MOROCCO – “The people reject the Constitution”: this is the slogan that thousands of youths chanted during a peaceful protest march yesterday in the capital Rabat and in the second city of Casablanca. The protesters are demanding political reforms, the resignation of Prime Minister Abbas Al Fassi and the dissolution of parliament. The armed forces were very discreet and didn’t intervene. Unrest did however occur when protests were dispersed in Marrakech (south) and Larache (north). The youth movement launched an appeal to rally on Facebook; the initiative was adhered by twenty some civil society and human rights groups, as also left-wing parties.
ALGERIA – A dozen demonstrators, including a legislator, were severely injured in a police repression of an opposition march: the rally took off from the May 1st Square in the capital Algiers and was blocked by police. The government promised prompt reforms – jobs, housing and prices – and the lifting of the state of emergency in force since 1992 by the end of the month.
BAHRAIN – After the withdrawal of the army and police hundreds of tents were set up in the capital Manama. The protesters in fact decided to male Pearl Square the symbol site of the protest in the model of Cairo’s Tahrir Square. While the unions called a general strike, the opposition movements conditioned any dialogue with the resignation of the government, deemed responsible for the violent repression of the popular protest.
MAURITANIA – High cost of living and lack of drinking water are the two demands behind the protests and unrest of the past days in Vassala-Neré (1,000km south-east of the capital Nouakchott), which borders with Mali. The COD (Coordination of Democratic Opposition), formed by eight parties, already condemned the repression decided by the authorities and warned that “a similar response is uncalled for” in light of wide social-economic discontent.