Rabat – While Al Hoceima has seen increased tensions and clashes between protesters and security forces in the past week, videos posted on Youtube show that their relationship has not always been antagonistic.In the video, which was widely shared on social media, a riot policeman is seen talking in Darija (Moroccan Arabic) to a group of young protesters, trying to convince them to leave the place where they came to demonstrate.The protesters try to win the policeman’ sympathy, saying they had come to protest against “corruption” and ask for their “legitimate demands” to be met. The policeman responds, saying he is not the right person to which to air to their grievances, explaining that as a security officer he has to follow instructions.“I’m not a politician,” says the officer. “I’m a policeman. Please, try to understand.”Another policeman addresses the group, speaking in Tamazight, before the Arabic-speaking officer intervenes again, reiterating his request for the protesters to leave the place.Another video brings a more touching image, demonstrating the relative silence in the streets of Al Hoceima during iftar, the fast-breaking Ramadan meal.While demonstrations continued in Al Hoceima after iftar , protesters and riot police were urged to put their tensions aside. In the video, shouts are heard from windows and in the streets calling for “mosamaha” (forgiveness) in this holy month.Both parties submitted to the request, with some cheering for the small moment of relief amid the high tension.
In a report to the Security Council on the activities of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), Mr. Annan calls for Kosovo’s leaders and institutions to uphold the values of multi-ethnicity, tolerance and equal rights for all communities.The Secretary-General notes that not all ethnic communities meaningfully participate in the Provisional Institutions – the presidency, the government and the Kosovo Assembly. He voices concern that the Assembly “is once again refusing to take into account legitimate minority concerns in the legislative process, [and is] over-stepping its competencies.”But Mr. Annan says he was encouraged by some progress, including the preparation and adoption of laws at the central and local levels of self-government.Established in June 1999 following war in the province, UNMIK is an interim civilian administration led by the UN under which Kosovans can progressively enjoy greater autonomy.UNMIK retains certain reserved powers in Kosovo, including control over security, foreign relations, minority rights protection and energy, until the province’s final status is determined.Mr. Annan observed that in November a mechanism was set up to review and measure the progress made by the Provisional Institutions towards the benchmarks required before any final decision on Kosovo’s status can be made.In another development, UNMIK customs officers today detected a large quantity of what is suspected to be heroin in the boot of a car leaving Kosovo for Albania.The seized goods – the latest in a series of discoveries by UNMIK customs officers – have been transferred to the border police, with laboratory analysts set to determine the precise nature of the substance.
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