The Kingdom of Morocco is essentially the most westerly of the North African international locations often called the Maghreb – “the West”. It has Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines, a rugged mountain inside and a historical past of independence not shared by its neighbours.
Its tradition is a mix of Arab, Berber, European and African influences.
Morocco was a French protectorate between 1912 and 1956. Since independence, Morocco has remained comparatively secure and wields vital affect in each Africa and the Arab world.
In 1975, Morocco annexed the previous Spanish colony of Western Sahara. Since then it has been the topic of a long-running territorial dispute between Morocco and its indigenous Sahrawi individuals, led by the Polisario Entrance.
Space: 446,300 sq km
Inhabitants: 37.9 million
Languages: Arabic, Amazigh, plus Berber, French
Life expectancy: 72 years (males) 76 years (girls)
King: Mohammed VI
Mohammed VI grew to become king in 1999. He initiated political and financial adjustments and an investigation into human rights abuses throughout his father’s rule.
A key reform was the Mudawana, a regulation which grants extra rights to girls. The king has stated it’s consistent with Koranic ideas, however non secular conservatives have opposed it.
Following stress for reform impressed by the “Arab Spring” of 2010 onwards, a brand new structure was launched, increasing the powers of parliament and the prime minister, however leaving the king with broad authority over all branches of presidency.
Prime minister: Aziz Akhannouch
The liberal Nationwide Rally of Independents get together led by oil and gasoline billionaire Aziz Akhannouch narrowly received the September 2021 election, ousting the conservative Islamist PDJ get together that had led governments for a decade.
Moroccan political analysts stated a flagging financial system undermined assist for the PDJ. Mr Akhannouch held workplace in PDJ-led coalitions as agriculture minister from 2007 till he took over as prime minister.
The printed media are both dominated by the state or mirror the official line. Nevertheless, the non-public press has succeeded in breaking taboos over some delicate matters, together with allegations of high-level corruption.
Paris-based Reporters With out Borders notes that “faith, the king and the monarchy typically, the nation and territorial integrity can’t be questioned.”
The federal government owns, or has a stake in, RTM and 2M, Morocco’s primary TV networks. Satellite tv for pc dishes are extensively used, giving entry to French and pan-Arab stations.
Some key dates in Morocco’s historical past:
Seventh-Eighth Centuries – Arab invasion; Idris founds the primary main Muslim dynasty.
Eleventh-Twelfth Centuries – Below first the Almoravid after which Almohad dynasties, Morocco dominates the Maghreb and far of Spain.
1549-1649 – Saadi dynasty rule Morocco and components of west Africa.
1666 onwards – Alawi dynasty rule as Sultans of Morocco
1884 – Spain creates a protectorate in coastal areas of Morocco.
1904 – France and Spain carve out zones of affect.
1912 – Morocco turns into a French protectorate below the Treaty of Fez.
1921–6 – Tribal rebel in Rif mountains is suppressed by French and Spanish troops.
1956 – Finish of French protectorate after unrest and robust nationalist sentiment. Spain retains its two coastal enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla.
1961 – Dying of King Mohammed; King Hassan II involves energy.
1971 – Failed try to depose king and set up republic.
1973 – Polisario motion fashioned, goals to ascertain an unbiased state in Spanish Sahara, a territory south of Morocco managed by Spain.
1975 – The Inexperienced March: King Hassan orders 350,000 civilian volunteers to cross into Spanish Sahara. Spain agrees to depart the world and to switch it to joint Moroccan-Mauritanian management. Algeria objects and threatens navy intervention. Moroccan forces enter and occupy the territory.
1976 – Moroccan and Algerian troops conflict in Western Sahara. Algeria proclaims the formation of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) with a government-in-exile. Morocco and Mauritania divide-up Western Sahara. – Preventing begins between Moroccan navy and Polisario forces.
1991 – UN-monitored ceasefire begins in Western Sahara, however the area’s standing stays undecided.
2011 – 1000’s of individuals rally in Rabat and different cities calling for political reform and a brand new structure curbing the powers of the king.
2020 – President Donald Trump proclaims US formally acknowledges Morocco’s claims over Western Sahara as a part of the Israel-Morocco normalization agreement.