B1 Intermediate 1679 Folder Collection
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In October 2015, the Moroccan government considered implementing a boycott against Swedish goods
and companies. The government even delayed the opening of an IKEA store. But since the two
countries signed their first diplomatic “friendship” treaty more than 250 years ago, the few interactions
they’ve had, have been broadly positive. This aggression on Morocco’s part seems
unprecedented. So, why is Morocco threatening to boycott Sweden?
Well, the planned boycott comes on the heels of Sweden announcing that it would consider
recognizing the independence of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic in the Western Sahara.
Why would Morrocco care? Well the Western Sahara was originally occupied by Spain, and
in 1975, the phosphate and potentially oil rich region was granted to Morocco and Mauritania
to be jointly ruled. But war erupted between the two countries, as well as an Algerian-backed
rebel group called the Polisario Front. Mauritania dropped out of the conflict by 1979, but the
independence seeking rebels kept fighting until 1991, when the UN intervened to establish
peace.
But tensions are still incredibly high, forcing the UN to remain in the country for peacekeeping
purposes to this day. The rebels control a tiny portion of the region, although they
claim to be the rightful sovereigns of the entire area. Meanwhile, Morocco actually does
control the rest of the area, as well as its resources, and they are very aggressive about
keeping it. It is important to know that most Western countries have refused to acknowledge
either Morocco’s sovereignty over the region,
or the right of the Sahrawi people to self-determine their rule.
In 2012, Sweden’s ambassador actually said that they would NOT be recognizing the SADR,
making this reason reversal, somewhat surprising.
As with many marginalized groups being ruled by foreign monarchies, the Sahrawis
regularly suffer violence and human rights abuses by Moroccan security forces. In fact,
despite the UN maintaining their peacekeeping presence, it is one of the only missions without
regular human rights monitoring. Morocco has been accused of stifling dissent, or speech
critical of the monarchy, by imprisoning activists and police have reportedly attacked protesters
and tortured supposed terrorists.
The Moroccan controlled region also suffers from incredible gender inequality,
After repeatedly rejecting the UN’s recommendations to investigate human rights abuses, the United
States demanded that they allow third party monitoring of those potential violations.
In response, Morocco called this an attack on their sovereignty, and cancelled joint
military exercises with the US in the region.
Clearly, Morocco takes any threat to the status quo as a grave injustice, with Sweden only
being the most recent country to get caught in their crosshairs. The sudden, and somewhat
surprising announcement of a boycott resulted in Sweden promising to reexamine their position,
and return with a verdict by February 2016. But the chances of Morocco accepting any answer
besides outright support is slim.
Algeria is another country having less than friendly interactions with Morocco. Find
out the reason behind the two countries’ hostilities, watch our video at the top. And
to learn more about Sweden, and the many misconceptions Americans have about the country, check out
the video from Seeker Daily below. Thanks for watching our channel! If you want to keep
up with more TestTube News, be sure to subscribe. And thanks for watching.
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Why Does Morocco Want To Boycott Sweden?

1679 Folder Collection
richardwang published on November 30, 2015    ohyawow translated    Kristi Yang reviewed
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