalized. Abdelwahab Zaydoun (27), who held a master's
degree in law, died of his burns on Jan 24.
(AP, 1/19/12)(AP, 1/24/12)
2012 Jan 27, A retired Moroccan
died in a Marrakech hospital after pouring gasoline on himself and
lighting himself on fire in a nearby town's courthouse the day
before. State news said the man lived alone and had serious social
and personal problems.
2012 Jan, Morocco banned French
the weekly Le Nouvel Observateur when a cover story on the Arab
world included the supposed face of the Prophet Mohammed. The French
weekly l'Express was also banned for publishing a 95-page dossier on
Islam including a face meant to represent Mohammed's.
2012 Feb 4, Morocco freed a
former world kickboxing champion, Zakaria Moumni, jailed 17 months
ago on charges of racketeering, after he was pardoned by King
2012 Feb 8, Tunisia's new
President Moncef Marzouki arrived in Morocco to push for a revival
of a dormant project to unify the Maghreb region on his first
foreign tour since taking office.
2012 Feb 9, In Morocco Renault
inaugurated a giant factory to build low-cost cars, sparking
controversy at home in France where a loss of industrial
competitiveness has rankled.
2012 Feb 16, The European
Parliament approved a divisive new fishing and farming accord with
Morocco that will reduce customs costs and boost trade across the
2012 Feb 18, Morocco said it
has banned the distribution of the Feb 16 edition of Spain's
influential El Pais, as a cartoon published by the newspaper
allegedly tarnished King Mohammed VI's name. Earlier this month
French weekly Le Nouvel Observateur was banned after printing an
image of God.
2012 Feb 26, Authorities in
Morocco banned the Spanish-language daily newspaper El País from
distributing its February 26 issue because of an excerpt it featured
from the French book “Le Roi Predateur" (The Predator King) by
Catherine Graciet and Eric Laurent. The book described how the king
has quintupled his wealth in his 11 years on the throne.
(Econ, 3/17/12, p.58)(http://tinyurl.com/7jwkfnm)
2012 Mar 15, In Morocco a
minister in the Islamist government called for a change to a law
allowing a rapist to marry his victim after a teenager forced into
such a union committed suicide. Amina al-Filali (16) drank rat
poison last week in Larache, near Tangiers in the north, after being
forced to marry the man who raped her.
2012 Mar, Moroccan security
forces began demolishing some of an estimated 44,000 homes built
illegally over the past year.
(Econ, 3/17/12, p.57)
2012 Apr 11, In Morocco 2 US
Marines were killed and two severely injured in the crash of an
2012 May 5, Morocco said it had
broken up a "terrorist network" active in several cities in the
country and that had links to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb
2012 May 11, A Moroccan court
sentenced Mouad Belghouat (24), one of the country's most famous
rappers, to one year in prison over a video critical of the police.
2012 May 17, Morocco's said
that it had lost confidence in veteran US diplomat Christopher Ross,
the UN envoy on Western Sahara. Ross was forced to call off plans to
carry out his first official trip to the disputed territory.
2012 May 19, The European Bank
for Reconstruction and Development approved investment of 1.0
billion euros for expansion into north Africa and the Middle East
under its first British president, Suma Chakrabarti, who a day
earlier replaced Thomas Mirow from Germany. The EBRD is planning to
invest specifically in Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Jordan.
2012 May 27, In Morocco tens of
thousands took to the streets of Casablanca in the largest
opposition protest since an Islamist-led government took office in
January. The protest was organized by trade unions which accuse PM
Abdelilah Benkirane of failing to deliver on the pledges of social
2012 Jun 21, In Morocco the
Swiss-made solar-powered plane, Solar Impulse, took off from Rabat
airport in a fresh bid to cross the Moroccan desert, after being
foiled by rough conditions last week.
2012 Jul 9, In Morocco a bus
speeding on a mountainous road along the Mediterranean crashed
outside the city of Nador, killing 10 people and injuring 33 others.
Another bus flipped over on the highway as it traveled between the
Atlantic coast tourist destinations of Essaouira and Agadir, killing
17 people including those of a German and a Dutch tourist.
2012 Jul 30, Morocco's King
Mohammed VI vowed to press ahead with reforms, including
strengthening the independence of the judiciary and battling
corruption, in a speech to mark 13 years on the throne.
2012 Jul 31, In central Morocco
a collision between a bus and a lorry killed at least 12 people and
left one critically injured.
2012 Aug 10, Moroccan
government sources said an unspecified number of security officials
accused of corruption on its northern coast have been arrested as
part of a judicial inquiry ordered by the king.
2012 Aug 11, In Morocco
hundreds of activists took to the streets of the main cities to
protest against corruption, the high cost of living and other causes
2012 Aug 19, Morocco’s King
Mohammed VI granted partial or full pardons to 562 prisoners to mark
the Muslim feast of Eid which follows the Ramadan holy month.
2012 Aug 22, Moroccan police
violently broke up a protest demanding more political freedoms and
denouncing an annual ceremony honoring the king.
2012 Sep 4, In Morocco 42
people were killed when the bus overturned between the desert cities
of Marrakesh and Ouarzazate and plunged down a 500-foot (150-meter)
ravine. Another 24 people were injured, four of them seriously.
2012 Oct 4, Moroccan protesters
targeting a Dutch abortion-rights activist scuffled with police in a
port where a ship promoting safe abortion had been due to land. The
"Women on Waves" boat was aiming for its first landfall in a Muslim
country. It was invited to Morocco by a local women's rights
organization seeking the legalization of abortion.
2012 Oct 6, In Morocco some
1,000 judges held an unprecedented sit-in in front of the Supreme
Court in Rabat calling for greated independence for the judiciary.
(SSFC, 10/7/12, p.A3)
2012 Oct 29, German police
arrested a French citizen (37) wanted by Moroccan authorities in
connection with the May 16, 2003, bombings in Casablanca that killed
45 people including a dozen suicide bombers.
(SFC, 10/31/12, p.A2)
2012 Nov 7, Morocco's Interior
Ministry said it has expelled 15 Spanish and four Norwegian
journalists from the annexed territory of the Western Sahara for
entering without permission.
2012 Nov 19, In Morocco the
48-member int’l. organization of fishing countries voted to keep
strict limits on catching Atlantic blue fin tuna.
(SFC, 11/20/12, p.A7)
2012 Dec 12, French Foreign
Minister Laurent Fabius said more than 100 countries have recognized
a new Syrian opposition coalition. Fabius called the "Friends of the
Syrian People" conference meeting in Marrakech, Morocco,
"extraordinary progress." US and NATO said President Bashar Assad's
forces had fired Scud missiles at rebel areas.
(AP, 12/12/12)(AP, 12/13/12)
2012 Dec 13, In Morocco Sheikh
Abdessalam Yassine (84) died. He was the charismatic religious
leader of the country’s largest opposition movement and longtime
opponent of two Moroccan kings.
