Rabat - Former head of government Abdelilah Benkirane has attributed the protests in Al Hoceima and the surrounding areas to prevailing corruption the region and other parts of Morocco.
Rabat – Former head of government Abdelilah Benkirane has attributed the protests in Al Hoceima and the surrounding areas to prevailing corruption the region and other parts of Morocco.
The leader of the Justice and Development Party (PJD), the political formation leading the government, said during a meeting with the party’s House of Councilors members that the almost nine months of protests in Al Hoceima could calm after recent instructions by King Mohammed VI.
On Sunday the massive deployment of security forces in Al Hoceima and its nearby town Imzouren began to withdraw. The governor of Al Hoceima Province Farid Chourak explained that the move followed the king’s directives to gradually withdraw from the region.
According to Benkirane, Morocco can still take control of the situation after months of tension in the region. The former head of government suggested the population of the region needs to help stabilize the situation, suggesting that protesters should halt demonstrations.
“There are victims and injuries which time will heal and everybody, each in his own way, will help overcoming the crisis,” he said. “Our country is like a boat. Either we preserve it or expose it to sinking.”
Calls on protesters to halt demonstrations have fallen on deaf ears, as 93 protesters and leading activists of the protests movement known as the Hirak are still under detention in Casablanca and Al Hoceima, charged with heavy crimes including “undermining the security and territorial integrity” of the kingdom.
The main reasons for which the protests broke out was the death of local fish vendor Mouhcine Fikri in October 2016. The incident led to a massive movement of regular and tireless demonstrations with a set of social and economic demands, including creating job opportunities for the local youth and building health and higher education facilities.
In recent weeks, these demands have been supplanted by the insistence to free the detained activists.