Incidents in Sidi Ifni raise concern

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Human rights organisations and NGOs, including”The Amazigh league of human rights”, are appealing for a serious dialogue between the Moroccan government and unemployed protesters from Sidi Ifni; who besieged city’s harbor in an attempt to get jobs.

The Moroccan police in Sidi Ifni, area located in Southern Morocco on Saturday, June 7th used force to move out the unemployed protesters who besieged the harbor for more
than a week while protesting against their socioeconomic conditions.

This clash aroused the indignation of the inhabitants of the city as well as NGOs pleading for a serious dialogue between the government and the protesters whose demands — considered be legitimate — are linked to the issue of unemployment.

Moroccan official sources indicated that 44 persons including policemen were wounded. The protestors have claimed that some of their counterparts have gone missing.

The protesters appealed to the government to engage in socio-economic development projects such as the construction of a fish treatment plant, to address underdevelopment in the region which contributes to unemployment, while threatening to resort to violence if their demands were not met.

Violence broke out when the municipality announced the results of an employment raffle organised to hire eight young people out of 120 others.

Dissatisfied, the furious unemployed people then decided, on May 30, to besiege the harbor where about 90 trucks loaded with nearly 800 tonnes of fish were stationed.

Moroccan officials indicate that the intervention of the security forces had taken place after dialogue failed, but have remained attentive to the grievances of the protestors.

Meanwhile, a huge number of people are reported to be mistreated and abused by Moroccan security forces, thus arousing indignation among human rights organizations.

In the region of Sidi Ifni, people talk of the use of force, violence and overspending by the police.

The Amazigh league of the human rights which issued a statement this week denouncing the “arbitrary detention” and “assault” of people, appealed to the Moroccan government to assume a more responsible and transparent dialogue.

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