Leadership and Cabinet
Minister: el-Fassi, Abbas
of Agriculture & Fisheries: Akhennouch, Aziz
of Communication & Government Spokesman: Naciri, Khalid
of Culture: Jabrane, Touriya, Ms
of Economy & Finance: Mezouar, Salah Eddine
of Employment & Vocational Training: Aghmani, Jamal
of Energy, Mines, Water & Environment: Benkhadra, Amina, Ms
of Equipment & Transport: Ghellab, Karim
of Foreign Affairs & Cooperation: Fassi al-Fihri, Taïeb
of Foreign Trade: Maâzouz, Abdellatif
of Habous & Islamic Affairs: Taoufiq, Ahmed
of Health: Baddou, Yasmina, Ms
of Housing, Town Planning & Development: Hejira, Ahmed Taoufiq
of Industry, Trade & New Technologies: Chami, Ahmed
of Interior: Benmoussa, Chakib
of Justice: Radi, Adbelwahed
of National Education, Higher Education, Staff Training & Scientific
Research: Akhchichine, Ahmed
for Relations with Parliament: Alami, Mohamed Saâd
of Social Development, Family & Solidarity: Skalli, Nouzha, Ms
of State (w/o portfolio): el-Yazghi, Mohamed
of Tourism & Craft Industry: Boussaid, Mohamed
of Youth & Sports: el-Moutawakil, Nawal, Ms
General of the Government: Rabiah Abdessadek
Minister to the Prime Minister for National Defense: Sbaï, Abderrahmane
Minister to the Prime Minister for Economic & General Affairs: Baraka,
Minister to the Prime Minister for Public Sectors Modernization: Abbou, Mohamed
Minister to the Prime Minister for Moroccan Expatriates: Ameur, Mohamed
of State to the Minister of Energy, Mining, Water and Environment, for Water
& Environment: Zahoud, Abdelkébir
of State to the Minister for Foreign Affairs & Cooperation: Lakhrif, Ahmed
of State to the Minister for Foreign Affairs & Cooperation: Akherbach,
of State to the Minister of Housing, Town Planning & Development, for
Territorial Development: al-Mesbahi, Abdeslam
of State to the Minister of Interior: Hassar, Saâd
of State to the Minister of National Education, Higher Education, Staff
Training, & Scientific Research, for Primary & Secondary
Labida. Latifa, Ms
of State to the Minister of Tourism & Craft Industry, for Craft Industry:
Central Bank: Jouahri, Abdellatif
Morocco, on the north-western coast of Africa, dominates the southern shore of the Straits of
Gibraltar with a coastline on the Atlantic Ocean
and Mediterranean Sea, making it strategically
colonies were scattered along the Moroccan coast in ancient times, while the
population of the interior was largely Berber-speaking. The territory was added
to the Roman Empire after the fall of Carthage. In the 7th and
8th Centuries AD, it was conquered by Arab armies and converted to Islam;
gradually, Arabic replaced Berber as the spoken language, although a minority
still speak Berber dialects.
In 788 AD, Idris
I broke with the Caliphate in Baghdad,
began its independent history; in fact it has rarely been part of larger
empires except when those empires were Moroccan-based, as with the Almoravid
state which included Spain.
By the 16th
had become an important Sultanate, confronting Spanish expansion and carrying
on diplomatic ties with other European states. Gradually, however, European
colonial expansion threatened Moroccan independence. By 1912, the country was
partitioned by the European powers, with Tangier forming an international city
dividing the country.
French Morocco gained
independence under King Mohammed V in 1956. The contiguous Spanish territories
were soon incorporated into Morocco, except, initially, for Spanish Sahara,
which was retained by Madrid until 1975 — when it was ceded by Spain to Morocco
— and the enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla opposite Gibraltar, which remained
under Spanish control.
The country is a
constitutional monarchy and has a multi-party system. Real power lies with the
Throne, now occupied by King Mohammed VI.
Morocco is staunchly pro-Western, with close ties
to the United States
It is also increasingly active in inter-Arab and Pan-Islamic movements.
Since 1974, the
war for the Western Sahara has occupied
Moroccan attention, and led to strained relations with neighboring Algeria, which
has consistently sponsored the POLISARIO movement which, although not in control
of any Saharan territory, claimed to be the government of an independent Western Sahara which it called the “Sahrawi Republic”
(SADR). The issue led, for a period, to some difficulties with the US, which did
not recognize Morocco’s
annexation of the Western Sahara; but, in
arms sales to Morocco
were resumed. Under the Reagan Administration, arms sales to Morocco were
stepped up and restrictions on their use in Western Sahara
were tacitly dropped. The success of the “useful triangle” defense system eased
the burden of the war, and Morocco’s
offer, at the Nairobi Organization for African Unity (OAU) summit in 1981, to
hold a referendum on the territory eased diplomatic pressure against the
Kingdom. When the self-styled SADR was admitted — without an actual territory
under its control, despite a guerilla war it was waging in the territory — to
the OAU in early 1982, the organization split along pro-Moroccan and
pro-SADR/POLISARIO (Popular Front for the Liberation of Rio de Oro and
Saguietal-Hamra) lines. Morocco
withdrew from the Organization for African Unity (OAU) in 1984 as a result of
the recognition accorded by some OAU states to the SADR.
were strengthened by a 1982 agreement to allow US forces facilities at Moroccan
air bases in case of emergency.
In June 1981,
labor unrest led to a general strike in urban areas. The strike was suppressed
by Government forces, with heavy casualties and widespread arrests. Leaders of
the Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP) and the Trade Union Confederation
(CDT) were arrested. By 1982, some
of these leaders had been released.
In January 1983,
the second most powerful leader in the country, Gen. Ahmed Dlimi, who was
simultaneously in charge of the war in the Sahara, the Royal Aides-de-Camp
and the powerful Directorate General of Studies and Documentation (DGED)
intelligence service, died in what was officially described as an automobile
accident. Extensive purges were reported (unofficially) in the Royal Guard, the
Gendarmerie, and the military services, and there was speculation that
Dlimi had been eliminated for plotting against the King, although officially
his death was accidental.
Dlimi’s death, in February, King Hassan met with Algerian President Chadli
Benjedid in a major step toward rapprochement with Algeria. A
broader all-Maghreb summit was anticipated later in 1983. Discussions were said
to be under way to seek a compromise on the Sahara.
Moroccan officials secretly met with POLISARIO Front leaders, though they
denied these meetings had occurred.
elections had been scheduled by September 1983, and when communal and municipal
elections were held in June, a number of new political parties participated. A
new party led by Prime Minister Maati Bouabid, the Constitutional Union, polled
more votes than the Istiqlal, the traditional winner.
But the King
suddenly postponed the parliamentary elections, saying they would be held only
after the proposed referendum on the Western Sahara,
which had been promised by the end of 1983. It was not, however, held.
established a multi-party cabinet under technocrat Karim Lamrani in December
1983, partly because it was constitutionally difficult to come up with a budget
acceptable to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the absence of a sitting
Parliament. The new Cabinet included the leaders of all the major parties,
including the socialist USFP.
parliamentary elections were due again in early 1984, they were once more
postponed due to serious internal troubles. In January, shortly after food
riots broke out in Tunisia,
serious rioting shook several Moroccan cities, especially in the north but also
in Rabat and
Agadir. The King blamed the rioting on “Communists, Khomeiniites, and
Zionists”, but many of those arrested belonged to Islamic fundamentalist
rescheduled elections neared in September 1984 the King issued amnesties to
some political prisoners, though other political opponents staged protest
In August 1984, Libyan
leader Muammar Qadhafi and King Hassan signed an agreement on an “Arab-African
Union”, the exact nature of which was not clearly spelled out. In the
aftermath, however, a less pro-Algerian Government took over in Mauritania in
December 1984, and while Morocco
pursued very different foreign policies, Moroccans gained some concessions:
they were, for example, exempt from the massive expulsions of 1985 as Libya began
ousting foreign workers.
the previous Arab Summit at Fez,
King Hassan was technically the leader of the Arab League. After considerable
efforts by Jordan and its friends to call a summit to approve, or at least give
a green light to, the Hussein–Arafat/Arab–Israeli peace initiative (see Jordan
chapter), King Hassan suddenly called an emergency Summit in Casablanca for
August 1985, without full consultation with other Arab states. Syria, South Yemen and Lebanon refused to attend, as did Algeria,
presumably for Maghreb power balance reasons.
Given the fact that many other states did not send their head-of-state, the
summit was inconclusive, but did not openly oppose the Hussein–Arafat
opposition forces remained active through 1985-86, especially by carrying out
hunger strikes and other visible efforts to embarrass the Government. But with
Prince Sidi Muhammad, the heir apparent, now of age and showing some skill at
diplomacy and politics, immediate threats to the Throne seemed somewhat
lessened. Hassan II, however, remained very much the central, perhaps sole,
political force in the executive, and thus much depended on his health and
international development was the visit in July 1986 of Israeli Prime Minister
Shimon Peres to Morocco,
where he held talks with the King. Whether because clandestine Israeli/Moroccan
contacts are known to have gone on for years, or because of a generally-changed
attitude in the Arab world following Egypt’s de facto “re-entry”,
the Peres visit produced little uproar, especially compared to that evoked in
1977 by Anwar Sadat’s visit to Jerusalem.
were the main objectors. Libya
broke off its “union” with Morocco
under the Oujda Accords, a break welcomed by the US, which had never been
comfortable with the Rabat-Tripoli connection. The Peres/Hassan talks were
dramatic but produced no concrete results.
