There were celebrations in the Moroccan capital, Rabat, on Thursday (3 March) to mark the 16th anniversary of King Hassan's succession to the throne.
There were celebrations in the Moroccan capital, Rabat, on Thursday (3 March) to mark the 16th anniversary of King Hassan's succession to the throne. However, the King used the occasion to condemn recent allegations that Morocco had been involved in an attempt coup in Benin.
SYNOPSIS: King Hassan -- in the white robe -- said that a number of countries had made the claims in order to damage Morocco's reputation in the world. The allegations were first made in a report in February to ministers from the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). morocco has since decided to suspend "all participation" in the OAU over what it called the irresponsible actions of the organisation's Secretariat in allowing the report to be circulated among OAU minister.
The King said in his anniversary day speech that the majority of OAU countries had remained silent while a minority made the allegations. Morocco has also said it will suspend all participation in the work of the organisation. The Moroccans have protested at the presence at the OAU ministerial meeting of members of the Algeria-based Polisario front -- the group is campaigning for the independence of the Western Sahara which was ceded to Morocco by Spain last year. Feelings have been high in the region since the Western Sahara changed its sovereignty. The dispute has led to a number of clashes in the past along the territory's border.