Morocco. According to
CountryAAH, Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez
Zapatero visited Spanish enclaves Melilla and Ceuta on Morocco's
north coast on January 31. It was the first official visit
of a Spanish leader in 25 years. The enclaves came into
focus in the fall of 2005 when hundreds of African refugees
tried to storm the security fences built against Morocco.
In May, the EU and Morocco signed a four-year fisheries
agreement, including extensive waters belonging to Western
Sahara that Morocco annexed in 1975. As the only EU country,
Sweden voted against the agreement with reference to the
occupation of Western Sahara.
Morocco hosted a conference on July 7-8 on how to reduce
the flow of African refugees to Europe. Many die during the
flight. Some 60 African and European countries and
organizations participated, but not Morocco's regional rival
Algeria. A few days before the conference was inaugurated,
three people were reported to have died trying to cross the
six-meter-high barbed wire fence to Melilla.
King Muhammad VI appointed Chakib Benmoussa as new
Minister of the Interior in February. Mustafa Sahel, who has
held the post since November 2002, was appointed UN
Chinese President Hu Jintao visited Morocco in April and
signed agreements on, among other things. trade, tourism and
In May and June, attacks against Islamist opposition in
different cities were reported. Hundreds were arrested but
released after some time. The majority were said to belong
to al-Adl was al-Ihsan, who wants to introduce Sharia law
but abstains from violence. The group is not recognized as a
Several serious bus accidents occurred during the year.
Three Swedish tourists were seriously injured in February
when a tourist bus on the road to Marrakech drove off a road
and overturned about 16 miles outside Agadir. In December,
twelve tourists, including a Swedish man living in France,
were killed when a tourist bus collided with a truck on the
main road between Casablanca and Marrakech. In September,
twelve people were killed when a bus crashed into a ravine
near Tiznit, 70 miles southwest of Rabat. In January, 23
people were killed and around 60 injured when two buses
collided near Marrakech.