In 1987, things
heated up. POLISARIO reported that a “sixth wall”, to enclose the southern part
of Western Sahara, was under construction. On
February 23, POLISARIO launched an attack in the Guelta Zemmour area of the
wall, followed two days later by its biggest attack since late 1984, which
included the use of armor. Both sides claimed success, but the Moroccans admitted
the size of the attack. The new intensity of raids continued for some time and Morocco sought
more anti-tank weapons by June. In July, the US Government notified Congress of
a Letter of Offer to Morocco for the purchase of 100 M-48A5 tanks, a type
Morocco already had in its inventory and so could bring into service quickly.
this was the high water-mark for POLISARIO. It was attempting to stop
construction of the sixth wall, and failed. Thereafter, the Moroccan defensive
task was easier. In 1987 also, Morocco
had a budget surplus for the first time since 1973. The price of its main
import, oil, was down and the price of its main export, phosphates, was up, so
there was little chance of the economy being strained by the war. From then to
the end of 1988, POLISARIO attacks seemed more designed to provide a hook on
which a heavy load of propaganda could be hung than a serious military effort.
In May 1988,
President Chadli Bendjedid of Algeria,
whose economy was in a downswing, met King Hassan at the same point on the
border that they had met in 1983, in a Saudi-backed effort to end the Sahara war. POLISARIO was not present. Things moved
slowly and quietly, but relations between the two countries improved steadily
through 1988, increasingly focused on the idea of the Greater Maghreb. This was
a long-held dream of some form of union for the Arab states cut off from the Middle East by the North African desert.
Early in 1989,
the plans came together in a scheme for an Arab Maghreb Union, a Common Market-like
economic association of Morocco
which left the potentially more explosive issues of political union to a later
date. The Treaty of the Arab Maghreb Union was signed by the five
heads-of-state on February
danger of becoming irrelevant, began a series of talks with Morocco on January 4, 1989.
Hassan had previously rejected direct talks with them, but now he felt he was
negotiating from strength. At first talks went well and plans were discussed
for a referendum in the Western Sahara
territory. It was thought this would lead to a solution. POLISARIO announced a
military truce to run through February. Then Hassan postponed indefinitely a
second meeting due in mid-February. After a period of testing to see if this
was a negotiating ploy, POLISARIO announced on March 12, 1989, that fighting would
In 1990 King
Hassan made several attempts to introduce political liberalization measures.
Critics of the King, such as Muhammad Douiri of the opposition Istiqlal
Party, charged that the reforms were not extensive enough. Amnesty
International criticized Morocco
for human rights violations.
In mid-1990, Morocco’s
economy struggled as it attempted to cope with an austerity program laid down
and enforced by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Also in mid-1990, the
nation’s international debt reached $22-billion, and servicing the debt imposed
severe strains on the nation’s economy. The national budget deficit and trade
deficit both increased; the unemployment rate hovered around 30 percent; the
import bill rose; and income from phosphates, the primary import, declined.
cautioned that under prevailing circumstances, if Morocco opened up the political
process too rapidly, the main beneficiaries would be the extreme Islamic
parties, who had become increasingly active in recent years.
In May 1990, in
the largest demonstration ever staged by Islamic fundamentalists in Rabat, some 2,000
demonstrators were detained by the police, with many of the marchers beaten by
the security personnel covering the demonstration. Six leaders of Al Adl Wal
Ihssane, the outlawed fundamentalist Islamic movement that had been ordered
dissolved, were scheduled to appear at the rally.
Faced with a
general strike and riots that claimed the lives of 30 people, Prime Minister
Azeddine Laraki on December
17, 1990, pledged to raise salaries and improve social welfare
By then popular
concern was shifting to disquiet at King Hassan’s support for the coalition
and the prospect of military action to evict it from Kuwait. In the long-term however,
the move was generally agreed to have been politically sound. It was also
economically advantageous. In recognition of Morocco’s support, Saudi Arabia
wiped out Moroccan debts of over $3-billion after the Gulf War.
France and Morocco signed an agreement on
scientific and technical cooperation in the field of nuclear energy on April 19, 1991.
declared intention to join, or at least closely associate with, the European
Community, was hindered by the perceived lack of democracy in the Moroccan
political system. On August
11, 1992, the King dismissed the seven-year old Government of Prime
Minister Azeddine Laraki and appointed Mohammed Karim Lamrani as Prime Minister
of a new 28-man Government. Although all 29 appointments were decided by King
Hassan, a reminder of one way the system fell short of western ideas of
democracy, the new Government’s purpose was to supervise forthcoming elections.
The King said that the country was on the eve of important developments,
including a referendum on a new constitution, to be followed by three sets of
reforms were endorsed by an overwhelming majority in a referendum on September
1992. However, the exact nature of the majority seemed a little too good to be
true: 99.6 percent overall, rising to 100 percent in the cities and three of
the four Western Sahara provinces. The figures
served rather as a reminder of the electoral manipulation which was supposed to
be in the past, especially as the main opposition parties urged their
supporters to abstain and the two main trade unions called for a “no” vote.
Even so, local
elections held in October were generally agreed to have been fairer than usual.
Local Government officials put less pressure on the electorate. When some
candidates spent spectacular amounts of money in the campaign, the public
outcry forced the Government to bar them. This was especially embarrassing for
a combination of three factors. Most of the barred candidates were from the
Constitutional Union (UC) and National Assembly of Independents (RNI), the two
parties which provide the Government with its majority in Parliament. The money
was believed to be the proceeds of cannabis exports, a trade estimated to bring
in up to $2-billion a year in the otherwise impoverished north of the country.
At the time, the Moroccan Government was seeking European Community aid to
develop the north and eradicate cannabis production.
free speech and human rights continued. The press was still controlled, but
less so than in most Arab countries. In April 1993, a report by Amnesty
International said that the Moroccan situation had shown “positive changes in
recent years”, but hundreds who had disappeared over 10 years before were still
unaccounted for. The majority came from Western Sahara,
which was one of the two topics still barred to criticism. The other was the
The first round
of the first general election for nine years was held on June 25, 1993. It was hoped
that they would be more verifiably democratic than those in the past. In any
case, the biggest problem was expected to be voter apathy, intensified here by
lack of real choice. All 11 parties promised improvements in health, education
and employment and a reduction in corruption. The two main opposition parties,
the Istiqlal Party (PI) and the Socialist Union of Popular Forces
(USFP), fought a combined campaign.
In the event,
neutral observers reported that the first round of voting was unusually fair.
After the poor showing of the “government” parties, the second round reverted
to the old style of corruption, but this could not stop large PI and USFP
1993, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin visited Rabat on his way home from the Washington meeting with
Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) chief Yasir Arafat. It was a reminder
that under King Hassan, Morocco
had called the shots correctly on relations with Israel, support for Kuwait in the
Gulf War and implementation of UN sanctions against Libya. However, hopes that
diplomatic relations with Morocco
could be opened immediately were not realized. Moroccan policy remains to work
slowly and carry mass opinion along with, or at least not too far behind, any
The results of
the indirect parliamentary elections to elect the remaining third of the House
of Representatives were announced on September 17, 1993, as follows: 27
Constitutional Union, 18 Popular Movement, 13 National Rally of independents,
11 National Popular Movement, 10 National Democratic Party, 7 Istiqlal,
6 Party of Choura and Istiqlal, 4 Socialist Union of Popular Forces, 4
Party of Progress and Socialism, 4 Democratic Labour Confederation, 3 Moroccan
Labour Union, 2 General Union of Moroccan Workers, 2 independents.
This along with
the results of the June
25, 1993, election complete the voting for the House of
Representatives and gives the results (according to blocs): 154 National
Accord parties, 122 Democratic Bloc parties, 41 National Rally of
Independents, 9 Party of Choura and Istiqlal, 3 Moroccan Labour
Union, 2 Action Party, 2 independents.
dismissed the Cabinet on November 9, 1993, and appointed Mohamed Khan Lamrani Prime
Minister and entrusted him to form a new Cabinet as soon as possible.
In January 1994,
King Hassan set up the Comité de Suivi et d’Impulsion des Investissements
(CISI), to help foreign investors who encounter problems establishing
businesses in Morocco.
It was a further stage in the policy of encouraging foreign investment, already
spurred by the privatization program. Both foreign investment and privatization
were helping to cover the budget deficit
King Hassan II
dismissed Prime Minister Lamrani on May 25, 1994, and appointed Minister of State
for Foreign Affairs Abdellatif Filali as his successor. The new Prime Minister
would propose a new cabinet to the King.
April and May 1995, the European Union (EU) and Morocco failed to extend a 1992
fishing agreement, which expired on April 30, 1995, allowing Spanish and
Portuguese fishing vessels to use Moroccan waters. By mid-June Morocco had
banned the fishing vessels of both countries.
The end of June
1995 found King Hassan walking a thin line trying to accommodate the growing
Islamist movement while nurturing an emerging capital market. The economic
worlds of the two were vastly apart. King Hassan had been unable to translate
the fruits of the economic reforms, which had brought tall mirrored buildings,
to the average Moroccan.
The breakdown in
talks over an EU fishing accord with Morocco on August 28, 1995, brought
the relationship between Rabat
and Brussels to
one of its lowest points ever. Although European fishing rights in Moroccan
waters were at the center of the dispute, it reflected tensions on a wider
issue: the attempts to negotiate an association agreement encompassing an
enhanced aid package and the eventual creation of a free trade agreement. The
EU sought a new three-year pact to replace an agreement that expired at the end
of April 1995, to let mainly Spanish boats return to Morocco’s rich Atlantic
fishing grounds. Morocco
had demanded drastic fishing cuts to protect stocks. After renewed attempts,
the EU and Morocco
initialed a new four-year fisheries agreement on November 13, 1995, that would allow
mainly Spanish vessels to return to Moroccan fishing grounds. The EU undertook
to reduce fishing in Moroccan waters and land part of its catch in Moroccan
Morocco, alongside 23 other countries, signed an
agreement on December
4, 1995, on fishing in the high seas at the United Nations
headquarters in New York.
According to the agreement, the regional fishing organizations will assume
responsibility for rationalizing fishing in the areas under the countries’
In Morocco, 14
people, four of them Algerian, were charged with arms trafficking for the
Algerian Islamists, on December 9, 1995.
