Author: Hassan Masiky is a native of Kenitra, Morocco. He graduated from the University of the District of Columbia with a degree in political science in 1991. Upon graduation,Hassan joined the Washington DC based non governmental organization the Parliamentary Human Rights Foundation (PHRF) where he worked as a consultant for USAID funded democracy projects in Mexico, Haiti, Republic of Georgia and the European Parliament. After leaving PHRF, Hassan dedicated his time advising Amnesty International USA on African and Middle Eastern affairs and representing the organization in press conferences. Mr. Masiky was a host on several television shows discussing human rights and democracy. He is currently working in the Washington area.

 

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On Legalizing Pro Western Sahara independence movement

 

MNB/Rabat--At first glance, recent trial (known as the Gdim Izik trial) of Sahrawi separatists in Rabat and the creation of a new pro-independence party in the Spanish Basque country seem two distinct events. 

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Sahrawi Human Rights Activist in Critical Condition

Washington / morocco News Board --"Why aren’t Amnesty International (AI) and Human Rights Watch (HRW) adopting the case of my brother Mustapha Salma Ould Sidi Mouloud who is currently on his third hunger strike in Mauritania” explained Ahmed Cheikh Ismaili. “Salma wants to see his five kids and return to his home; his case is humanitarian in nature and not political”, he told me during a meeting in Washington.

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Algeria Investigation On Terror Attack Lags

Washington / morocco News Board --Five months after the terrorist assault at the In Amenas gas plant in Algeria, many key questions about the bloody attack remain unanswered. Algerian authorities’ mum attitude and the British government meek efforts to uncover the details and circumstances surrounding to the death of 40 hostages smell of political appeasement and economic self-preservation. 

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Obama's UN Nominee and Morocco’s Foreign Policy

Washington / morocco News Board --Moroccan diplomats should embrace President Obamas’ UN ambassador in waiting. Samantha Power, a human rights activist familiar with Africa, is likely to entertain Morocco’s grievances regarding the U.N. slow action investigating human rights abuses in the Sahrawi Camps of Tindouf, Algeria. The challenge, however, remains Moroccan diplomats’ difficulties in articulating their government’s messages and policies. Moroccans, home and around the world, wonder if their present delegates to UN are up to the challenge. Yet, this nomination presents Rabat with the opportunity to start fresh in New York.

 

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Catalonia's Sovereignty and Spain’s Shifting Diplomacy in North Africa

Washington / Morocco News Board--Spain’s pro-Morocco stand during last month’s United Nations deliberations on the Western Sahara has taken observers by surprise. Moroccan and Algerian officials were left wondering about the reasons behind Madrid change of heart. However, recent events suggest that the rise of Catalan nationalism could be the reason behind Spain’s reversal of course on the issue of “independence for the Western Sahara”. The ruling Partido Popular (PP) “paranoia and fear” of the specter of an independent Catalonia, puts Madrid and Rabat on the same side of the “self-determination” issue.

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African Union Vs. International Criminal Court

 

African Union (AU) Chairman’s accusations that the International Criminal Court (ICC) is conducting a “kind of racial hunt against Africans’” are simplistic, damaging and ridicules.  Ethiopian Prime Minister Desalegn’s statement asking The ICC “not pursue Africans" reinforces the image of an irrelevant AU with little influence on African and world events.

 

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“Sahrawi Fighters” among Terrorists in Niger: jihadist spokesman claims

Washington / Morocco News Board--The terrorist attack on a military camp in the city of Agadez brought the Malian crisis to the African nation of Niger threatening French interests and American troops stationed there.  This latest terror attack was claimed by a group linked to the Algeria based al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Lawlessness in the Western Sahara separatists' Tindouf Camps in Algeria, the Algerian Sahara  and the Sahel continue to be a cause of terrorism and instability despite French intervention in Mali.

