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DGST: Rif Protests Funded by Europe-based Separatist Group

Thousands Hold Peaceful Demonstration in Memory of Mouhcine Fikri

Casablanca – Morocco’s Directorate General of Territorial Surveillance (DGST) has stated that the demonstrations in the northern city of Hoceima are being steered and funded by entities based in Holland and Belgium.

The popular demands that escalated last October in the Hoceima region, following the death of Mohcine Fikri who was crushed to death in a garbage truck, have continued to push people out into the streets in protest. The DGST said the manifestations in the area are not completely organic and have been remotely controlled by small separatist organizations in Europe.

France-based magazine, Jeune Afrique, published an article where it stated that, according to data from the DGST, two separatist entities in the Netherlands and Belgium involved in facilitating the immigration of individuals from the Rif have been very active in the continuing unrest in Hoceima. The article identified the two groups as the NGO Agraw N’Arif and the September 18 Movement for the Independence of the Rif.

The magazine pointed out that these organizations played an important role during the demonstrations of March 26 where a police residence was attacked, as well as another protest on April 9. Members of these organizations distributed banners, safety vests and portraits of Abdelkrim el Khattabi, the emblematic figure of the Moroccan resistance during the French protectorate.

Jeune Afrique added that a group of half a dozen separatists attended a meeting of the temporary organizational committee of the People’s Movement in Hoceima at the Espace Miramar café. The group was comprised of approximately forty members gathered to organize the protest movement. The separatists supposedly intended to encourage the committee to engage in civil disobedience.

The magazine noted that this meeting occurred on April 10, when the new Minister of Interior, Abdelouafi Laftit, attended his first meeting as a minister in the city and announced huge projects for the benefit of the region.

On another note, the news source revealed that the DGST is closely monitoring the transfer of informal funds from Europe to the northern city, some of which has allegedly gone to financing agitation in the Rif.

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