The US Assistant
Secretary of State for Middle East Affairs, Mr Robert Pelletreau, on a visit to
on December 11,
1995, discussed developments in the Western
received the Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres in Morocco on December 13, 1995.
Minister, Abdellatif Filali, promised 1,200 Moroccan soldiers for the Bosnian
peace force, on December
leader Abdessalem Yacine was placed under house arrest on December 17, 1995.
Morocco and Poland signed a joint declaration
in Warsaw on January 15, 1996,
which stressed interest in a free trade agreement once Morocco joined
the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Prime Minister, Abdellatif Filali, reiterated Morocco’s readiness to continue its
cooperation with the United Nations on the holding of the referendum in Western Sahara, when he conferred with Mr Chinmaya
Gharekhan, UN Undersecretary-General on January 3, 1996. The Moroccan authorities
wished to see the referendum held as soon as possible.
Prime Minister, Filipe Gonzalez, on a visit to Morocco reaffirmed on February 5, 1996,
support for the UN and its efforts to organize the referendum in Western Sahara. Spain also granted Morocco the
first installment of a loan to study the first stage of construction of the
railway tunnel which could link Morocco
under the Strait
A commission to
investigate drug trafficking and money laundering was set up in Morocco on February 12, 1996.
The commission will include 20 members from a cross-section of political
parties in the Parliament which will be proportionally represented.
in constitutional reforms on September 12, 1996. Under the existing system the directly
elected opposition in the 333-seat unicameral legislature were overwhelmed by
indirectly elected members occupying a third of the seats. Under the new system
members of the Chamber of Representatives were all directly elected, and their
term cut from six years to five. A new upper house, the Chamber of Councilors,
was created, its members chosen by electoral colleges, mostly represented local
councils, with the remainder coming from professional associations and unions.
A system of
checks and balances enabled the upper house to initiate legislation, to issue
“warning” motions to the Government — by a two-thirds majority vote — to force
officials denied the new chamber was designed to neutralize the lower house.
They said the reform was continuing a gradual process of liberalization. The
monarch retained the power to dissolve Parliament, appoint and sack
governments, and call referendums.
authorities concerned about the growing influence of Islamist organizations
were not yet prepared to let them stand as political parties. Police clashed
with students trying to celebrate weekly prayers at a university in Casablanca on February 16, 1997,
as the Government sought to quell Muslim fundamentalists protests. The police
moved to break up the group when it tried to conduct prayers at the School of Juridical and Economic Sciences at the University of Casablanca.
had recently begun to crack down on growing protests and violence by Muslim
In trials in
January 1997, 32 students were convicted and sentenced to between three months
and two years in prison, sparking new protests.
protesters demanded better housing and transportation, a wider agenda was seen
as the students were supporters of Abdessalam Yacine’s banned Islamic group Al
Adl Wal Ihssane.
In a separate
spate of violence, a Moroccan national was killed by Algerian soldiers on the
common border between the two countries on June 5, 1997. An opposition member was
arrested on the eve of local elections on June 12. Four people were killed in
skirmishes after the elections. On June 19, a new group of “Moroccan Saharawi”
fled from a POLISARIO stronghold in Algeria to Morocco.
Morocco and the POLISARIO had agreed in 1992 to a
UN plan to hold a referendum among the Saharawi (ethnic-Saharans) to choose
between integration and independence. Intractable differences delayed the
referendum for six years. Former US Secretary of State, James Baker,
appointed a UN special envoy, embarked on a fact-finding mission in late April
1997 to prevent the renewal of the war threatened by the POLISARIO. Mr Baker held
talks with King Hassan of Morocco
and Algerian leaders. The UN gave both sides a deadline of May 31, 1997, to hold the
poll. On May 3,
1997, UN Secretary-General Mr Kofi Annan asked for an extension of
the UN Mission for the Organization of a Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO)
for a further four months. Mr Baker visited the area again in June and Morocco and the
POLISARIO held direct talks in Lisbon
on June 23. A UN commission said on July 27, 1998, that it had so far identified
more than 140,000 would-be voters for a ballot on the future of disputed Western Sahara. The plebiscite was now due to take place
on December 7,
1998. The UN Security Council voted on July 20, 1998, to extend
for two months — until September 21 — its operation in the Western
Morocco’s independent human rights association
(AMDH) on July
17, 1997, criticized the Government’s human rights record, saying
it had failed to resolve the issue of disappearances and rising unemployment.
Also, the London-based Amnesty International said in a report in June that the
fate was still unknown of some 500 people, mainly Western
Saharans who disappeared between 1964 and 1987. The Government
dismissed the charges, saying the report lacked impartiality.
King Hassan II
on August 14,
1997, reshuffled the country’s Cabinet, appointing technocrats to
head several ministries and bringing in four women. The reshuffle followed the
King’s dismissal of 19 of the 36 ministers to allow them to focus on their
electoral campaign in the run-up to legislative elections expected by October.
Among the departing ministers was Finance Minister Mohamed Kabbaj.
elections went ahead on November 14, 1997. No political bloc won a clear
majority in the 325-seat lower house. The opposition emerged with a total of
102 seats against 100 seats for the pro-Government parties and 97 for the
center-right, with the rest going to smaller parties.
Officials of the
main opposition USFP, which emerged as the largest party, said Government
promises of a free and fair election were not respected and widespread
vote-buying by pro-Government parties was tolerated at polling stations.
candidates running on the ticket of an old inactive party won nine seats in the
elections, but claimed the Government had stripped them of an additional three
seats. Still, this meant there was a token Islamist representation in
Parliament for the first time. The larger Islamist movement, Al Adl Wal
Ihssane, was barred from forming a political party.
King Hassan II
appointed Abderrahmane Youssoufi, leader of the USFP, as Prime Minister on February 4, 1998,
bringing an opposition figure to the head of the Government for the first time
in his 37-year reign. With the Parliament split almost equally three ways, a
coalition was inevitable and was not formed until March 1998. The King needed a
stable government in the run-up to the politically crucial referendum in the Western Sahara to decide whether the former Spanish
colony should be formally incorporated into Morocco or if it should be
independent. It made sense to install a government more committed to social
issues and employment given the recent unrest among students and labour.
For the first
time in Moroccan history, a civilian was appointed Head of the Defense Ministry
to replace outgoing four-star army General Mohamed Achahbar. A handover
ceremony was presided over by the Crown Prince Sidi Mohammed.
AMDH called for
the release of all political prisoners, including Sheikh Abdessalam Yacine,
leader of the outlawed Muslim fundamentalist Al Adl Wal Ihssane (Justice
and Charity) group, under house arrest since 1990. Some 50 political prisoners,
mostly Muslim fundamentalists, were being held in the country’s jails, human
rights groups said. AMDH also urged the authorities to allow the return of
marxist-leninist leader Abraham Serfaty from exile in France. Morocco’s
Supreme Court had on July
16, 1998, turned down Serfaty’s demand to return, his latest in a
nearly seven-year campaign since he was expelled to France in 1991 on his release from
17 years in jail for plotting to overthrow King Hassan. AMDH also criticized
the deteriorating economic situation and rising unemployment. Unemployment was
officially estimated at 17 percent of the five-million urban workforce. The
rights group also called for quick action to reform Morocco’s legal procedures against
political opponents. It said many prisoners covered by a general amnesty
announced by King Hassan in 1994 had not been able finally to settle their
status, while others had been banned from traveling abroad by being unable to
Minister Abderrahmane Youssoufi on July 16, 1998, said Morocco sought to boost bilateral
ties with other Maghreb countries to revive
their frozen grouping. Youssoufi had just completed a three-day visit to Tunisia during
which he co-chaired with Tunisian Prime Minister Hamed Karoui the sixth meeting
of the two countries’ higher joint commission. The five-nation Arab Maghreb
Union had not held any of its annual summits since 1994 because of a dispute
over the Western Sahara issue.
Karoui said they hoped a Moroccan and Tunisian employers’ associations
initiative, announced during the visit to set up a joint business council,
would boost investment and trade between the two countries. They also expressed
readiness to coordinate their positions in talks with the EU for the
implementation of the free trade zone accords they had both signed with the EU.
Trade exchanges between the two countries totaled only 90.2-million dinars
($78.1-million) in 1997, down from 93.6-million dinars in 1996.
Youssoufi left Tunis
after handing Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali a message from King
El Youssoufi on July
24, 1998, called for his country’s frontier with Algeria to be
opened and visa requirements to be scrapped. Bilateral relations were burdened
objections to Algeria’s
support for the POLISARIO Front. The two countries’ frontier was closed in 1994
after a Moroccan-Algerian gang carried out an attack on an hotel in the
southern Moroccan city of Marrakesh
in which two Spaniards were killed.
unemployed graduates protesting for jobs were injured and arrested by riot
27, 1998. It was the first demonstration against the Government of
Socialist Prime Minister Abderrahmane Youssoufi since it was appointed in March
King Hassan II,
70, died of a heart attack on July 23, 1999, after entering hospital to be
treated for pneumonia. King Hassan, 17th in the Alawite dynasty which had ruled
for 400 years, was immediately succeeded by his son, Crown Prince Sidi
Mohammed, 36, who took the title of King Mohammed VI. King Hassan's health had
been fragile for some years, and Crown Prince Sidi Mohammed had been
increasingly groomed to be prepared to take office. He had represented his
father at the funeral of King Hussein, of Jordan, in February 1999. As Crown
Prince, Sidi Mohammed had been Coordinator of Bureau and Services of the Royal
Armed Forces, and thus had maintained good links with the Armed Forces.
King Mohammed VI
granted royal pardons to over 700 inmates August 1, 1999, soon after he took office.
Interior Minister Driss
Basri was dismissed by King Mohammed VI according to reports on November 9, 1999.
He was replaced by Ahmed Midaoui, the former head of national security.
