Morocco to Probe Security Forces' Clashes With Salafists
Author: alzaman Posted November 29, 2012
A judicial order was issued yesterday [Nov. 28] to launch investigations into the clashes that erupted on Nov. 27 between the police and protesters affiliated with the jihadist Salafist movement in the city of Tangier, in the north of the country.
The king’s general prosecutor in the court of appeals in Tangier said in the statement that he has issued an order to start an investigation into the incident, release those involved in the clashes and refer them to justice in accordance with the law.
On Tuesday evening, the city of Tangier witnessed clashes between police forces and about 100 protesters belonging to the jihadist Salafist movement, who organized a march towards the security headquarters in Tangier. they were demanding the release of a jihadist member accused of acts of terrorism and other crimes, according to the statement.
The same source added that when the security forces intervened to disperse the crowd, they were surprised that protesters were armed with white arms [i.e., clubs, knives, swords, etc.], sticks and stones, which inflicted casualties among the ranks of the police, some of whom were seriously injured.
A security patrol was also attacked by protesters, leaving one policeman seriously wounded, the statement said.
The protesters’ response to the general prosecutor’s statement has yet to be reported.
Saad Eddin al-Othmani, the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs, ruled out the possibility of his country returning to the African Union (AU), which it withdrew from 28 years ago. He added that Morocco has received many invitations to rejoin the union but it declined.
During the parliament session on Tuesday, Othmani confirmed that the reasons behind Morocco’s withdrawal from the AU are still valid to this day.
He also revealed that Morocco received several invitations from African countries — which he refused to name — to return to the AU. Othmani, however, added that no Moroccan would accept to return to the AU and sit next to a fictional nation — in reference to the Polisario — which is being built on negating Morocco’s policy to defend its unity and territorial integrity, as required by international conventions.
Morocco withdrew from the AU in 1984, in protest against the organization’s decision to accept the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) as a member-state in the union. SADR and Morocco have been fighting over the Western Sahara region.
The AU was first established in Morocco [sic] in 1963 under the name of the Organization of African Unity, which was later on changed to the African Union Organization in 2002.
Othmani confirmed that his country withdrew from the AU following the blatant breach of the organization’s charter, when a fictional country was made a member-state. The charter stipulated that only independent and sovereign nations are entitled to be member-states, according to Othmani.
However, he confirmed that Morocco is seeking to rejoin the AU as it is part of the African continent, stressing that talks are underway with African countries that have friendly relations with Morocco to discuss this issue.
Read More: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/politics/2012/11/salafist-morocco-clash.html