25YearOld Miner Dies in Jerada Mine Collapse

Rabat – Several videos of Moroccans condemning the death of the young man have gone viral.One video shows people carrying the miner’s body.The miner’s death follows several other accidents in 2017. On December 23, two informal miners were crushed while mining underground in a closed coal mine in Jerada. On February 1, 2018, another informal miner died while extracting coal from an illegal mine near Jerada when the walls of the mine collapsed and killed him. Three others were seriously injured in the accident.The death of miners triggered a wave of protest as relatives, friends, and sympathizers took to Jerada’s streets to protest social disparities, lack of infrastructure, and unemployment.The situation in Jerada escalated following a clash between law enforcement and protesters on March 14, resulting in several injuries among security forces.Read Also:  Moroccan Miner Dead after Compressor Shock in Abandoned Jerada MineBefore the clash, the Ministry of the Interior released a statement announcing its decision to ban unauthorized sit-ins and protests.Security forces also arrested protesters.Several activists and politicians, including MP Omar Balafrej, condemned the arrests of protesters in Jerada. He said that the “barons” who had been exploiting the coal deposits were the ones who should be held accountable and arrested, referring to council authorities and parliamentarians.In response to the tension, the government pledged development reforms to benefit locals. read more

DR Congo UN Great Lakes Envoy calls for immediate end to fighting

“Deeply concerned” by renewed armed clashes in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as attacks on civilians and United Nations peacekeepers based there, the UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes called today for an immediate end to the fighting and strongly urged all regional authorities to observe maximum restraint.“The attacks on the town of Goma as well as on MONUSCO [UN Stabilization Mission] forces, and their tragic consequences on the civilian populations already traumatized by two decades of conflict, are unacceptable. They must stop immediately,” said Mary Robinson, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes region of Africa, in a statement. “We must do everything to avoid an escalation of tension in the region, promote dialogue, and respect the letter and the spirit of the Addis Ababa Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region,” Mrs. Robinson said, referring to the accord signed earlier this year by the Government of DRC along with 10 other countries and four regional and international institutions, which now serves as a blueprint for peace and development in the region.“The renewed violence underscores, once again, the urgent need to rapidly find a political solution to the crisis,” she said, noting that such a path would be in line with the Communiqué of the Summit of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, held in Nairobi on 31 July 2013, the informal Ministerial meeting held in New York on 25 July 2013, as well as the Communiqué of the recent SADC [Southern African Development Community] Summit held in Lilongwe, Malawi, on 18 and 19 August 2013. “I strongly urge all authorities in the region to observe maximum restraint, to ensure that civilian populations are protected, and to minimize the risk of escalation of the situation,” said Mrs. Robinson, adding that she is in close contact with all parties and continues to monitor the situation very closely. “My Special Adviser is currently involved in consultations with relevant authorities in order to appeal for calm and restraint,” she said.Over the past year, the M23, along with other armed groups, have clashed repeatedly with the national forces (FARDC) in the eastern DRC. The rebels briefly occupied Goma in November 2012. The fighting resumed in recent weeks, this time dragging in a group of Ugandan-based rebels, and displaced more than 100,000 people, exacerbating the region’s ongoing humanitarian crisis, which includes 2.6 million internally displaced people (IDPs) and 6.4 million in need of food and emergency aid. read more