The Royal Family issued a
statement on December
19, 1999, saying that the family was no longer linked to Fouad
Filali and adding that his problems fell within the scope of justice. Filali,
former chief of the ONA and ex-husband to Princess Lalla Meriem, was alleged to
have been involved in a large-scale money laundering operation.
Humanitarian assistance was
sent to Venezuela
on December 19,
1999, following massive floods and landslides there.
The Government expressed its
shock and disappointment on January 18, 2000, that the Sahrawis tribe was not admitted
as voters in the UN-planned referendum in the Sahara.
The Government said the action only confirmed the worries and fears it had
repeatedly expressed to the UN Secretary General and security council regarding
the misuse of oral testimonies.
Two earthquakes hit Morocco in the
week of January
16, 2000, near the north-eastern city of Nador. Local authorities said that the earthquakes
measured 3.2 and 3.4 degrees on the Richter scale. There were no casualties or
serious material damage. There were several earthquakes of the same magnitude
throughout the area over a short time span.
A Moroccan citizen, Youssef
Karroum, was detained by Canadian officials on January 30, 2000, for suspected
involvement in terrorist plots in Seattle
during the 1999-2000 New Years celebration. The US Justice Department claimed
Karroum had relations with Ahmed Ressam who was found with a car full of explosives
in Los Angeles
on December 14,
US Secretary of Defense, William Cohen, agreed to
increased Moroccan-US joint military maneuvers on February 13, 2000. A high
ranking-Moroccan military delegation was to travel to Washington to explore opportunities of an
enlarged dialogue to improve joint maneuvers and consider other multilateral
initiatives with countries involved in the Mediterranean initiative of the
North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
On March 15, 2000, the
Government voiced its wish to conclude free trade accords with Latin American
A drought began in April
2000 which caused the Government to spend 3.44-billion dirhams in
relief effort in order to safeguard livestock, drinking water supplies, crops
and rural communities. The US
contributed US$25,000 along with the Catholic Relief Services' US$11,165
towards the purchase of water tanks and jerrycans for drinking water.
UN special envoy for the
Western Sahara James Baker began talks with Moroccan leaders on Monday, April 10, 2000, as the
Government and the Algerian-backed POLISARIO rejected self-rule as a possible
solution to the long-standing dispute. The former US Secretary of State met King
Mohammed VI and was expected to meet Socialist Prime Minister Abderrahmane El
Youssoufi later, officials said. Mr Baker arrived in Rabat, Morocco,
on April 9, 2000,
after talks with Algerian officials and leaders of the POLISARIO Front at their
headquarters in the Algerian town of Tindouf.
“We want to see if there is a way to unlock the logjam, either by resolving the
differences that the parties now have over the settlement plan or perhaps even
see some other approaches that finally, fairly and fully resolve the dispute
over the Western Sahara,” Baker said in Algiers.
A referendum over whether
the former Spanish colony would be incorporated into Morocco, which controls most of the
territory, or become independent as called for by the POLISARIO, had been
repeatedly delayed since 1992. The ballot was to have taken place a year after
a UN-brokered peace plan in 1991 ended a 15-year guerilla war over the
territory. The delay had been blamed on differences between the two sides over
who should be allowed to vote.
UN Secretary-General Kofi
Annan had said the ballot might never be held and asked Mr Baker, his special
envoy for the territory, to make a new attempt to break the deadlock.
Former head of staff at the
Communication Ministry Mohamed Alili, committed suicide May 3, 2000, after several
complaints forced him to leave his job in January 2000. He was summoned
to appear before a disciplinary committee May 10, 2000, to answer charges of
misuse of documents, mishandling of administrative files and other wrongdoing.
The Moroccan Supreme Court
blocked the sentence of Captain Mustapha Adib on June 9, 2000. Adib was sentenced in
February 2000 by the military court to a five-year jail term for
"violation of military orders" and "slander to the army".
The Supreme Court also decided to return the case to the military court.
King Mohammed VI called for
a Morocco-US strategic partnership on June 20, 2000. He requested cooperation in a
range of ongoing reforms to accelerate economic growth and offer foreign
investors the best conditions of security and profit. The sovereign also
stressed the special ties between Washington
and Rabat and
dedication to human rights and democracy. During his visit to the US on June 20, 2000,
he voiced his determination to contribute to reactivating the Middle
East peace process and carry on the work initiated by his late
father. US President Bill Clinton agreed that solid ties with Morocco should
be consolidated, and complimented the country's contribution to peace efforts
in both the Middle-East and in eastern Europe.
Abdelouahed Belqziz was
unanimously elected Secretary General to the Organization of Islamic Conference
(OIC) on June 30,
2000. Belqziz would replace Azeddine Laraki whose four-year term
ended in December 2000.
Archeologists discovered on July 8, 2000, a
necropolis near the northern town of Larache
dating to the Mauritanian era, from the end of the Sixth Century to the Third
Five Moroccans were killed
on July 16, 2000,
in a ferry boat collision off the southern port of Algeciras.
The Moroccan Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Taieb Fassi Fihri,
demanded that Spain
give clarification of the circumstances. A meeting was planned for July 17, 2000,
in Rabat with Spain's
ambassador to Morocco,
A Moroccan independent commission
for human rights abuses reported on July 17, 2000, that 68 cases had been settled.
More than 140-million dirhams of compensation was extended to victims of
arbitrary detention and to families of missing loved ones.
After numerous disagreements
and negative rhetoric between Morocco
the Government officially recalled its ambassador to Qatar, Mohamed Ben Larbi Dilai, on July 18, 2000.
The Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation stated that the
Government "had been lately noting with amazement and regret the various
stands and attitudes adopted by the brotherly country of Qatar, both at
the political and at the media levels".
decision on July
23, 2000, to freeze recognition of the puppet Sahrawi republic
"SADR" during an official visit by the Vice President. In an attempt
to consolidate Morocco-Nicaragua relations and promote a rapprochement,
the Moroccan Government suppressed the visa requirement for Nicaraguans
The first anniversary of
King Mohammed VI's enthronement was celebrated on July 31, 2000. The King used
the occasion to promote his brother, Prince Moulay Rachid, to the rank of
brigadier along with other generals. He also announced that the supreme council
of Ulema and the regional councils of Ulema would be restructured
to better fullfil their tasks.
The World Bank reported on August 5, 2000,
was the largest recipient of loans among Middle East
and North African countries receiving nearly US$8-million in loans for the year
Moroccan officials met with
Administrator of the US
space agency NASA, Daniel Goldin, on August 22, 2000, to discuss bilateral
cooperation. NASA was interested in Morocco's specialized
infrastructure which could help service future space trips. Cooperation
agreements were signed for scientific research, desert encroachment and
rainfalls and sea eco-system.
By September 2000, the white
fly had damaged an estimated 200,000 tons of tomato crops in Agadir greatly
effecting the agricultural economy. The white fly, which appeared in the 1950s
in the Middle East, Turkey and Greece, moved
in the 1980s to Spain
and then to Morocco
after contaminated tomato seeds were bought by Moroccan farmers.
King Mohammed VI appointed a
new cabinet during an official ceremony on September 6, 2000, downsizing the
number of ministerial positions from 43 to 33.
Parliamentary elections were
held on September
15, 2000, in which 620 candidates ran for election to renew one
third of the 270 members of the Chamber of Advisors. The National Rally of
Independents center party won the elections by renewing 14 seats in the upper
chamber. The National Popular Movement came in second with 12 seats and the
National Democrat Party ranked third with 10 seats.
Prime Minister Abderrahmane
Youssoufi attended the eighth session of the Moroccan-Tunisian high joint
commission in Tunisia
on September 22,
2000. The two countries signed nine cooperation agreements dealing
with security, civil protection, local communities, housing, environment, and
women promotion. That same week Youssoufi renewed a wish to see relations
normalized saying he would like to meet with the new Algerian Prime Minister,
Ali Ben Flis, to discuss opening borders.
A Moroccan delegation led by
Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Minister Mohamed Benaissa and Interior Minister
Ahmedn El Midaoui attended a Meeting on the Sahara issue in Berlin on September 28, 2000.
Morocco increased its financial support of Palestinians in
October 2000, as fighting intensified in the region and peace talks broke down.
Some Moroccan associations called for people to donate one day's salary for the
Palestinian cause. A Moroccan military aircraft landed October 4, 2000, in Gaza with a cargo of
humanitarian aid for Palestinians in the area in response to the recent
violence. Medical staff, 12.3 tonnes of medical equipment and drugs, as well as
two tonnes of blankets were on board the C-130 aircraft.
Rabat police dismantled a syndicate which specialized in
forging dollars bills on October 7, 2000. In September, the Kenitra police thwarted
an attempt to put into circulation about one-million dollars in forged
banknotes. Security officials had already arrested 18 persons for similar
King Mohammed left Libya on January 16, 2001,
after a 24-hour visit ostensibly designed to boost economic cooperation and
political dialogue between the two states. It was the King’s first trip to Libya since he
succeeded his father, King Hassan, in July 1999. King Mohammed then left for Cameroon, where
he was to attend the Franco-African summit on January 17, 2001.
The King was accompanied by
a delegation including the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Finance, Agriculture,
Trade and Transport. Libya
were members of the five-nation Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) but their bilateral
trade remained below potential at around 1.46-billion Moroccan dirhams
($138-million) per year.
The Moroccan economy was
expected to achieve a 6.1 percent growth rate in 2002, according to forecasts
made public on August
13, 2001, by le Centre Marocain de Conjoncture (CMC) in Rabat. According to the Center, 2002 could
mark a turning point and the start of a sustained growth cycle in case a
genuine revival policy was initiated to match the favorable economic juncture
expected during the year. CMC
experts said that the revival would be made possible mainly thanks to a
$650-million program to combat drought, and to a program meant to give momentum
to the economy and which was financed by the Hassan II fund. That program was
worth 7-billion DH (appr. $608-million). The CMC
also said the trade deficit which seriously worsened in 2001 would be curbed in
2002 thanks to the improvement of exports of agricultural products and of
phosphates and phosphates by-products. In 2002, exports were expected to score
a 7.8 percent increase while imports would progress by six percent.
