Photo credit: DR
February 22, 2020
Three stories you need to read today. Compiled and broken down for you by Reporting Morocco student journalists — every day. Brought to you from the School for International Training’s journalism program, Rabat.
Source: Morocco World News
Lede: The agreement between British company Predator Oil & Gas and Canada’s industrial firm Star Valley Drilling for oil exploration works onshore in Morocco’s Guercif, eastern Morocco has come into effect.
Key Background: Predator Oil & Gas previously announced drilling plans in Morocco would begin in 2020, and issued a new statement on Wednesday to announce updates on its projects from the Guercif Permits I, II, II, and IVV.
Why this is newsworthy: The Moroccan government, which is a member in the joint venture with Predator Oil & Gas, is allowing the extraction of oil and gas within its borders. This move may have social and economic implications for the affected communities, as well as Morocco’s status as a climate change leader. Despite Morocco’s accolades for its climate change adaptation, the country is allowing extractive companies that contribute to climate change to operate in Morocco.
Lede: Angered by the inauguration of an Ivorian consulate in Laayoune, Algeria has decided to recall its ambassador in Cote d’Ivoire for consultation. In a statement relayed by its state-owned press agency (APS), the Algerian Foreign Ministry said that the decision comes «following statements by the minister of African Integration and Ivorians Abroad, at the opening of a so-called consulate of his country in the occupied city of Laayoune in Western Sahara».
Key Background: The Algerian Foreign Minister referred to Cote d’Ivoire’s decision as «a flagrant violation of international law and a violation of commitments arising from the Constitutive Act of the African Union (AU)».
Why this is newsworthy: This move can only further damage the already tense relationship between Morocco and Algeria. Additionally, by opening a consulate in the Moroccan-controlled Western Sahara city, Cote d’Ivoire legitimizes Morocco’s claim to the region.
Lede: Last week, the German authorities arrested twelve members of a rightwing extremist group that is believed to have been plotting attacks on mosques in the country.
Key Background: Dismantling the group and foiling its «far-right terror plot» have shocked the Muslim community and Moroccans living in Germany. «The German authorities have to launch a thorough investigation», Mohammed Assila, a member of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany and Moroccan settled in the country, told Yabiladi on Wednesday.
Why this is newsworthy: This story reveals the life-threatening dangers Moroccans may face abroad, as well as the impacts of Islamophobia and right-wing extremism crossing Europe.