2013 Jan 5, A Moroccan family
of 5 returning home died when their plane crashed shortly after
takeoff from Grenoble airport near the French Alps.
2013 Jan 23, Morocco’s
government announced plans to change the penal code to outlaw the
traditional practice of allowing those convicted of "corruption" or
"kidnapping" of a minor to go free if they marry their victim.
2013 Feb 17, A Moroccan
military court convicted 24 Western Saharan activists for their
roles in the killing of 11 soldiers at a protest camp in 2010, and
gave nine of the defendants life sentences.
2013 Mar 31, In Morocco several
thousand members of the country’s two largest labor unions marched
through Rabat to protest the Islamist-led governments planned
economic and labor reforms and its failure to stem unemployment and
(SFC, 4/1/13, p.A2)
2013 Apr 11, In Morocco soccer
hooligans rampaged through Casablanca, mugging pedestrians and
smashing up carriages of the city's new tram system, cars and public
buses. 193 people were arrested.
2013 May 12, In Morocco the
Istiqlal party said it has withdrawn from the ruling coalition due
to efforts by the Islamist Justice and Development Party to cut
spending and reduce subsidies.
(SFC, 5/13/13, p.A2)
2013 May 20, A Moroccan court
convicted two men of homosexuality and public indecency, and
sentenced each to four months in prison, in the latest case against
gays in this North African nation.
2013 Jun 27, In Morocco
delegates at the World Intellectual Property Organization produced a
draft treaty text showing consensus. 600 negotiators in Marrakech
agreed to an international treaty to overcome “book famine" for
world’s 285M visually impaired.
(Econ, 7/20/13, p.54)
2013 Jul 10, The junior party
in Morocco's governing coalition confirmed that it had quit over
planned cuts in food and energy subsidies, raising the prospect of
political instability and possibly an early election.
2013 Jul 30, Morocco’s King
Mohamed VI pardoned 48 jailed Spaniards at the request of Spain's
King Juan Carlos, who visited Morocco last month. Included in the
pardon was Spanish pedophile Daniel Fino Galvan, convicted 18 months
ago by criminal courts in Kenitra, near Rabat, of raping and filming
children aged between 4 and 15. He was serving a 30-year sentence
for raping 11 children.
2013 Aug 2, Moroccan riot
police broke up a protest by hundreds of people late today against a
royal pardon for a Spanish pedophile serving a 30-year sentence for
raping and filming children as young as four.
2013 Aug 3, Morocco’s King
Mohamed VI revoked a pardon granted on July 30 to Spanish pedophile
Daniel Fino Galvan. Galvan, already back in Spain, was soon arrested
by Spanish authorities.
2013 Sep 17, Hundreds of
Africans seeking to enter Europe made a coordinated assault on the
triple wall that divides Spanish enclave Melilla from Morocco, with
about a hundred of them getting over.
2013 Sep 25, The United Arab
Emirates announced $100 million to Morocco in "financial support" to
build solar and wind power farms.
2013 Oct 3, Moroccan police
arrested a teenage boy and girl for posting a photo on Facebook of
them kissing, with the incident provoking a slew of copycats .
2013 Oct 6, In Morocco
thousands of unemployed graduates marched through Rabat demanding
jobs in the public sector, weeks before parliament is due to debate
planned budget cuts.
2013 Oct 17, Moroccan police
drove back 400 African migrants who tried to rush across the
country's border into the Spanish territory of Ceuta.
2013 Nov 13, The Afrobarometer
survey, a poll of Africans in 34 countries across the continent,
found that nearly one-third of people have been forced to pay bribes
including for medical treatment. Sierra Leone fared the worst
overall when it came to bribes, with 63 percent of respondents
saying they'd paid up at least once in the previous year. Morocco
and Guinea came next, each with 57 percent.
2013 Nov 14, In Morocco foreign
ministers from countries across the Sahel and Maghreb gathered in
Rabat to look for ways to boost border security and confront
Islamist linked-violence plaguing the vast desert region.
2013 Nov 22, President Barack
Obama praised the "leadership" of Morocco's King Mohammed VI after
holding wide-ranging talks with the North African monarch for the
first time at the White House.
2013 Dec 4, In Morocco a
Cameroonian immigrant plunged to his death when police raided his
fourth-floor apartment in Tangiers, raising tensions in the city
after a similar death in October.
2013 Dec 7, Moroccan police
violently suppressed a peaceful protest in the Western Sahara
against a planned EU fishing accord with Rabat that covers the
disputed territory's waters.
2013 Dec 18, In Morocco a
visiting group of UN experts said Morocco must put an end to the
practice of convicting detainees on the basis of confessions
obtained through torture.
2013 Dec 23, The
Moroccan-flagged fuel tanker "Silver" hit rocks near the Atlantic
port of Tan Tan during a storm, and there were fears of an
ecological disaster. Over the next two weeks the cargo was offloaded
to fuel trucks.
2013 Dec 27, Morocco and Qatar
signed an aid deal worth $1.25 billion, part of a five-year package
of financial assistance extended by wealthy Gulf states to the North
African kingdom to help it weather 'Arab Spring' protests.
2014 Jan 2, Morocco launched an
operation to give residency permits to tens of thousands of
immigrants living in the country illegally, after the king expressed
concern about their harsh treatment by the police.
2014 Jan 15, Roughly 60
migrants entered Spain's north African territory of Melilla after
charging a barbed-wire border fence bordering Morocco.
2014 Jan 18, In Morocco the
Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Committee of Muslim nations ended talks and
urged the international community to put pressure on Israel to stop
building Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.
2014 Jan 26, Italian police and
campaigners said 13 Moroccan migrants held in a reception center in
Rome for more than two months have sewed their mouths shut in
protest at the length of their detention. They sewed their mouths
shut the previous evening, repeating a protest they staged at the
end of last year.
2014 Feb 6, Fifteen migrants
drowned while trying to swim to the Spanish enclave of Ceuta from a
beach in neighboring Morocco. Authorities said "around 400
sub-Saharans" had taken part in the desperate bid to reach EU
territory. On Feb 13 Spain said border police had fired rubber
bullets in an attempt to turn back around 200 migrants who tried to
cross the frontier. Videos later showed police firing rubber
bullets. Police denied the action contributed to the drowning. On
Feb 11, 2015, the Ceuta court said 16 Civil Guard officers will
appear for questioning in March.
(AFP, 2/6/14)(Reuters, 2/13/14)(AP, 2/11/15)
2014 Feb 8, Moroccan
authorities banned a sit-in by hundreds of judges who want greater
independence for the judiciary, deploying dozens of riot police to
central Rabat and closing off streets around the Justice Ministry.
2014 Feb 17, A wave of around
250 African migrants managed to breach the high defenses of the
Spanish enclave of Melilla in Morocco, with more than half making it
into the EU territory.