Moroccan Minister of
Interior Driss Jettou on March 28, 2002, acknowledged that economic regionalization
was an inevitable path towards competitiveness. Minister Jettou told the
opening session of a meeting in Casablanca
on regionalization and local development that Morocco had embarked on a vast
movement of reforms which touched all political, economic, social and cultural
realms. Regional investment centers were designed to contribute to the creation
of enterprises, backing investments and regional economy and competitiveness.
The Government was currently studying a series of measures, the prime objective
being to create a renovated and modern territorial, economic and social
management, he said, calling on the private sector to contribute to the drive.
On April 2, 2002, two new
political parties — Al-Ahd, and “Initiative, Development and
Citizenship” — announced their establishment. Chairman of Al-Ahd
Congress preparatory committee, Najib Ouazzani told Morocco’s first TV channel that the
party would endeavor to moralize political life. President of the party
Initiative, Development and Citizenship, Mohamed Benhammou, said his party, a
democratic, social and ecological movement, aimed to defend Morocco’s
territorial integrity, and foster citizen awareness as to development,
environment protection, and participation in politics and public affairs.
Moroccan Minister of Foreign
Affairs and Cooperation, Mohamed Benaissa, on April 12, 2002, briefed the
Government on the latest developments of Moroccan-Spanish relations in light of
recent contacts between the two countries’ officials. Moroccan-Spanish
relations strained in early 2002 because of Spain’s handling of bilateral ties
and of Moroccan issues, especially the issue of the Moroccan Sahara. To protest
called back its ambassador to Madrid
for consultation in October 2001.
Moroccan Education Minister
Abdellah Saaf was in New Dehli on April 16, 2002, seeking a means to upgrade
cooperation with India
in matters of training, particularly in English teaching and information
technologies. He reviewed, with Indian Minister of Human Resources Development,
Murli Manohar Joshi, various aspects related to bilateral cooperation, which
was given a new impetus following the visit King Mohammed VI paid to India in
February 2001. The Moroccan educational system, which was being reformed, could
benefit from the Indian experience, especially in terms of sciences and
information technology, Saaf told Joshi. The Indian official invited Morocco to
benefit from the Asian sub-continent’s IT breakthroughs and proposed to
consider the possibility to make, under license, the Indian computer, Simputer,
The Indian Simputer, a
simple computer costing $200, was developed in 2001 by engineers in Bangalore, India.
The inhabitants of a village, without electricity, could use the Simputer,
available in English and in three local languages. Icons, replacing characters,
figures and functions, allowed access to illiterates who could use the Simputer
to learn to write, read and count. Saaf and Joshi agreed to set an exchange
program that would provide for sending Indian trainers to Moroccan universities
and institutes and the creation of network links between the most prestigious
Moroccan and Indian institutions. On July 3, 2002, Morocco and Japan also
signed an accord for cooperation on information technology (IT) exchanges.
The Morrocan Government, in
June 2002, arrested a 10-member group which it said was linked with Osama bin
Laden’s al-Qaida terrorist organization. Zuhair Hilal Mohamed al-Tabiti,
a Saudi Arabian national, was the main suspect of the group arrested for
allegedly planning attacks on US and British warships in the Strait of Gibraltar.
The Saudi Government appointed a lawyer to defend al-Tabiti — who headed an
“Islamist rights group” — and two other Saudis, Hilal Jaber Aouad al Assiri and
Abdullah M’Sfer Ali al-Ghamdi, arrested in the group. The lawyer for al-Tabiti
said that his client was in Afghanistan,
where Osama bin Laden was based, before the September 11, 2002, terrorist attacks
on the US
for “purely humanitarian purposes”. Moroccan security officials had said that
the three Saudi nationals had confessed that bin Laden had ordered them to
attack Moroccan and Western interests, including those in the Strait of Gibraltar
which separates Morocco
It was announced on June 28, 2002,
that Parliamentary elections, which had been planned to take place in late
September 2002, could be delayed by a few weeks until October 2002 to allow
independent candidates to run. The Constitutional Council, which oversees
constitutional changes and elections, had instructed the Government to reform a
law which prevented independent candidates from running for Parliament.
Decisions by the council, which also advises the King, cannot be appealed.
Morocco was to hold the delayed official celebrations of King
Mohammed’s wedding on July 12, 2002. The two days of public festivities of the
wedding planned for April 2002 in the tourist city of Marrakesh were cancelled due to the situation
in the Middle East. The King married computer
engineer Salma Bennani in March 2002 in a private religious ceremony, and later
in a public ceremony in July 2002. This was the first public marriage ceremony
for a Moroccan King.
King Mohammed on November 8, 2002,
announced the line-up of the new coalition Government, but allocated no posts
to the Islamic party, Justice and Development, which had tripled its vote in
the September 2002 elections, winning 42 seats to become the third-larges party
in Parliament. The 31-strong cabinet, under Prime Minister Driss Jettou,
maintained a similar balance to previous governments, with the Socialist Union
of Forces for Progress sharing power with the nationalist Istiqlal
Party. Three key ministers from the previous Government kept their posts:
Mohamed Benaissa remains Minister for Foreign Affairs; Fatallah Oualalou
continued as Finance Minister and Mohamed El-Yazghi retained the post
responsible for territorial development. The most significant change was the
replacement of Justice Minister Omar Azziman with another Socialist, lawyer
Mohamed Bouzoubaa. In the election of September 27, 2002, the Socialist Union
narrowly won 50 seats; Istiqlal won 48. Businessman and former Interior
Minister in the previous Government, Driss Jettou, 57, was named Prime Minister
in October 2002, replacing the Socialist Abderrahmane Youssoufi.
A Casablanca court in February 2003 jailed
three Saudi members of al-Qaida for 10 years after they were accused of
plotting to attack US and British warships in the Straits of Gibraltar in 2002.
A major earthquake — 6.4 magnitude
on the Richter scale — devastated parts of the northern coast of Morocco on February 24, 2004,
leaving more than 500 people killed and hundreds more injured. The earthquake
destroyed rural communities near the coastal city of al-Hoceima, a tourist
destination on the Mediterranean
A series of suicide bombings
struck the commercial capital, Casablanca,
on May 16, 2003.
They were the deadliest terrorist attacks in that country’s history, and
targeted the city’s Jewish area. The attacks were carried out by 14 members —
most between 20 and 24 years of age — of the North African terrorist group Salafiya
Jihadiya. In the most significant attack, bombers wearing explosives knifed
a guard at the Casa de España restaurant, and then blew themselves up inside the
building, killing 20 people, many of them dining and playing bingo. The
five-star Hotel Farah was bombed next, killing a guard and a porter. Another
bomber killed three passersby as he attempted to bomb a Jewish cemetery. Two
additional bombers attacked a Jewish community center, but killed no-one
because the building was closed and empty. Another bomber attacked a
Jewish-owned Italian restaurant, and another blew up near the Belgian
consulate, located meters away from the restaurant, killing two police
officers. Twelve bombers and 32 civilians died in the attacks. Two bombers were
arrested before they could carry out attacks. More than 100 people were
injured. Eight of the dead were Europeans (three Spaniards among them) and the
rest were Moroccan.
King Mohammed IV of Morocco said on
July 30, 2003,
that religiously-, ethnically- or regionally-based political parties in the
country would be banned. In essence, however, the ban applied to Islamist
parties, those political groupings using Islam as a vehicle for politics. The
King, a sharif — a descendant of the Prophet Mohammed — has a strong
spiritual as well as temporal leadership rôle in Morocco, which has a population
which is 99 percent Muslim. He was speaking on the fourth anniversary of his
accession to the throne, but significantly he was speaking just more than two
months after bomb blasts in Casablanca
killed 44 people. Trials resumed in Morocco on July 31, 2003, of hundreds
of suspected Islamist terrorists, including many not linked with the attacks.
On August 4, 2003,
the Moroccan court sentenced four of the accused — one organizer of the
attacks, and three other suicide bombers who backed out of the attacks at the
last minute — to death.
The King said that parties
with a “religious, ethnic or regional base” would be outlawed, adding: “No one
can use Islam as a trampoline to power in the name of religion, or to
perpetrate terrorist acts.” The King said that he would immediately push a law
through parliament to ban “parties or groups claiming to monopolize Islam”.
The King’s measure would
close down the Justice and Development Party, a moderate Islamic party opposed
to violence, which has become the country’s third strongest party. The King
said that he would not permit the spread of “religious doctrines alien to
Moroccan traditions”. This was seen as a reference to the influence of Saudi Arabia,
whose radical Wahhabist interpretations of Sunni Islam were said to have
stirred up fundamentalism in Morocco’s
poor areas and unofficial mosques. The King blamed local authorities for
allowing slums to proliferate.
Meanwhile, on July 29, 2003, Algeria offered
to re-establish links with Morocco.
Algerian Pres. Abdelaziz Bouteflika told Morocco that he wanted “to close
ranks and strengthen relations ... between our two countries”. Algeria also
suffers from a major terrorist problem caused by Islamists, but the two
countries remain opposed over the question of the future of Western
Sahara, which Morocco
claims as an integral part of the Kingdom. A UN deadline to resolve the Western Sahara conflict expired on July 31, 2003, with no
resolution. There were signs of movement towards resolution when the POLISARIO
Front (Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguiet al-Hamra and Rio de Oro) signaled recently that it could accept
autonomy within Morocco.
