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Morocco

CrisisWatch Morocco

Unchanged Situation

Rabat continued to take increasingly confrontational stance vis-à-vis European partners over Western Sahara. Around 8,000 Moroccans and sub-Saharan Africans 17-18 May entered Spanish enclave of Ceuta. In following days, tensions ran high between Morocco and Spain, with both sides trading accusations. Hours after Spanish foreign ministry 18 May summoned Morocco’s ambassador to Spain Karima Benyaich, Rabat recalled her for consultations. Morocco’s Human Rights Minister Mustapha Ramid same day linked relaxation of border controls to Polisario Front independence movement leader Brahim Ghali’s hospitalisation in Spain since April (see Western Sahara); Spanish Defence Minister Margarita Robles 20 May denounced “blackmail” and Morocco’s “aggression of Spanish borders”. Rabat 6 May recalled its ambassador to Germany in protest at Berlin’s alleged “destructive attitude” on Western Sahara; move comes after Morocco early March suspended relations with Berlin, citing “profound misunderstandings […] on fundamental issues”. Meanwhile, Morocco by month’s end had not responded to UN Sec-Gen Guterres’ proposal of Italian-Swedish diplomat Staffan de Mistura as next personal envoy to Western Sahara.

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Reports & Briefings

Time for International Re-engagement in Western Sahara

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Islamism in North Africa I: The Legacies of History

Islamism in North Africa I: The Legacies of History

In The News

22 Aug 2017
Morocco has been very successful at driving deep underground any major al-Qaeda or Isis group. Moroccan jihadis have largely gone to fight abroad, rather than stay at home. Financial Times

Issandr El Amrani

Former Project Director, North Africa
19 Aug 2017
What’s astounding is that an attack like [the one in Barcelona] hasn’t taken place inside Morocco. The New York Times

Issandr El Amrani

Former Project Director, North Africa
20 Mar 2017
The focus in the last few months has been on Morocco’s entry into the African Union…and now there’s a little urgency in trying to get a government back on its feet. Quartz

Issandr El Amrani

Former Project Director, North Africa
16 Mar 2017
[The western Sahara issue] is the No. 1 strategic priority at the end of the day for Morocco. It dominates everything in Morocco’s diplomacy. World Politics Review

Issandr El Amrani

Former Project Director, North Africa
8 Mar 2017
The [Justice and Development Party in Morocco] is in a less of a strong position than it was in 2011 and the palace has more cards to push for its dilution. Reuters

Issandr El Amrani

Former Project Director, North Africa
10 Feb 2017
Morocco wants to become the intersection point between the West and West Africa. Al Monitor

Issandr El Amrani

Former Project Director, North Africa

Latest Updates

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Islamism in North Africa I: The Legacies of History

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