2014 Feb 24, In Morocco
hundreds of sub-Saharan migrants armed with sticks and stones
stormed the six-meter (20-foot) high double barbed wire border fence
in a bid to enter Spain's northwest African enclave of Melilla, with
about 100 of them making it across.
2014 Mar 4, Moroccan forces
turned back some 700 sub-Saharan African migrants who attempted to
cross into the Spanish enclave of Ceuta.
2014 Mar 14, Moroccan and
Spanish authorities arrested seven suspected members of an
al-Qaida-linked extremist cell allegedly recruiting members to fight
in Syria and other hotspots.
2014 Mar 18, In Morocco
hundreds of migrants tried to force their way into Spain's North
African enclave of Melilla in two attempted mass crossings, throwing
stones at police who tried to stop them. 500 people made it over.
(Reuters, 3/18/14)(SFC, 4/10/14, p.A5)
2014 Mar 28, In Morocco some
800 African migrants tried to climb barbed-wire fences to enter the
Spanish enclave of Melilla. Most were turned back by security forces
from both sides.
2014 Apr 6, In Morocco
thousands of workers, teachers and civil servants marched through
downtown Casablanca to protest austerity plans put in place by the
government to control runaway spending.
2014 Apr 7, Morocco police in a
crackdown on violent crime began arresting so-called “Tchermil" (a
slang Moroccan term for marinated meat) hooligans. By April 25
police arrested 83 men in Casablanca alone and dramatically reduced
(SFC, 5/3/14, p.A4)
2014 May 1, In Morocco some 700
African migrants charged Spain's barbed-wire border fences in the
North African enclave of Melilla, clashing with Spanish and Moroccan
border police. 140 of the migrants managed to enter Spanish
territory despite the efforts of the border police.
2014 May 14, United Arab
Emirates telecommunications firm Etisalat said it has completed a
deal to buy French entertainment company Vivendi's majority stake in
Morocco's Maroc Telecom.
2014 May 17, In Morocco some
700 African migrants charged barbed wire fences in two waves at the
Spanish enclave of Melilla. Moroccan and Spanish border guards
repulsed the charges.
(SSFC, 5/18/14, p.A4)
2014 May 26, Moroccan
authorities said three militants have been arrested for recruiting
fighters and funding groups linked to al-Qaida that are fighting
against the government in Syria.
2014 May 28, In Morocco more
than 1,000 would-be immigrants tried to forced their way over
razor-wire barriers into Spain's North African enclave of Melilla,
with about half succeeding. Around 2,000 have breached the 12-km.
barriers so far this year, up from just over 1,000 for the whole of
2014 Jun 7, Moroccan police
raided a warehouse in Casablanca and seized 12 tons of hashish,
known locally as "chira." The raid followed the discovery a day
earlier of 16.7 tons of hashish hidden inside plastic rollers and
tubing in a 40 foot (12 meter) container at the port.
2014 Jun 14, Spanish and
Moroccan security forces drove back 1,000 African migrants who tried
to scramble over a border fence from Morocco into the Spanish
territory of Melilla.
2014 Jun 18, The Moroccan
Association of Human Rights (AMDH) said the repression of
peaceful protests in in the country is growing.
2014 Jun 18, In Morocco some
400 sub-Saharan migrants stormed Spain's multiple-barbed-wire border
fences separating its North African enclave of Melilla from Morocco,
but failed in their bid to enter Europe.
2014 Jun 29, In Morocco around
500 migrants of sub-Saharan origin tried to storm Spain's
barbed-wire border fence separating its North African enclave of
Melilla from Morocco but all failed in their bid to enter Europe.
2014 Jul 11, In Morocco at
least 13 people were killed and at least 53 were injured when three
buildings collapsed in downtown Casablanca.
(Reuters, 7/11/14)(AFP, 7/13/14)
2014 Aug 14, The Moroccan
interior ministry said it has dismantled a network responsible for
recruiting jihadists and sending them to fight in Syria and Iraq for
the Islamic State group.
2014 Aug 14, In Morocco some
250 African migrants tried to leap a triple-layer border fence
around Spain's north African territory of Melilla but only one
person made it through.
2014 Sep 26, Morocco and Spain
said a cross-border cell in the Spanish enclave of Melilla and the
neighboring Moroccan city of Nador to recruit jihadis to fight for
the Islamic State group has been dismantled.
2014 Oct 15, In Morocco some
300 African migrants scaled fences six-meters (20-feet) high to try
to enter Spain's northwest African enclave city of Melilla. 5 police
officers and 5 migrants were treated for minor injuries. Three
migrants managed to reach Melilla.
2014 Oct 20, The Spanish
government said several hundred African migrants staged multiple
attempts to scale the border fences separating Spain's North African
enclave of Melilla from Morocco, with about 60 managing to get
2014 Oct 29, In Morocco some
350 African migrants tried to storm a fence into Spanish territory.
Three made it into the territory of Melilla.
2014 Nov 13, Morocco's interior
ministry said police have arrested four French nationals in the city
of Marrakesh and Western Sahara’s Laayoune, who it said were linked
to terrorist groups.
2014 Nov 15, Morocco was barred
from the next two Africa Cup of Nations as punishment for refusing
to host the 2015 edition in January-February. Morocco faced a 20
million dollar (16 million euros) fine for refusing to host the 2015
Cup in its scheduled January 17-February 8 slot over fears of the
spread of the deadly Ebola epidemic.
2014 Nov 24, Morocco reported
that floods triggered by heavy rain have killed at least 32 people,
swept away buildings, vehicles and roads and forced the evacuation
of more than 200 people, mostly in the southern region of Guelmim.
2014 Dec 16, The Spanish
Interior Ministry said Spanish and Moroccan police have arrested
seven people in a ongoing joint swoop on suspected efforts to
recruit women to go to Syria and Iraq to support Islamic State
2014 Dec 19, Moroccan
authorities said 9 migrants, including 3 infants, have drowned off
the coast near Tangiers. 21 people were rescued.
(SFC, 12/20/14, p.A2)
2014 Dec 24, Morocco banned
cinemas from showing the biblical epic "Exodus: Gods and Kings" just
one day before the Hollywood blockbuster was due to be screened.
2014 Dec 30, In Morocco some
200 African migrants stormed border fences separating Spain's North
African enclave of Melilla from Morocco, with 102 managing to avoid
police interception and make it across.
2014 Dec 31, In Morocco some
800 African migrants tried to storm the border fences separating
Spain's North African enclave of Melilla in the second such attempt
in two days. 54 migrants managed to make it across.
2015 Jan 17, Morocco said it
has dismantled an Islamist militant cell sending fighters to Syria
and Iraq to join Islamic State and mount attacks on returning home.
A security source said the government thinks nearly 2,000 Moroccans
have fought in Syria's civil war and in Iraq with Islamic State.