US Trade Representative
Robert B. Zoellick and Moroccan Minister-Delegate of Foreign Affairs and
Cooperation Taib Fassi-Fihri on June 15, 2004, signed the US-Morocco Free
Trade Agreement, a pact designed to expand opportunities for the workers,
manufacturers, consumers, farmers, ranchers and service providers of both Morocco and the
The agreement was regarded an important step towards US Pres. George W. Bush’s
vision of a Middle East Free Trade Area by 2013. The Treaty was subsequently
ratified by the US Congress on July 22, 2004.
Hundreds of Africans
attempting to enter European territory tried during September and October 2005
to storm across Morocco’s
borders into the Spanish enclaves of Melilla
and Ceuta. A
number of the Africans were killed in the attempt, many as they were crushed
during the storming of the three meter high security fences defining the
borders of the Spanish enclaves. Some 40 would-be immigrants managed to get
Dozens of Moroccan police were injured in the waves of border-crossing
subsequently deported hundreds of the illegal migrants who were mostly from
sub-Saharan African states. Morocco
claims sovereignty over both Spanish-occupied enclaves.
Morocco’s Equity and Reconciliation Commission (EIC) on December 16, 2005,
delivered its final report on four decades of alleged human rights abuses under
the late King Hassan II.
The report said that between independence in 1956 and the end of King Hassan’s
reign in 1999, 592 people were killed. The 17-member commission, set up in
January 2004, heard from 16,861 people, and assessed whether victims should be
given compensation and how much they should receive.
Following a visit to Western Sahara by King Mohammed VI in late March 2006, 30
Sahrawi prisoners were released by royal pardon. The pro-independence Sahrawis
were given a heroes' welcome in the towns of El Aaiun and Smara, which turned
into popular riots demanding the release of other 37 activists. During the clashes
with Moroccan police, where several persons were injured, more Sahrawis were
arrested. Western Saharan independence activists — supported by Algeria — had
alleged that there were almost 100 detentions, while Morocco recognized only four
remaining activists in detention.
The Nigerian and Moroccan
governments in April 2006 began cooperating on the deportation back to Nigeria of some
6,000 Nigerian nationals in Morocco
in an attempt to migrate illegally into the European Union.
Parliamentary elections on
September 7, 2007, saw a coalition of non-Islamist parties led by the incumbent
coalition Istiqlal Party (Hizb al-Istiqlal/Parti d'Independence)
and Socialist Union of People’s Forces (Union Socialiste des Forces
Populaires, USFP) retained power. The main gainers in the election were the
pro-government liberal Mouvement Populaire and the Union
Constitutionelle. The pro-government Party of Progress and Socialism (Parti
du Progres et du Socialisme) gained modestly, as did the opposition Justice
and Development Party (Parti de la Justice at du Developpement), which
continued to be the most Islamist-leaning major party.
The new Cabinet retained
many key ministers from that of outgoing Prime Minister Driss Jettou, an
independent. In a continuation of a gradual expansion of women’s participation
in government, the new Cabinet had seven women ministers and deputy ministers,
up from two women deputy ministers in the previous Cabinet.
Morocco held municipal
elections across the country on June 12, 2009, as part of King Mohammed’s
process of devolving more power down to the regions and the municipalities.
Area: 712,300 sq km (275,320 square miles),
including the Western Sahara region (266,000
sq km/103,000 square miles); appr. 20% arable land, or pastures; in the
northern region, 47% pastures and meadows, 20% forested, 11% urban, waste or
desert; in the southern (Western Sahara)
region, 19% pastures and meadows, 81% desert, waste or urban.
km (1,830 miles).
waters claimed: 22 km (12
nautical miles); exclusive economic zone 370 km (200 nm).
cities: Rabat (capital, 1,006,000) Casablanca (3,344,300); Fez (921,200); Marrakesh (745,800), El Aaiún (190,500), Ad
Dakhla (40,200) (2002 est.).
Population: 33,510,000; average annual growth rate
1.55% (2006 est.). The population is 99.1% Arab-Berber, 0.2% Jewish, 0.7%
Religions: 98.7% Muslim, 1.1% Christian, 0.2%
Languages: Arabic (official); three Berber dialects;
French used in diplomatic, government, post-primary, and business circles.
Spanish is still spoken in the north, the former Spanish Morocco region.
English is spoken in tourist locations.
rate: 51.7% total over age 15; male, 64.1%; female, 39.4%
name: Kingdom of Morocco.
constitutional monarchy (constitution adopted 1972).
provinces (including the Western Sahara which
has been divided into four provinces), two wilayas and five municipalities
(Casablanca, Fez, Meknes, Marrakesh,
Executive: The King serves as head-of-state, with
executive power exercised by the Prime Minister and the Cabinet, which is
appointed by and responsible to the King. The King also has the power to
dissolve the legislature and initiate revisions in the constitution.
Legislative: Bicameral Parliament. The Majlis
al-Nuwab/Assemblée des Répresentants (Assembly of Representatives) has 325
members, elected for a five-year term in multi-seat constituencies. The Majlis
al-Mustasharin (Assembly of Councilors) has 270 members, elected for a
nine-year term, two-fifths elected by the people and three-fifths elected by
elected local councils.
Judiciary: The legal system is based on Islamic law
and French and Spanish civil law. The new constitution was promulgated on March 10, 1972.
The judicial system is headed by the Supreme Court, which has the power of
judicial review. All the Supreme Court judges are appointed by the King on the
recommendation of the Supreme Council of the Judiciary which he presides over.
Suffrage: Universal over age 21.
Elections: Assembly of Representatives elections,
every five years, last held September 7, 2007; previously held September 27, 2002;
previously held November
14, 1997. Assembly of Councilors elections, every nine years, last
held October 6,
2003; previously held December 5, 1997.
Démocratique/Koutla (Democratic bloc): Union Socialiste des
Forces Populaires (Socialist Union of Popular Forces, USFP) Istiqlal/Parti
d’Independence (Independence Party, PI), Parti du Renouveau et du
Progrés (Party of Renewal and Progress, PRP), Organisation de l’Action
pour Démocratie et Peuple (Organization of Action for Democracy and People,
OADP) Wifaq/Entente Nationale (National Understanding): Mouvement
Populaire (Popular Movement, MP), Union Constitutionelle
(Constitutional Union, UC), Parti National-Démocrate (National
Democratic Party, PND).
Center bloc: Rassemblement National des Indépendents, (National
Rally of Independents, RNI), Mouvement Démocratique et Social
(Democratic and Social Movement, MDS),
Mouvement Nationale Populaire (National Popular Movement, MNP).
Parti de la Justice et du
Développement (Justice and
Development Party, PJD, islamist); Mouvement
Populaire Constitutionel et Démocratique
(Constitutional and Democratic Popular Movement, MPCD); Front des Forces
Démocratiques (Front of Democratic Forces, FFD);
Parti Social et Démocratique (Social and Democratic Party, PSD); Parti de l'Action (Action Party, PA); Parti
Démocratique pour l'Independence (Democratic Independence Party, PDI);
Trade unionists. Al-Ahd, led by Najib Ouazzani and “Initiative,
Development and Citizenship”, led by Mohamed Benhammou announced their
establishment on April
2, 2002. Parti du Congrès National Ittihadi (National
Congress Party Ittihadi, CNI), Parti de l'Avant-garde Democratique
Socialiste (Democratic Socialist Avant-garde Party, PADS), Parti
socialiste unifie (United Socialist Party, PSU), Parti Travailliste
(Labour Parti, PT), Parti de L'Environment et du Developpement
(Environment and Development Party, EDP), Parti de Renouveau et de l'Equite
(Party of Renewal and Equity, PRE), Parti Socialiste (Socialist Party,
PS), Union Marocaine pour la Democratie (Moroccan Union for Democracy,
UMD), Forces Citoyennes (Citizens' Forces, FC), Alliance des Libertes
(Alliance of Liberties, AL), Initiative Citoyennete et Developpement
(Citizenship and Development Party, ICD), Parti de la Renaissance et de la
Vertu (Party of Renaissance and Virtue, PRV).
strength: Assembly of
Representatives (Majlis al-Nuwab/Assemblée des Répresentants ): PI 52;
PJD 46; MP 41; RNI 39; USFP 38; UC 27; PPS
11; PND 14; FFD 9; MDS 9; PADS-CNI-PSU 6; PT 5; PED 5; PRE
4; PS 2; UMD 2; FC 1; AL 1; ICD 1; PRV 1.
Councilors: 42 RNI, 33 MDS, 28 UC,
27 MP, 21 PND, 21 PI, 16 USFP, 15 MNP, 13 PA, 12 FFD,
groups: Various trade
unions, National Union of Moroccan Students (UNEM), Islamic groups. Al-Shabiba
al-Islamiyya, led by Abdul Karim Mutti, is an extremist Sunni offshoot of
the Muslim Brotherhood, with bases in Sudan.
$50-billion; average annual growth rate 4.2% (2004). $33.5-billion; $1,180 per
capita; 6.8% average annual growth rate (2000).
trade: Exports, $9.472-billion f.o.b.; imports,
$18.15-billion f.o.b. (2005 est.).
Budget: Revenues, $12.94-billion; expenditures,
$16.77 billion; including capital expenditures of $2.19-billion (2005 est.).
Revenues, $9.6-billion; expenditures, $8.6-billion (2001 est.); revenues,
$10.4-billion; expenditures, $8.9-billion including capital expenditures of
$10.75-billion, (1996 est.).
Fiscal year: Calendar year.
conversion rate: US$1 equals 7.7126
Moroccan dirhams (November 2009).
