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Morocco

Yearbook 2016

Morocco. A dispute between Morocco and the UN arose in March since UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon during a visit to a Western Saharan refugee camp in Algeria called Morocco's presence in Western Sahara for an occupation. According to countryaah, the statement prompted Morocco to expel some 80 civilian members of the peacekeeping UN force MINURSO, and in the capital Rabat demonstrated tens of thousands of Moroccans in protest against Ban Ki Moon's position, as perceived, in the Western Sahara conflict.

2016 Morocco

In May, Morocco and Sweden signed an agreement on the Moroccan children who live on the streets of Swedish metropolitan areas and who want Sweden to be able to return to Morocco. About 800 North African street children, mainly from Morocco, were reported to be in Sweden the same month.

Parliament decided in July to raise the retirement age for civil servants from 60 to 63 years. The reform would be introduced gradually from 2017.

The same month, 52 people were arrested on suspicion of establishing a Moroccan branch of the Islamic State (IS) in Morocco. According to authorities, 38 suspected cells with ties to IS had been blown up in the country since 2013.

In August, Morocco's King Muhammad VI urged exiled Moroccans to stand up for a tolerant form of Islam and distance itself from extremism. People of Moroccan origin have been involved in several acts of terrorism in Europe in recent years, such as the murder of a priest in a church in France in late July.

In a press release in September, the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg ruled that Western Sahara is not part of Morocco and therefore food from the country cannot be covered by trade agreements between the EU and Morocco. The announcement was a final judgment proposal after the Court examined an agriculture and fisheries agreement that the EU signed with Morocco in 2012. The case was raised by the Western Saharian independence movement Polisario and raised in a lower court in the same court last year. At that time, the court's decision was to annul the trade agreement, a judgment appealed by the EU countries.

In the parliamentary elections held in October, the moderate Islamist party remained PJD (Justice and Development Party), the country's largest party. PJD's main challenger, the liberal secular party PAM (Party for Authenticity and Modernity), received 102 seats. This was a big increase compared to the last election when PAM got 47. The Conservative Party Istiqlal (Independence Party) was moved down to a third place with its 46 seats.

In November, Morocco hosted the International Climate Summit, held in Marrakech.

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