2015 Jan 28, France's highest
court ruled that a gay French-Moroccan couple are allowed to marry
despite the North African kingdom's refusal to recognize marriages
between two men.
2015 Jan 30, At least 8 people
died when a boat carrying illegal migrants sank amid gales off
Morocco, near the Spanish enclave of Melilla.
2015 Feb 1, Spain said 400
African migrants tried to storm border fences separating its North
African enclave Melilla from Morocco and warned of a buildup in
numbers across the frontier.
2015 Mar 22, Moroccan
authorities announced the dismantling of a militant network linked
to the Islamic State group across nine cities that had been planning
2015 Mar 27, In Yemen at least
21 Shiite rebels were killed when residents in a tribal southern
region opened fire at their vehicles. Warplanes targeted Houthi
forces controlling Sanaa and their northern heartland and, in a
boost for Riyadh, fellow monarchy Morocco said it would join the
rapidly-assembled Sunni Muslim coalition against the Shi'ite Muslim
(AFP, 3/27/15)(Reuters, 3/27/15)
2015 Apr 10, In Morocco at
least 33 people were killed, most of them children, when a bus burst
into flames after colliding with a gas tanker at Shbeka town near
2015 Apr 28, Morocco arrested
four people in the Western Sahara after they allegedly issued a
fatwa authorizing the burning alive of a person they accused of
2015 May 10, In Yemen First
Lieutenant Yassine Bahti (26) of Morocco became the first airman to
die since a Saudi-led coalition began bombing Iran-backed Huthi
rebels in Yemen on March 26.
2015 May, The film "Much Loved"
was banned in Morocco the day after its premiere at the Cannes Film
Festival. It showed how young girls are often tricked into sex work.
In November Moroccan actress Loubna Abidar (30), who played a
prostitute in the film, was dragged off the street and into a car in
Casablanca by three young men and beaten, then mocked by police and
hospital doctors when she turned to them for help.
2015 Jul 2, Morocco said its
security forces have dismantled an Islamist militant cell affiliated
to the Islamic State group, including members with knowledge in
handling weapons and explosives.
2015 Jul 11, Libyan political
parties and members of civil society initialed a UN-proposed peace
accord in Morocco, despite the absence of a rival parliament not
recognized by the international community.
2015 Jul 16, In central Morocco
a crowd lynched and fatally injured a man and seriously hurt his
alleged accomplice after accusing them of robbery near a weekly
2015 Aug 2, A Moroccan man (27)
suffocated to death while trying to illegally enter Spain hidden
inside a suitcase in the trunk of a car. Police soon charged the
man's brother (34) with involuntary manslaughter.
2015 Aug 25, Morocco's Interior
Ministry said 13 people were arrested in raids in several cities
across the country, including Nador and Hoceima on the Mediterranean
coast close to the Spanish enclave of Melilla, as well as Fez and
Casablanca. A Spanish Interior Ministry statement said one person
was arrested in the central town of San Martin de la Vega. Both
ministries said the network was aimed at recruiting fighters for the
Islamic State to fight in Syria and Iraq and also to carry out
IS-type actions in Morocco and Spain.
2015 Aug 27, Two French
investigative journalists were arrested and soon charged in Paris
with trying to blackmail the king of Morocco out of two million
euros ($2.2 million) in hush money. Eric Laurent and Catherine
Graciet were working on a book about King Mohammed VI, which was due
for release early next year.
2015 Sep 4, Moroccans began
voting in local elections seen as a test for the ruling Islamists.
The Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM) formed by a close
associate of Morocco's king secured most seats in local elections.
It was closely followed by the ruling PJD Islamist party which also
won in major cities.
(AFP, 9/4/15)(Reuters, 9/5/15)
2015 Sep 17, The US Pentagon
said Moroccan prisoner Younis Abdurrahman Chekkouri (46) has been
sent home to his native country after nearly 14 years at Guantanamo
after a security review and notification of Congress as required
under the law. He had been held at Guantanamo since May 2002 and was
never been charged. His release reduced the prison population to
2015 Sep 19, French President
Francois Hollande arrived in Morocco for a two-day visit aimed at
strengthening cooperation against terrorism and boosting economic
partnership with the former colony.
2015 Sep 21, France's labor
court ordered the national railway to pay 150 million euros ($169
million) in compensation after finding that Moroccans had faced
discrimination in benefits compared with their French colleagues.
2015 Oct 4, Morocco and Spain
arrested 10 people suspected of recruiting fighters for Islamic
State in Syria and Iraq.
2015 Oct 28, An Italian court
rejected Tunisia's extradition request for Abdelmajid Touil, a
Moroccan arrested on suspicion of involvement in a deadly museum
attack, because he risks the death penalty.
2015 Oct 29, Prominent Moroccan
academic and rights activist Maati Monjib announced he had ended a
three-week hunger strike after the judiciary lifted a travel ban
2015 Oct 29, Four African
migrants drowned and up to 35 were missing after their boat sank in
the Mediterranean in the early hours around 40 miles (65 km) north
of the Moroccan coast.
2015 Dec 8, A boat carrying
African migrants sank apparently due to bad weather as they tried to
cross to the Canary Islands. Moroccan authorities recovered the
bodies of 11 African migrants.
2015 Dec 17, In the Moroccan
coastal town of Skhirat delegates from Libya's warring factions
signed a UN-brokered agreement to form the Government of National
Accord (GNA), a deal that Western powers hope will bring stability
and help fight a growing Islamic State presence.
(Reuters, 12/17/15)(Econ, 4/9/15, p.47)
2015 Dec 25, Moroccan and
Spanish news agencies said over 200 migrants tried swim to Spain's
North African enclave of Ceuta and although 180 made it, two
drowned, 12 were injured and others were intercepted.
2015 Morocco earned €4.8
billion from car exports this year.
(Econ, 6/4/16, p.66)
2016 Jan 15, Moroccan police
arrested Gele Attar, a Belgian man of Moroccan descent, who had a
direct relationship to the terrorists who carried out the Nov 13
attacks in Paris that killed 130 people.
(SFC, 1/19/16, p.A2)
2016 Jan 23, In Morocco
thousands of trainee teachers took to the streets of the capital in
protest at government decrees that would cut grants and affect their
2016 Jan 24, Algerian airport
and government officials said authorities have detained over 200
Moroccans at Algiers airport and summoned the Moroccan envoy to
explain an "unusual" increase in the number of Moroccans apparently
trying to cross into Libya.
2016 Feb, Thomas Gallay, a
French engineer, working in Morocco, was arrested in an anti-terror
sweep and accused of supporting a terrorist organization. Moroccan
authorities said he was a convert to Islam who gave 70 euros to two
Moroccan members of a terror cell. Gallay received a six-year prison
sentence. Gallay later claimed he had signed a confession in Arabic
that he could neither read nor understand.
2016 Mar 5, In Morocco some
1,300 ICAAN participants gathered in Marrakech for 346 sessions. The
meeting of the global organization, charged with the smooth running
of the Internet, continued to March 10.