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Sahel: Algeria’s Proxy War

Washington / Morocco News Board---Who is benefiting from recent MUJAO terrorist attacks in the Sahel? What party wants to weaken the resolve of the Touareg people and undermine the Azawadi rights to local rule in a unified Mali? To answer these questions, Western diplomats need to take a closer look at the long-term effects of the MUJAO’s military actions and the political implications of a volatile Northern Mali on the regions minorities. MUJAO and Ansar Eddine’s- another terror group active in Mali- activities in the Sahel and the Sahara serve the agenda of one power only, Algeria.

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Algeria: President Bouteflika's condition grave, Intelligence Chief reportedly ill

Washington / Morocco News Board--- General Mohamed Mediene, also known as Toufik, Algeria’s secret services boss and the real power broker and the engineer who runs the country’s political system, is reportedly ill. News of Département du renseignement et de la sécurité (DRS) chief poor health, as reported by the well-informed website Slate Afrique, comes at the worst possible time for Algeria.

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Morocco New Diplomatic Postures Unnerve Algeria

Washington/Morocco News Board-Morocco, a key US ally in the Arab and Muslim worlds, is reviewing “certain” aspects of its relationship with Washington.  If the exchange of letters between King Mohamed VI and President Obama and their subsequent phone conversations have effectively put the recent Moroccan-American diplomatic misunderstanding over the Western Sahara behind, Moroccan officials are sober in their assessment of this incident. 

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Morocco: A Royal Lesson in Washington

Washington / Morocco News Board--The Report of the United Nations Secretary-General on the situation concerning Western Sahara, released yesterday, is a decisive win for Morocco. This diplomatic triumph came about because of actions and efforts undertaken by King Mohammed VI, some observers noted. The mild text of the resolution demonstrates the extent of Morocco’s success in diluting American attempts to amend the U.N. mission in Western Sahara to include human rights monitoring.  

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UN New Report on Western Sahara: A Blueprint for Moroccan Diplomacy

Washington / Morocco News Board--The much-excepted Report of the United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG) on the situation concerning Western Sahara was released today to all parties to review and digest. At first glance, the document seems to bring the UN proposals for “a lasting and mutually acceptable political solution that will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara” closer to the Moroccan positions.

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Algeria: Tension in kabylie Adds to Social Unrest

Washington / Morocco News Board---  Talk of self-determination for the Kabylie region is back again in full force. Celebrating the 33th anniversary of the Amazigh Spring, the Movement for the Autonomy of Kabylie (MAK) organized several important marches across the Kabylie region in Algeria demanding the right to hold a referendum for self-determination.

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Morocco-US Relations: Time for Restraint

Washington/Morocco News Board--The Moroccan-American spat over a U.S. proposal to add human rights monitors to the United Nations mission in the Western Sahara, known as MINURSO, hurts American efforts and weakens a key ally. Morocco’s harsh response to Washington’s sudden shift is unlikely to harm the long-standing relations between the two nations. Nonetheless, Morocco’s rhetoric needs to cool before the situation develops into a full-blown crisis.

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Kerry's State Dept. Proposal Roils US Ally

Washington  / Morocco News Board----- Morocco is deeply concerned over the potential ramifications of a proposed amendment to the United Nations (U.N.) Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) chart to include human rights monitoring. If the purpose of such revision is to nudge the U.N. negations in a more positive direction, Morocco’s Royal Cabinet considers discussions over human rights observers as a distraction that would lengthen the conflict and may backfire.

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Western Sahara: UN Chief Discounts Independence

unnn.jpegWashington  / Morocco News Board- Never in the history of the Western Sahara conflict has the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) “unequivocally” correlated political events in the Grand Sahara with finding a resolution to this long simmering territorial dispute. The language in Mr. Ban Ki-moon recent report to the United Nations Security Council and the timing of its release are signs of a new U.N. line in its mediation efforts to end the Algerian-Moroccan showdown over control of the former Spanish colony.

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