Aid: ODA, $218-million (2002). ODA
$439-million (2000); US including Ex-Im (FY1970-89) $1.3-billion and an
additional $123.6-million for 1992; non-US Western, ODA and OOF (1970-89)
$7.5-billion; OPEC (1979-89) $4.8-billion; communist countries (1970-89)
$2.5-billion; $2.8-billion debt canceled by Saudi Arabia; IMF standby agreement
worth $13-million; World Bank, $450-million (1991).
partners: Exports: France 33.6%, Spain 17.4%, UK 7.7%, Italy 4.7%, US 4.1%. Imports:
France 18.2%, Spain 12.1%, Italy 6.6%, Germany 6%, Russia 5.7%, Saudi Arabia
5.4%, China (PRC) 4.2%, US 4.1% (2004).
imports: Crude petroleum, textile fabric, telecommunications
equipment, wheat, gas and electricity, transistors, plastics.
exports: Clothing, fish, inorganic chemicals, transistors,
crude minerals, fertilizers (including phosphates), petroleum products, fruits,
industries: Mining and
mineral processing (phosphates, smaller quantities of zinc, lead, iron,
manganese and other minerals), food processing, textiles, construction and
tourism, leather goods.
Agriculture: Cereal farming and livestock raising
predominate; main crops — wheat, barley, citrus fruit, wine, vegetables,
olives; some fishing. Not self-sufficient in food. Agriculture accounts for
21.7% of GDP (2005). An illegal
producer of cannabis for the international drug trade.
Railways: 1,893 km (1,180 miles) 1.435 meter
standard gauge; 246 km double track; 974 km electrified.
Roads: 59,474 km (36,975 miles) total; 29,440 km
paved, 30,034 km gravel, crushed stone, improved earth and unimproved earth.
Ports: 10 major (Agadir, Casablanca, El Jorf Lasfar, Kenitra,
Mohammedia, Nador, Safi,
[Spanish controlled], Melilla
[Spanish controlled]), 14 minor.
Civil air: 50+ major transport aircraft. The Royal
Air Maroc fleet as at April 2006 incuded: 3 Airbus A321-200 (one operating for
Atlas Blue), 10 Boeing 737-800, 6 Boeing 737-700, 6 Boeing 737-500, 6 Boeing
737-400 (operating for Atlas Blue), 1 Boeing 737-200 (Cargo), 1 Boeing 747-400,
2 Boeing 757-200, 3 Boeing 767-300, 2 ATR
42-300, 5 Boeing 787s on order.
Airfields: 60 total operational; 25 with paved
runways; 11 with paved runways over 3,047 meters; 4 with paved runways
Telecommunications: Superior system by African standards
using open-wire lines and radio-relay links with principal centers in
Casablanca and Rabat and secondary centers in Fez, Marrakesh, Oujda, Tangier,
and Tetouan; 2.6-million telephone lines; 6.8-million radio and 1.45-million
television receivers; 20 AM, 7 FM, 26 TV (26 more relay) stations; 5 submarine
cables; 2 Atlantic Ocean INTELSAT and 1 ARABSAT ground stations; radio relay to
Gibraltar, Spain, and Western Sahara; coaxial cable and microwave links to
Algeria; microwave radio relay network linking Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Libya,
Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco.
5. Major News Media
Newspapers: Maroc Soir (30,000 daily), French;
Le Matin du Sahara (70,000 daily); L’Opinion (35,000 daily), Istiqlal
Party organ; Al-’Alam (“The Flag”; 50,000 daily), Istiqlal Party; Al-Anba’
(15,150 daily), Arabic; Al Bayane, (daily), organ of the Parti du
Progres et du Socialism; Al Ittihad al Ishtilaqi (“Socialist Unity”;
daily); Journal of Union Socialiste des Forces Populaire (USPF); Al
Maghrib (daily), organ of Rassemblement National des Independants
party in French; Al Mithaq al Watani (“The National Charter”; daily),
Arabic; Al Nidal al Adimakrati (“The Democratic Struggle”; daily) organ
of the Parti National Democratie in Arabic.
agencies: Domestic: Wikalat
al-Maghreb al-Arabi (WMA). A few foreign agencies have bureaus in the
Government-supervised radio and television: Radiodiffusion Television
Marocaine. Also: Radio Mediterranée Internationale and Voice of America,
Tangier; 2M International, commercial television.
Morocco’s location on the Strait of Gibraltar
makes it of critical strategic importance to both south-western Europe and north-western Africa,
controlling as it does the key connection between the Atlantic
and the Mediterranean. Because of this
importance, the US
had maintained bases in Morocco
and continues to have a close defense relationship with the Kingdom.
The Moroccan Monarchy claims continuity
with the great Moroccan empires of the 16th and 17th Centuries, which extended
deep into the Sahara; as a result Morocco has claimed that each of the formerly
colonial zones it has acquired were part of the “restoration” of the Kingdom.
Spanish Morocco, Tarfaya, and Ifni were
successively incorporated, and the war for the former Spanish
Sahara has gone on since 1976. Morocco no longer pursues more
grandiose claims, although at one time it claimed all of Mauritania.
For historical and geographical reasons, Morocco’s
regional rival has been and is likely to remain Algeria. There are border disputes
and old Moroccan claims to parts of the Algerian desert (including the Tindouf
region, where the POLISARIO Front has been based), and the two countries are
natural rivals as regional powers. Morocco has tended to
counterbalance the rivalry with Algeria
through active diplomacy elsewhere, as in the short-lived union with Libya. Mauritania has
long been a field of competition between the two, with the influence of Algeria in Nouakchott waxing and
The stand-off in the Western
Sahara remains a focus of Morocco’s relations with both Algeria and Mauritania, but
the danger of the fighting spreading was reduced by the “useful Sahara” defensive wall approach adopted by Morocco a
decade ago. As a result, the war is essentially stalemated, with Morocco
accepting a long-term requirement to to maintain the defense walls.
Internationally, Morocco has
maintained defense ties with the West, particularly France and the United States.
In late 1986 it was seeking a new generation of fighter aircraft and, not
surprisingly, was considering both the Mirage 2000 and the F-16. To
pursue the Saharan War, it has turned to other suppliers as well, especially
during the US Carter Administration, when military aid was limited in nature.
South African equipment is known to be in the inventory, notably the Ratel 6x6
light AFV. 398 French VAB (6x6)
were also acquired in various models, including mortar carriers, tractors and
command vehicles. In the near future over 200 AMLs are to undergo the Panhard AML modernization package, retrofitting them with
Attrition in the Western
Sahara was significant during the 1980s. Besides lesser types, at
least four Mirage F-1s were shot down by POLISARIO guerillas. Strength
was partly made up in 1989. A top up batch of ex-USAF F-5Es was received,
quickly followed by the first of seven CASA
CH-235 transports. Since then, economic austerity has been a brake on acquisitions.
At the Dubai Air Show in November, 1991, Morocco signed a US$250-million
deal to buy 20 surplus US Air National Guard F-16A/B and upgrade them with some
of the C/D models’ systems and uprated engines. Morocco notified the US in June
1992, that it was dropping the order, citing lack of funds as the reason.
Because of its geopolitical importance,
the future of Morocco
is of great concern to the superpowers. It long maintained cordial ties with
despite its overwhelmingly pro-Western approach, and has long seen itself as a
mediator throughout the Arab world, with Fez
as a popular site for Arab summits through the years. This has helped insulate
it from the destabilizing activities of certain Arab states, though the visit
of Shimon Peres in 1986 led to denunciations by Libya and Syria.
has a degree of defense industrial self-sufficiency. By late 1988 Aero Maroc Industries (AMIN)
was undertaking overhauls on RMAF SA-330 Puma helicopters, among
other projects. However, by October 2007, the Moroccan Armed Forces had issued
a major contract for refits to French companies Eurocopter and GIAT
respectively on its 25 Puma helicopters and 138 AMX-13 armored vehicles.
At the same time, the Royal Moroccan Navy agreed with the French Government and
French shipbuilder DCNS to order a single, 6,000 tonne disp. European
Multi-Mission Frigate (FREMM) for 550-million euros. It was probable,
also, that the Navy would also acquire Dutch-built Sigma-class
corvettes. As well, it became clear by late October 2007 that the Royal
Moroccan Air Force would not acquire the possible 18 to 24 AMD Rafale
fourth-generation fighter aircraft it had been considering, but would probably
opt for a buy of 36 Lockheed Martin F-16C/D fighters from the US.
The King is Commander-in-Chief of the
Royal Armed Forces as well as Chief of General Staff. The Armed Forces are
under the direct command of the Monarch, not the Cabinet (there is no Minister
of Defense). A military cabinet is responsible to the King. The National
Security Forces are also responsible to the King, while the Auxiliary Forces
report to the Minister of the Interior.
Directly under the Royal Armed Forces
(FAR) proper are the Royal Moroccan Army and the Royal Air Force. The Navy and
the National Gendarmerie are both administratively under the Army.
In addition to the “National Security
Council” made up of political party leaders, there is a High Council for
National Defense, including key ministers, the heads of the Gendarmerie,
DST, Military Intelligence, and
the Directorate General of Studies and Documentation (DGED), the chief
quasi-civilian intelligence service.
Chemical and biological warfare
Morocco has declared that it does not possess
chemical weapons and this seems to be correct, except for riot control
munitions and possibly old and abandoned stock from the French occupation of
1920-45. It does not possess biological agents or munitions but has delivery
systems suitable with CBW munitions. Morocco signed the Geneva Protocol
without reservations, and has signed but not ratified the Biological and
Chemical Weapons Convention.
Chief of General Staff: King
Minister Delegate to
the Prime Minister in Charge of National Defense: Abderrahmane Sbaï.
Inspector General of the
Armed Forces: Gen. Abdul Aziz Banani.
Commander of the Air
Force: Gen. Ali Abd al-Aziz
Commander of the Navy: Captain Muhammad al-Tariqi.
Ministry of National
Defense, 6 bis Rue Patrice Lumumba, Rabat.
Army and Navy:
Ministry of Defense.
Air Force: Des
offices: Ministry of Defense.
forces: 30,000, including
11,000 Sûreté Nationale.
manpower: Males age
18-49: 7,908,864; 6,484,787 believed fit for service (2005).
period: 18 months.
