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Morocco Video Feature: 4 Self-Immolations in Rabat --- Do They Matter?

Warning: Graphic Images

Despite a year of protests and political tension, Morocco has largely escaped the attention given to other countries of the "Arab Spring". Part of this may be its media distance from other locations: a site like Mamkafinch, with its sustained focus on events, is exceptional. Much of this may be the narrative that King Mohamed VI has successfully dealt with the challenge through Constitutional "reforms", approved in a refefendum that was boycotted by the opposition.

Only this week an article in Open Democracy --- one of the few analyses in English of the situation --- carried out a double task, elevating the monarch and stigmatising his critics as far from peaceful in a single sentence, "This strategy reinforces the sense that Moroccans are both devoted to their king and in their vast majority deeply hostile to violence."

So while the self-immolation in December 2010 of one unemployed man in Tunisia, Mohamed Bouazizi, is now heralded as the catalyst of the Arab Spring, the self-immolation of four unemployed men in Rabat yesterday is unlikely to be noted outside Morocco.

The incident occurred as police were dispersing protesters trying to march towards the Royal Palace. Three of the men are in critical condition.

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