The DGSN’s 64th anniversary comes amid Morocco’s ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Like healthcare workers, the country’s security services are playing a vital role in preserving public health.
Rabat – The General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) celebrates 64 years of protecting Morocco today, May 16.
Morocco established the DGSN in 1956 after the country won its independence. Throughout its decades of service, the DGSN has grown to become one of the most formidable examples of national security in North Africa, making Morocco one of the first lines of defense against drug and arms trafficking, irregular migration, and terrorism in the region.
For three years, the DGSN has been organizing its “Open Days” (JPO) to encourage transparency and communication between security services and citizens. The first installment of the event welcomed nearly 80,000 visitors in Casablanca; the second hosted 260,000 attendees in Marrakech; the third saw a 515,000-strong crowd in Tangier.
The growing interest in the event reflects the progress of the open relationship the DGSN is working to forge with the Moroccan public. With an active social media presence, the DGSN regularly updates Moroccans on its operations to consolidate its commitment to transparency.
The DGSN’s 64th anniversary comes amid Morocco’s ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Like healthcare workers, the country’s security services are playing a vital role in curbing the spread of the virus by enforcing lockdown measures under the state of health emergency.
Before the Ministry of the Interior declared a state of emergency on March 19, the DGSN and the General Directorate of Territorial Surveillance (DGST) allocated a budget of more than $4 million to the Special Fund for the Management and Response to COVID-19, reflecting the security force’s engagement in national efforts to fight the pandemic.
The DGSN has deployed units throughout the country to ensure the security of citizens by preventing violations of safety measures as well as carrying out regular criminal operations.
To aid its efforts, the DGSN conscripted engineers and technicians to digitize lockdown enforcement. On April 21, the DGSN launched a movement-tracking application to ensure citizens’ adherence to the state of emergency.
The objective of the application is to limit unnecessary movement of citizens to prevent the spread of COVID-19 from one region to another.
Tracking is enabled when an individual passes through a police checkpoint. Police scan the driver’s exceptional movement permit to monitor their trajectory and check that it conforms to their residence or place of work. If police observe inconsistency with an individual’s trajectory, authorities will take legal action against offenders for carrying out non-essential movement or travel that violates the state of emergency.
Within three weeks of its launch, police carried out more than 426,000 security screening procedures through the application.
To further consolidate its digital arm in the fight against COVID-19, the DGSN launched an interactive online platform in early May to facilitate communication on the state of emergency between the public and security services.
The platform, covid.dgsn.gov.ma, establishes instant communication with citizens and involves internet users in the national efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19. The platform automatically collects data on state of emergency violations and transmits the data to the DGSN’s control and coordination rooms, allowing patrols and units in the field to monitor the implementation of lockdown measures in specific areas.
By the end of April, Moroccan police had arrested over 85,000 suspects for not respecting the country’s state of emergency, and more than half, nearly 45,000, went to court following their arrest.
As the DGSN continues to consolidate Morocco’s national efforts against the spread of COVID-19, the institution’s 64th anniversary constitutes an opportunity to thank Morocco’s security service members for their commitment to ensuring citizens’ safety and preserving public order.