$2.31-billion, 5% of GDP (2003
est.). est. appr. $1.5-billion (2001). $1.361-billion, 3.8% of GDP (1997-98); $1.38-billion (1995).
and organizations: ABEDA,
ACCT (associate), AfDB, AFESD, AL, AMF, AMU, CCC,
EBRD, ECA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD,
ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB,
IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, INTELSAT, INTERPOL, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC,
OSCE (partner), Seabeds Committee, UN, UNAVEM III,
UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO,
Manpower: 125,000 regular.
period: 18 months.
2 Royal Guard
5 camel corps
divisions were organized from existing forces in 1980 to conduct
search-and-destroy operations against POLISARIO.
MBTs: 108 M-60,
160 M-48, 100 T-54.
AMX-13, 121 Kurassier (with 105mm gun).
83 EBR-75, 23 M-8, 100 AMX-10RC, e180 AML-
90, Eland, 20 AML-60.
APCs: 40 M-3
halftracks, 60 OT-62/OT-64, 30 UR-416, 334 M-113, c426 VAB, Ratel.
Guns: 150 76mm,
85mm, RO 105mm Light.
75mm, 105mm, 34 M-114 155mm, 20 AMX-105 105mm SP, 36 155mm SP.
81mm, 82mm, 120mm.
Guns: 50 M-56
90mm SP, 25 SU-100 100mm SP.
75mm, M-40A1 106mm.
Guns: 100 20mm,
37mm, 57mm and 100mm, 40 M-163 Vulcan SP.
SAMs: 12 Tunguska M1 gun/missile SP systems (ord. Dec.
2004; acq. 2005), SA-7, 10 Chaparral, Crotale.
vehicles: 300 Chrysler-Canada Jeep vehicles (option on 200 more).
Manpower: 7,800 regular (includes 1,500 Marines).
period: 18 months.
French-built FREMM-type multi-mission, ordered Oct. 2007.
Lieutenant Colonel Errhamani with 4 MM-38 Exocet SSM and 1x8 Albatros SAM launcher.
2 Assad-class missile corvettes with 6 Teseo Mk2 SSM
and 1x4 Albatros SAM
launcher (reportedly on order).
2 Okba-class FAC(G).
4 El Khattabi-class FAC(M) with 4 MM-38 Exocet SSM.
Rabhi-class large patrol craft.
4 El Hahiq-class 54.8 m patrol craft.
3 OPV64-class patrol craft (2 more building).
6 El Wacil-class coastal patrol craft.
Sidi Mohammed ben Abdallah (ex-USN Newport-class) LST.
3 Daoud Ben Aicha-class LST.
support ships, 1 research ship leased from the US, 27 customs/coast guard/police
operate 41 coastal patrol craft and 3 SAR.
Naval bases: Agadir,
Casablanca, Dakhla, Kenitra, Safi, Tangier.
Air Force Battle
al Jawwiya al Malakiya Marakishiya/Force Aérienne Royale Marocaine (Royal Moroccan Air Force)
Manpower: 16,000 regular.
period: 18 months.
Headquartered in Rabat, the Royal Moroccan
Air Force operates from five main bases. Current organization is as
Base aérienne no
1 (1 Air
d'hélicoptères légers (Light
Helicopter Squadrons): Two with AB 205A & AB 212.
d'hélicoptères moyens (Medium
Helicopter Squadrons): Two with Puma.
d'hélicoptères lourds (Heavy
Helicopter Squadron): One with Chinook.
d'hélicoptères de liaison (Liaison
Helicopter Squadron): One with JetRanger.
d'hélicoptères d'appui (Support
Helicopter Squadron): One with Gazelle-canon.
d'hélicoptères anti-char (Attack
Helicopter Squadron): One with Gazelle-HOT.
Escadrille de patrouille
maritime (Maritime Patrol Squadron)
with Do 28D-2.
Escadrille de transport
hautes personalités (VIP Transport Squadron) with Falcon 50, Gulfstream
II/III & Super King Air
Base aérienne no
2 (2 Air
Escadrille de chasse (Fighter Squadron) with F-5A/B & RF-5A.
Escadrille de chasse (Fighter Squadron) with F-5E/F.
Escadrille de chasse (Fighter Squadron) with Alpha Jet.
Escadrille d'appui (COIN Squadron) with OV-10 & Magister.
Base aérienne no
3 (3 Air
Escadrille de transport (Transport Squadron) with CN-235 M.
Escadrille de transport
et ravitaillement en vol
(Transport/Tanker Squadron) with C-130H, KC-130H & 707.
Escadrille de guerre
électronique (ECM Squadron) with Falcon
20 & C-130H.
Base aérienne no
4 (4 Air
Base), Hassan I AB, El Aioun (Laayoune):
No permanently based units
but regular deployments of fighters and transport aircraft from other bases.
Base aérienne no
5 (5 Air
Base), Sidi Slimane:
Escadrille de chasse (Fighter Squadron) with Mirage F1 CH.
Escadrille de chasse (Fighter Squadron) with Mirage F1 EH.
Ecole de pilotage/Flight School, Marrakech-Ménara, with CAP
10 (pilot selection), T-34C-1 (basic & advanced training), and Magister
Ecole de chasse/Fighter School, Marrakech-Ménara, with Alpha Jet.
Ecole bimoteur (Twin-engine School), Kénitra, with King Air A100.
Ecole de spécialisation
hélicoptère (Helicopter School),
Rabat-Salé, with JetRanger.
Equipe de voltige
verte' (Flight Demonstration Team),
Marrakech-Ménara, with CAP 231.
aircraft: 7 Airtech CN-235 M transports; 6
Beech King Air A100 multi-engine
trainers; 3 Beech Super King Air 200C
liaisons; 2 Beech Super King Air 300
liaisons; less than 12 Beech T-34C Turbo-Mentor
basic and armament trainers; 1 Boeing
707-138B air refueling aircraft; 1 Boeing
707-3W6C VIP transport; 2
Cessna 560 Citation V VIP transports; 14 Cessna T-37B basic trainers (ex-USAF); 2 Dassault Falcon 20 EW; 1 Dassault Falcon 50 VIP
transport; 15 Dassault Mirage F1 CH air defense aircraft; 14 Dassault Mirage F1 EH tactical fighters; less than 24
Dassault-Breguet/Dornier Alpha Jet H
advanced trainers; 2 Dornier Do 28D-2 Skyservant
liaisons and EEZ patrol aircraft; 10 FFA
AS 202/18A Bravo primary trainers; less than 18 Fouga CM 170 Magister
basic trainers and COIN; 1 Grumman Gulfstream II VIP
transports; 1 Gulfstream Aerospace Gulfstream III
VIP transport; 13 Lockheed C-130H Hercules transports; 2 Lockheed C-130H Hercules electronic border
surveillance aircraft; 3 Lockheed KC-130H Hercules
air refueling aircraft; 2 Mudry CAP
10B aerobatic trainers; 4 Mudry CAP
230 aerobatic demonstration aircraft; 3 Mudry CAP
231 aerobatic demonstration aircraft; 10 Northrop F-5A
Freedom Fighter tactical fighters; 1 Northrop RF-5A Freedom Fighter tactical
reconnaissance aircraft; 2 Northrop F-5B Freedom
Fighter operational trainers; 16 Northrop F-5E
Tiger II tactical fighter aircraft; 4 Northrop F-5F Tiger II operational trainers; 3
Rockwell OV-10A Bronco FAC and COIN.
Aerospatiale AS 365 N Dauphin 2 VIP transports; less than 24 Aerospatiale SA 342 K and
SA 342 L Gazelle scouts and gunships; less than 30 Aerospatiale SA 330 C and SA
330 G Puma transports; 45 Agusta-Bell AB
205A transports; 5 Agusta-Bell AB 206A JetRanger
scouts and liaisons; 12 Agusta-Bell AB 206B JetRanger
scouts and liaisons; 5 Agusta-Bell AB 212 transports; 9 Elicotteri Meridionali CH-47C Chinook transports; 2 Sud SA 315 B
NB: In addition, the Escadron aérien de la
Gendarmerie Royale Marocaine (Air Squadron of the Royal Moroccan
Gendarmerie) operates a fleet of Aerospatiale Gazelle and Sikorsky S-70A-26 helicopters as well as Ayres S2R
Vigilante surveillance/counter-drug aircraft and SOCATA Super Rallye light aircraft on internal security
patrol. The Ministère de la Pêche et de la Marine Marchande (Ministry of
Fisheries and Merchant Marine) operates Pilatus Britten-Norman BN2T Turbine
Defenders on EEZ and fishery protection patrol.
AAM: AIM-9 Sidewinder,
Matra Super 530, and Matra 550 Magic.
AB, Casablanca-Mohammed V (Nouasseur), Dakhla, Errachidia Moulay Ali Chérif,
Hassan I (Laayoune), Kénitra AB, Meknès-Mézergues, Marrakech-Ménara, Plage
Blanche (Tantan), Rabat-Salé, Sidi-SlimaneAB, Smara AB. Civil airport
suitable for combat aircraft operations are at Al Hoceima Chérif al Idriss, Al
Massira, Anfa, Angads, Boukhalf, Ouarzazate, Saiss, and Sania Ramel. Bare
base facilities are located at Goulimine and Ifrane.
7. Major Embassies Abroad
France: 3 rue le Tasse, Paris 16e. Tel: (1) 45 20 87 80.
Russia: Per. Ostroyskovo 8, Moscow.
UK: 49 Queen’s Gate Gardens,
London SW7 5NE. Tel: (020) 7581-5001, Fax: (020) 7225-3862.
US: 1601 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20009. Tel: (202) 462-7979/80/81/82,
Fax: (202) 265-0161.
8. Major Intelligence Services
General for Studies and Documentation (DGED): Quasi-civilian national-level intelligence service.
Director-General: Gen. ‘Abdelhaq el-Kadiri.
intelligence functions are carried out by the Armed Forces’ respective