Rabat, Morocco (TMT)- Morocco’s capital Rabat saw more than 3 million Moroccans, according to the Moroccan state agency La MAP, from all walks of life and from all stripes of the Moroccan political spectrum rally in the streets of the capital to strongly denounce and condemn the excesses that have been committed by the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, during his last visit in the region, as well as to showcase their devotion to the territorial integrity of the Kingdom.
North Africa’s most read news outlet Hespress said that “the event was unprecedented in the history of Rabat, taking into consideration the number of people who joined the march,” adding that “the huge number of people outnumbered the number of people who took to the streets of the capital in the wake of the 20 February movement protests, on the sidelines of the Arab Spring.”
The march started in Bab Chellah, but all adjacent streets were pretty full. There was so many people that some of Rabat’s biggest streets, avenues and squares, like the Mohammed V avenue or the Achouhadae Square, barely contained the flow.
The Moroccan national anthem as well as various Patriotic songs, like “Laayoune aniya Wa Sakya Hamraniya,” were sung by the protesters.
The protesters chanted and held various slogans during the protest.
Among the slogans that were carried and chanted, “The Sahara is Moroccan and will always be inchallah” or “Minursu go away, sahara is not for you.” [In Moroccan Darija, Minoursou siri fhalek, sahara machi dialek]
Some sarcastic chants could also be heard during the march. An example of that is, “Ban Ki-Moon the Pokemon, go back to your poke ball.” [ in Moroccan Darija “Ban ki moun yal boukimoune, sir erja3 ldik pokiboul]
An estimated 2000 police officers were dispatched in the vicinity to keep an eye on the smooth proceeding of the march.
The march started at 10 am local time from Bab Chala, located few meters away from the capital’s central station.
The march rallied huge numbers of people given that all public transportation companies, including a score ones from the private sector, did not charge people travelling to Rabat at all, as reported Moroccan paper Akhbar Al Yaoum.
Transportation through trains was also free today and people driving through Morocco’s highways, to and from Rabat, did not also pay a dim.
The march was organized by Morocco’s political parties and trade unions.
The march’s aim was to denounce the “biased, unprecedented change in the UN’s stand point on the Sahara, which undermine the credibility of this institution. It is also a call to shout out loud that Ban Ki-moon’s new, biased and unprecedented, position, makes him loose the neutrality he is supposed to show regarding this issue. We, as Moroccans, were hurt. This is our opportunity to show him our anger in a civilized manner,” reads a communiqué from the organizers.
Morocco’s opposition movement Al Adl Wa al Ihassane (Justice and Charity Organization/JCO), a group banned by the Moroccan authorities even though they close an eye on most of its activities due the huge number of members and sympathizers it draws, said through its spokesman yesterday that they won’t take part of the march as “they did not receive any official invitation from the organizers.”
Some social media users in Morocco disputed the official figures. While some estimated [check the comments section on our Facebook page] that the number was around 200.000, others believe that the protest only drew 20.000 people.
The Moroccan Times.