(Econ, 3/5/16, p.55)
2016 Mar 6, Spanish police
arrested a pilot who was serving a prison sentence and using weekend
furloughs to fly in drugs hauls. Police later raided 14 houses in
locations including Madrid, Malaga, Seville and Cadiz, arresting
suspects of Spanish, Moroccan, Romanian and Ecuadorian
nationalities. 20 people were arrested altogether who used
helicopters to bring hashish from Morocco into Spain.
2016 Mar 13, Hundreds of
thousands of Moroccans demonstrated to protest the UN chief's
remarks about the contested Western Sahara territory. They took
offense when UN chief Ban Ki-moon used the word "occupation" after a
visit this month to refugee camps for the region's native Sahraouis
in southern Algeria.
2016 Mar 16, The Moroccan
government said it reducing its support for the UN peacekeeping
operation in Western Sahara in response to UN chief Ban Ki-moon’s
recent comments about the disputed territory.
(SFC, 3/17/16, p.A2)
2016 Mar 19, In Morocco violent
clashes among fans of the same soccer team in Casablanca left two
people dead and 49 injured.
2016 Mar 21, The UN closed its
Dakhla liaison office in Western Sahara and relocated three military
observers to the UN site in Awsard. Morocco had given the UN three
days to leave in response to UN Sec. Ban Ki-moon’s use of the word
“occupation" to describe the status of Western Sahara.
(SFC, 3/22/16, p.A2)
2016 Mar 5, In Morocco some
1,300 ICAAN participants gathered in Marrakech for 346 sessions. The
meeting of the global organization, charged with the smooth running
of the Internet, continued to March 10.
(Econ, 3/5/15, p.55)
2016 Apr 7, Morocco's official
news agency said eight foreigners have been expelled for supporting
prisoners convicted for their roles in deadly protests in Western
2016 Jun 26, In Morocco about
30 people forced their way into Spain's North African enclave of
Melilla, one of few successful attempts to storm the border so far
this year following increased patrols and security.
2016 Jun, Morocco ranked 88th
in the world in Transparency International’s corruption perceptions
(Econ, 6/11/16, p.49)
2016 Jul 17, Morocco asked the
African Union (AU) to readmit it to an organisation it left in 1984,
as it steps up efforts to win support from member states for a plan
offering conditional autonomy to the disputed territory of Western
2016 Jul 19, Morocco's Interior
Ministry arrested 52 people suspected of being part of a cell linked
to the Islamic State group.
2016 Jul 26, In Morocco a girl
was visiting the Zoological Garden of Rabat with her family,
admiring three elephants when one picked up a stone, then tossed it
more than 10 meters (yards) over a huge ditch and a wooden barrier
toward the visitors. The girl was struck in the head and died hours
2016 Jul 28, Portuguese police
seized about 2 metric tons (2.2 tons) of Moroccan hashish from a
boat and arrested a Spaniard (46) during a night-time operation on
the country's southern coast.
2016 Aug 5, In Morocco a
four-storey building in the Sbata district of Casablanca collapsed
this evening. It had a cafe on the ground floor that had been
teeming with customers and a doctor's clinic which was also full. At
least 2 people were killed and one remained missing.
2016 Aug 5, Brazilian police
arrested Moroccan boxer Hassan Saada (22) for allegedly sexually
assaulting two female cleaners on August 3 in Rio’s Olympic Village.
2016 Sep 26, Morocco adopted
Amazigh spoken by its Berber community as an official language
alongside Arabic, rounding off a reform program launched by King
Mohammed VI in 2011.
2016 Oct 3, Moroccan
authorities dismantled a 10-member terror cell comprised entirely of
women with alleged ties to IS. The cell planned to carry out attacks
on the Oct 7 election day. Seven of the 10 members were underage.
2016 Oct 7, Morocco held
elections to choose which party will lead their next government. The
moderate Islamist Party of Justice and Development won the national
elections. The PJD won 125 of the 395 seats in the Chamber of
Representatives. The Party of Authenticity and Modernity, founded by
an adviser to the king, won 102 seats, and several other parties
shared the rest of the seats.
(AP, 10/7/16)(AP, 10/8/16)
2016 Oct 21, Prosecutors from
Belgium, France, Morocco and Spain called for the ability to unlock
phones and computers and to gain access to encrypted communications
to aid in the fight against terrorism following a 2-day meeting in
2016 Oct 28, In Morocco
Mouhcine Fikri (31) was crushed to death in a rubbish truck in
Al-Hoceima, located in the northern Rif region, as he reportedly
tried to protest against a municipal worker seizing and destroying
his wares. An image of his inert body -- head and arm sticking out
from under the lorry's crushing mechanism -- went viral on social
media, sparking calls for protests nationwide including in the
capital Rabat. 11 people soon faced manslaughter or forgery charges
in the investigation of Fikri’s death.
(AFP, 10/31/16)(AP, 11/1/16)(Econ 7/8/17, p.42)
2016 Oct 31, In Morocco about
220 African migrants forced their way through a barbed wire fence
into Spain's North African enclave of Ceuta, clashing with Spanish
police who tried to prevent them from crossing the border.
2016 Nov 7, The Moroccan Agency
for Solar Energy (Masen) issued Morocco's first green bond to help
to finance the country's development of solar power. Morocco aimed
to obtain 52 percent of its electricity from renewable energy
sources by 2030.
2016 Nov 7, UN talks to
implement the Paris climate pact opened in Marrakesh. Diplomats from
196 nations met in Morocco to flesh out the planet-saving plan inked
in the French capital last December.
2016 Nov 18, UN talks to
implement the Paris climate pact ended in Marrakesh. Diplomats from
196 nations had met in Morocco to flesh out the planet-saving plan
inked in the French capital last December.
(AFP, 11/7/16)(Econ, 11/26/16, p.55)
2016 Dec 9, In Morocco 438
African migrants stormed across a border fence to enter Spain's
North African enclave of Ceuta in one of the biggest crossing
attempts of recent years. Some 800 had tried to make the crossing.
2016 Dec 10, Two Chinese
filmmakers won the top awards at the Marrakesh film festival, with
Zang Qiwu's "The Donor" on the controversial issue of organ
transplants taking the coveted Golden Star. The best director award
went to China's Wang Xuebo for "Knife in the Clear Water".
2016 Dec 21, The European
Union's high court said that EU agreements on closer ties and trade
with Morocco should not apply to the disputed Western Sahara region.
2017 Jan 1, In Morocco more
than 1,000 migrants tried to jump a high double fence between
Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in a violent assault that
saw one officer lose an eye. Two managed to get through, but were
2017 Jan 10, Morocco faced an
unprecedented political deadlock after the Islamist PM Abdelilah
Benkirane broke off talks on forming a coalition government
following three months of fruitless effort.
