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Morocco

Yearbook 2007

Morocco. According to CountryAAH, the state's struggle against militant Islamists escalated. On January 4, 26 Moroccans were arrested on suspicion of being part of a terrorist network recruiting militant Islamists to the Iraq war. On March 2, eight people were sentenced to imprisonment of up to 15 years for planning terror attacks in Europe. The principal was said to have collaborated with North Africa's largest Islamist group, al-Qa'ida's organization in the Islamic Maghreb. Another trial, against more than 50 people suspected of planning terror attacks, including against several ministers, had to be postponed or updated several times during the spring. Four people suspected of being suicide bombers were killed in March and April in Casablanca as their explosive charges detonated prematurely in connection with confrontations. A fifth bomber was killed by police.

2007 Morocco

The September 7 parliamentary election was a success for the conservative and ultra-nationalist party Istiqlal, who took 52 of the parliament's 325 seats. The second largest party became the Islamic Justice and Development Party (PJD) with 46 seats. The Left Party Socialist Union (USFP), which was the largest party before the election, went back to 38 seats. The turnout was 41 percent, the lowest in eight years. As new prime minister, the king, who holds the final power over the government, appointed Abbas El Fassi, who previously held several ministerial and ambassadorial posts.

Freedom of the press was restricted before the elections. A court in Casablanca in January imposed conditional imprisonment against two journalists who, in a lower court, had been convicted of publishing jokes about Islam, politics and sex in their journal Nichane.

UN refugee agency UNHCR reported in May that more than 10,000 refugees from sub-Saharan countries were living illegally and under severe conditions in Morocco. The country had, following pressure from the EU, adopted a tougher attitude towards refugees.

Morocco strongly condemned the Spanish King's visit to the Spanish enclaves Melilla and Ceuta on the Moroccan Mediterranean coast on November 5 and 6. It was the first Spanish state visit to the enclaves.

Morocco - Rabat

Rabat

Rabat, Arabic ar-Ribāṭ, capital of Morocco; 577,800 residents (2015). Rabat is located where the Bou Regreg river opens into the Atlantic and together with the city of Salé forms a special city prefecture. The old, walled city (medina) is closest to the sea.

In the newer, "European" section is the Royal Palace, administration and university. Rabat is an important traffic hub with an international airport. Business is dominated by the textile, leather, fruit and fish industries.

The city was founded in the 12th century as a focal point in the Almohad's war against the Christians of the Pyrenees Peninsula. In the 1610s Rabat became a refuge for a large number of Moorish Christians, Christian Moors who were banished from Spain. The city was then among other things. base for Arab pirates. In 1912 Rabat became the capital of the French Protectorate of Morocco.

 

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