2017 Jan 17, It was reported
that Morocco has offered Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh asylum in
return for accepting election defeat and stepping down.
2017 Jan 18, In Morocco Sheikh
Sidi Hamza al-Qadiri al-Boutchichi (95), head of one of the
country’s biggest Sufi orders, died in Oujda.
2017 Jan 27, Moroccan
authorities said they had arrested seven suspected militants linked
to Islamic State and seized weapons and explosive belts.
2017 Jan 31, The African Union
readmitted Morocco after a 33-year absence, deferring the issue of
Western Sahara for another day.
2017 Feb 4, Polisario Front
chief Brahim Ghali said "all options are open" for Western Sahara's
independence struggle and voiced hope for renewed talks with Morocco
after its readmission to the African Union.
2017 Feb 5, Morocco’s Deputy
Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita said his country will "never
recognize" Western Sahara's independence despite rejoining the
African Union after a decades-long dispute over the territory.
2017 Feb 17, In Morocco
hundreds of migrants stormed the border between Morocco and Spain at
Ceuta, days after Morocco warned the EU of fresh migrant trouble
following a row over a trade deal.
2017 Feb 20, In Morocco more
than 350 migrants stormed the Spanish border at Ceuta, days after
one of the largest rush of arrivals over the frontier in more than a
decade. 356 managed to get in out of a total of around 700.
2017 Mar 12, Moroccan
authorities arrested Kassim Tajideen, deemed by Washington a top
financier of the Lebanese Hezbollah movement, and planned to
extradite him to the United States.
2017 Mar 17, Morocco’s MAP
state news said King Mohammed VI has named Saad Eddine El Othmani of
the Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD) as the country's
new prime minister and asked him to form a government.
2017 Apr 19, Moroccan police
arrested a young Ferrari driver who triggered a scandal by posting
video footage of himself apparently drunk in front of his crashed
car and ridiculing officers.
2017 Apr 28, The United Nations
Security Council unanimously backed attempts to restart talks
between Morocco and the Polisario independence movement over the
Western Sahara conflict and extended its peacekeeping mission for
2017 Apr 30, Spanish police
arrested 30 drug smugglers in raids carried out in cooperation with
Morocco to bust a ring that introduced hashish across the Strait of
Gibraltar. The gang, called “Las Castanas" (The Chestnuts), was made
up of Spaniards and Moroccans and used small inflatable boats with
powerful motors to smuggle the drugs into Spain from Morocco.
2017 May 8, Attackers in
Central African Republic ambushed a convoy of UN peacekeepers from
Cambodia and Morocco, killing one Cambodian soldier and wounding 8
others. Eight fighters from the anti-Balaka rebel group were also
killed in the battle. Three Cambodian soldiers and a Moroccan
peacekeeper were reported missing and possibly kidnapped. The three
Cambodian soldiers were found dead the next day.
(AP, 5/9/17)(AP, 5/21/17)
2017 May 9, Spanish officials
said about 300 migrants tried to scramble across the 6-meter
(20-foot) border fence separating the North African enclave of
Melilla from Morocco, with many throwing stones and other objects at
2017 May 29, Authorities in
Morocco arrested Nasser Zefzafi, leader of Al-Hirak al-Shaabi, or
the "Popular Movement." The movement has shaken the country's
northern Rif region for months. Zefzafi was "severely" beaten and
verbally abused by police during his arrest.
(AFP, 5/29/17)(AP, 6/22/17)
2017 May 30, In northern
Morocco thousands staged demonstrations for a fifth night running to
demand the release of Nasser Zefzafi, the leader of a months-long
protest movement in the neglected Rif region.
2017 May 31, In northern
Morocco thousands of people demonstrated for the sixth straight
night as protesters demand the release of the leader of a popular
movement in the neglected Rif region.
2017 Jun 2, In northern Morocco
several thousand people protested in Al-Hoceima to demand the
authorities release an activist arrested for leading months of
demonstrations against official abuses and corruption.
2017 Jun 3, Moroccan
authorities stifled a women's protest against official abuses and
corruption in the northern town of Al-Hoceima where months of unrest
has tested the North African kingdom.
2017 Jun 4, Spanish novelist
Juan Goytisolo (86), known for his experimental novels and political
essays, died at his home in Morocco. In 2014 Goytisolo won Spain's
most prestigious literary award, the Cervantes Prize.
2017 Jun 5, Moroccan
authorities arrested two more leaders of a protest movement, after
demonstrators rallied for more than a week against corruption and
2017 Jun 10, In Morocco
protesters clashed with security forces in Al-Hoceima early today,
after more than a week of protests in the northern province.
2017 Jun 11, Moroccan police
detained four people in northern Morocco over the last 24 hours, as
protests continued for a second week in the neglected Rif region.
Thousands of people demonstrated in Rabat to protest corruption.
(AFP, 6/11/17)(SFC, 6/12/17, p.A2)
2017 Jun 14, In Morocco a court
sentenced 25 demonstrators and suspected members of Al-Hirak
al-Shaabi (Popular Movement) to 18 months in jail each.
2017 Jul 20, In northern
Morocco protester Imad Atabi was in a coma after being struck on the
head during clashes between demonstrators and security forces in
Al-Hoceima. On August 8 he died of his injuries.
(AFP, 7/21/17)(AFP, 8/8/17)
2017 Jul 29, Morocco's King
Mohammed VI granted early releases and reduced sentences to
1,178 inmates and other convicts, including an undisclosed number of
protesters detained during unauthorized demonstrations in the El
Hoceima region and other parts of the country. Mohammed VI
criticized some officials for displaying an "unacceptable attitude"
during the protests that have turned into a major grassroots
2017 Aug 1, Around 70
sub-Saharan African migrants crossed the razor-wire-topped fence
separating northern Morocco from the Spanish enclave of Ceuta,
leaving 14 people hospitalized.
2017 Aug 7, In Morocco dozens
of sub-Saharan migrants crossed into Spain in the early hours today
after running through a border gate into the enclave of Ceuta.
2017 Sep 12, A Moroccan appeals
court increased the prison sentence of a journalist to one year for
inciting an unauthorized protest. Hamid El Mahdaoui, who heads the
Badil online news site, was arrested in July at the start of a
banned demonstration in the restive northern city of Al-Hoceima.
2017 Oct 8, Hundreds of people
from around Morocco protested in the nation's economic capital,
Casablanca, to demand freedom for activists jailed for their roles
in a protest movement that took off a year ago in a neglected
2017 Oct 14, Moroccan
authorities said they had dismantled a cell linked to Islamic State
that was active in eight towns and cities and was planning terrorist
operations. Eleven people were arrested.
2017 Oct 19, In Morocco the new
Yves Saint Laurent museum opened its doors to the public in
Marrakech. The museum was inaugurated Oct. 14 by the wife of
Moroccan King Mohammed VI, Lalla Salma, alongside actresses
Catherine Deneuve and Marisa Berenson.
2017 Oct 20, Algerian Foreign
Minister Abdelkader Messahel claimed Moroccan banks launder money
from hashish trafficking. He also said Morocco's national airline,
Royal Air Maroc, "carries something other than passengers." The
borders separating the North African countries have been closed
2017 Nov 9, A Moroccan court
sentenced two members of a northern protest movement to 20 years in
prison each for torching a police building earlier this year. They
were accused of having torched a building that housed policemen in
March, in the city of Imzouren near Al-Hoceima.
2017 Nov 11, In Belgium
celebrations in Brussels to mark Morocco's return to soccer's World
Cup finals for the first time in two decades turned violent late
today, when crowds clashed with police, setting cars on fire and
injuring 22 police officers. More than 100,000 people of Moroccan
origin live in Brussels.
2017 Nov 19, In western Morocco
at least 15 people were killed and five injured in a crush as food
aid was distributed near the coastal tourist town of Essaouira.
2017 Nov 30, At least 3
migrants, two of them women, died when their boat sank off Morocco
late today. Another 28 people who were on their boat were missing.
2017 Nov, In Morocco El Mortada
Iamrachen (31), a member of a protest movement in the neglected
northern Rif region, was convicted of "defending terrorism" and
2017 Dec 3, South African
President Jacob Zuma said in a newspaper interview published today
that South Africa and Morocco will resume diplomatic ties more than
a decade after Morocco withdrew its ambassador from Pretoria.
Morocco recalled its ambassador from South Africa in 2004 after
former South African president Thabo Mbeki recognized a breakaway
region in the Western Sahara which Morocco claims as part of its
2017 Dec 10, In Morocco tens of
thousands of protesters rallied in Rabat as demonstrations against
US President Donald Trump's declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's
capital continued to spread.
2018 Jan 6, In Morocco more
than 300 people stormed the heavily fortified border between Morocco
and the Spanish enclave Melilla in what authorities called a mass
"violent crossing." Some 209 migrants succeeded in reaching Spain.
2018 Feb 1, Morocco’s interior
ministry said authorities have arrested seven suspected Islamic
State militants who had been planning attacks.
2018 Feb 4, Spanish authorities
said an unspecified number of migrants have been found dead in
waters near the coast of Morocco. Moroccan rescue services said they
have recovered the bodies of around 20 migrants in the
(AP, 2/4/18)(AFP, 2/4/18)
2018 Feb 17, In Morocco a
freight train and a personnel transport vehicle collided near the
northern city of Tangier killing six people.
2018 Feb 20, San
Francisco-based Uber said it is pulling out of Morocco, in a
decision linked to the North African country's failure to reform its
strict transport rules. For nearly three years, Uber has been
operating illegally in Morocco — despite currently having 19,000
users in Morocco and over 300 drivers.
2018 Feb 27, The EU's top court
said a fisheries agreement the bloc has concluded with Morocco can't
include the waters off the disputed territory of Western Sahara.
2018 Mar 3, Spanish authorities
said two female migrants died while trying to swim to the shore of
Ceuta, a small Spanish enclave in Morocco.
2018 Mar 8, In Morocco Mustapha
Dainane, leader of protests that began last December in the
northeastern town of Jerada, was arrested early today following a
2018 Apr 29, At least 15
African migrants died when their boat, which had departed from
Morocco, capsized off the Algerian coast while trying to reach
2018 Apr, In Morocco an
unprecedented boycott campaign was launched targeting Afriquia
service stations, Sidi Ali water and Danone milk -- leaders in their
sectors -- and calling for a drop in prices. The campaign revived
criticism against links between the country's business and political
2018 May 1, Moroccan Foreign
Minister Nasser Bourita said that his government had proof that the
Lebanese Hezbollah group, which is supported by Iran, has been
providing training and financial support to Polisario fighters in
Western Sahara since 2016.
2018 May 8, Morocco's phosphate
industry giant OCP announced it had recovered a 55,000-tons cargo
"for a symbolic one dollar" after a legal dispute with South Africa.
This came more than a year after South Africa seized the cargo from
Western Sahara while en route to New Zealand.
2018 Jun 4, Human Rights Watch
accused Morocco's police of carrying out a weeks-long campaign of
"repression" against protests in the northeastern city of Jerada,
including mass arrests and alleged abuse in custody.
2018 Jun 26, In Morocco Nasser
Zefzafi, the leader of protests over economic and social problems in
the northern Rif region, was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in
prison, provoking outrage among his family and activists. A number
of other activists were also jailed for up to 20 years.
2018 Jun, Morocco sentenced
journalist Hamid el Mahdaoui to three years in prison for "not
denouncing" attempts to harm state security after he received a call
from a man who said he planned to create armed strife in Morocco.
Mahdaoui was already serving a one-year sentence for inciting
2018 Jul 26, In Morocco more
than 600 African migrants reached the Spanish territory of Ceuta
after storming a double border fence and attacking police with
caustic quicklime and excrements. Moroccan police stopped around 100
of them, while 602 managed to climb over into Spain.
2018 Aug 22, In Morocco 116
African migrants managed to force their way into the Spanish enclave
of Ceuta when some 300 hundred tried to storm the highly fortified
border. More than 3,800 migrants have crossed the Moroccan border
into the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla so far this year.
(Reuters, 8/22/18)(AP, 8/22/18)
2018 Aug 26, In France Moroccan
singer Saad Lamjarred (33) was arrested on suspicion of committing a
rape in the town of Saint-Tropez on the French Riviera. Lamjarred
was previously arrested in October 2016 for having assaulted a
French woman in a luxury hotel on the Champs-Elysee avenue.
2018 Aug, In Morocco a dozen
suspects, aged 17 to 28, were remanded in custody on charges
including human trafficking of a minor, rape and torture. Teenager
Khadija (17) said members of a "dangerous gang" in her town had
abducted and held her prisoner for two months, raping and torturing
2018 Sep 25, Morocco's navy
opened fire on a speedboat carrying more than two dozen migrants. A
migrant (22) studying law died before reaching a hospital. Three
others were wounded. Two Spanish captains were arrested.
2018 Oct 1, In Morocco 26
survivors were taken ashore to the town of Nador after waiting to be
rescued from a semi-sunken boat for more than 36 hours. They said
that 34 people had died or disappeared in the Mediterranean Sea.
2018 Oct 2, In Morocco a
long-awaited law aimed at protecting thousands of young girls
working as housemaids took effect, the country's first such
legislation. The law sets a minimum age of 18 for household work. It
allowed 16-17 year-olds to work as domestic helpers for a further
five years until October 2023.
2018 Oct 15, Germany deported
Mounir el Motassadeq (44) to Morocco. He was convicted in 2003 of
membership in a terrorist organization and accessory to the murder
of the 246 passengers and crew on the four jetliners used in the
2001 al-Qaida attacks on New York and Washington.
2018 Oct 16, In Morocco a
shuttle train linking Rabat to a town farther north on the Atlantic
coast derailed, killing at least seven people and injuring dozens.
The train was traveling at more than twice the speed limit on the
part of the track where it derailed.
(AP, 10/16/18)(Reuters, 10/23/18)
2018 Oct 21, In northern
Morocco a migrant died and 19 others were hurt after around 200
people scaled a fence to enter Spain's Melilla enclave.
2018 Oct 22, Morocco said it
would deport 141 migrants who were arrested a day earlier as they
tried to storm a border fence with the Spanish enclave of Melilla.
2018 Oct 27, In Morocco the
tents and belongings of some 1,000 migrants were destroyed by a fire
late today, the third at the camp since July 2017.
2018 Oct 30, In Germany
Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the G20 Compact with Africa meeting
saying it's critical "not only to talk about Africa but to talk with
Africa" about development needs and goals. So far 11 countries have
joined the program: Benin, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana,
Guinea, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal, Togo and Tunisia.
2018 Nov 15, Morocco
inaugurated Africa's fastest train which will halve traveling time
between the commercial and industrial hubs of Casablanca and
Tangier. The train, which was tested at a speed of 357 km (222
miles)per hour, is planned to run at 320 km (198 miles) per hour.
The $2 billion project was jointly funded with France and several
(Reuters, 11/15/18)(SFC, 11/16/18, p.A2)
2018 Nov 19, Spanish PM Pedro
Sanchez made his first official visit to Morocco, where he pushed
for greater cooperation between the two countries on tackling
2018 Nov 29, Gabon's President
Ali Bongo (59) arrived in Morocco to convalesce after a month's
treatment at a Saudi hospital for an illness that has not been
2018 Dec 5, The UN
secretary-general's envoy for Western Sahara met with foreign
ministers from Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania plus leaders of the
Polisario Front in Geneva over the future of the Morocco-annexed
2018 Dec 6, In Geneva two days
of UN talks on Western Sahara ended with all sides promising to meet
again for a similar "round table" in the first quarter of 2019, UN
envoy Horst Koehler told reporters after the meeting ended
2018 Dec 10, In Morocco a
United Nations conference in Marrakesh adopted a migration pact in
front of leaders and representatives from around 150 countries,
despite a string of withdrawals driven by anti-immigrant populism.
2018 Dec 17, In Morocco two
Scandinavian women were found dead in the High Atlas mountains.
Hikers Louisa Vesterager Jespersen (24) of Denmark and Maren Ueland
(28) of Norway were found dead with cuts to their necks. One suspect
was arrested the next day and other suspects were being sought. On
Dec. 20 authorities arrested three more suspects.
(AFP, 12/18/18)(AP, 12/20/18)
2018 Dec 21, Moroccan
authorities said nine more people have been arrested for connections
to the four initial suspects in the Dec. 17 killing of two
Scandinavian university students in a remote corner of the Atlas
2018 Dec 24, Moroccan security
sources said 19 people have been arrested in the wake of the Dec. 17
murder of two Scandinavian women in the Atlas Mountains.
2019 Feb 12, The European
Parliament backed a fisheries agreement with Morocco which includes
waters off the disputed territory of Western Sahara that Rabat
claims. After initial approval, the member states need to officially
back it again later.
2019 Feb 20, Moroccan police
fired water cannons at protesting teachers who were marching toward
a royal palace and beat people with truncheons amid demonstrations
around Rabat. Morocco now sees an average of 48 protests daily,
according to the ministry for human rights.
2019 Mar 24, In Morocco about
10,000 teachers staged a new protest in Rabat to demand permanent
jobs, hours after police had used water cannon to disperse an
2019 Mar 25, Morocco hosted
ministers from 36 African countries for UN-backed talks on ending
the four-decades-old conflict in Western Sahara, a swathe of desert
on Africa's Atlantic coast.
2019 Mar 26, In Morocco Larbi
Rich (54), the driver of a passenger train that derailed and killed
seven people last year, was convicted of manslaughter but ordered
released on time already served.
2019 Mar 30, Pope Francis
started a two-day visit to Morocco. He said that problems of
migration would never be resolved by physical barriers but instead
required social justice and correcting the world's economic
imbalances. He also backed Moroccan King Mohammed VI's efforts to
spread a moderate form of Islam that promotes inter-religious
dialogue and rejects any form of terrorism or violence in God's
2019 Mar 31, In Morocco Pope
Francis told Catholic priests and sisters that even though they are
few in number, they shouldn't seek to convert others to Christianity
but rather engage in dialogue and charity.
2019 Apr 5, In Morocco dozens
of activists linked to the Hirak protest movement that rocked
northern Morocco in 2016 and 2017 had prison sentences of up to 20
years upheld by a court of appeal.
2019 Apr 27, In Morocco 16
African migrants from various countries were killed in a vehicle
crash between the coastal cities of Saidia and Nador. 17 others were
(SFC, 4/29/19, p.A2)
2019 May 18, It was reported
that drought in southern Morocco has turned parts arid and that
herders' determination to roam freely has brought them into dispute
with crop farmers in the region of Souss.
2019 May, A report by the UN
Environment Program (UNEP) on the global over-exploitation of this
resource accused "sand mafias" of destroying Morocco's beaches and
over-urbanizing its coastline.
2019 Jul 19, The Spanish
government said around 200 migrants have tried to climb a barrier
separating the north African enclave of Melilla from Morocco. Around
50 migrants managed to scale the security fence surrounding the
2019 Aug 2, Morocco passed
legislation reintroducing French as a language of instruction in
schools. The country’s two official languages included modern
standard Arabic (MSA) and Tamazight (the Berber tongue). Most
Moroccans speak Darija (Moroccan Arabic).
(Econ, 8/17/19, p.35)
2019 Aug 28, In Morocco a flash
flood swept across a soccer field in a southern village, killing at
least seven people watching a local match in Tizert.
2019 Aug 30, In Morocco at
least 155 migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa successfully entered the
Spanish enclave of Ceuta after climbing over fences or walking
across a border post.
2019 Sep 28, Seven Moroccan
migrants were found dead off Morocco's Atlantic coast near
Casablanca after their boat capsized. On Sept. 30 the bodies of five
more migrants were found on the coast near Casablanca, bringing to
12 the number killed.
(Reuters, 9/28/19)(Reuters, 9/30/19)
2019 Oct 17, Scientists said
fossils found in Morocco suggest the practice of forming orderly
lines may date back 480 million years and could have had
evolutionary advantages. Their study described groups of blind
trilobites — known as Ampyx — all facing in the same direction,
apparently maintaining contact via their long rearward spines.
2019 Nov 26, Spanish rescuers
saved 58 people from a raft, which was found drifting around 37
miles off the coast of Morocco late today. Four migrants died and up
to 16 more were missing after trying to cross into Europe from North