Jerada’s inhabitants to decide this afternoon about suspending or continuing the marches

In a few hours, the inhabitants of Jerada will have to decide whether they want to continue or stop rallying for their demands. On Wednesday, the Minister of Energy and Mines asked the Hirak representatives in the city to turn the page of protests in exchange for a number of promises.

Thousands protest after two brothers die in Morocco's 'mines of death'./Ph. France 24
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Aziz Rabbah, Minister of Energy, Mines and Sustainable Development and the wali of the Oriental region, governor of Oujda-Angad prefecture Mouad El Jamai held on Wednesday, 3rd of January, a meeting with representatives of the province’s youth in order to examine the demands and expectations of the local population.

«The Minister has promised to help create thousands of job opportunities (10.000), almost twice as much as what the youth representatives asked for», a source from Jerada told Yabiladi.

«Nevertheless, he did not reveal how he plans to do it», added the same source. Aziz Rabbah also pledged to launch development projects (especially in tourism) that would benefit all the inhabitants of the province of Jerada.

«The minister also asked the representatives to stop the marches and continue with the negotiations», says the same source.

A smart move

The outcome of this meeting will be revealed to the population of the city through a sit-in scheduled for this afternoon. During this gathering the inhabitants of the mineral city will have to decide whether to stop the protests or continue at the same pace. «Most of the inhabitants want to pursue the Hirak but that can change in the hours to come», assures the militant.

For the record, in 1998, an economic commission headed by the Minister of Agriculture, Equipment and Environment, Abdelaziz Meziane Belfkih, announced that industrial production units in the fields of parachemistry, agro-business and textile would be launched in the city to compensate for the closure of the mine. Twenty years later, Jerada’s inhabitants are still waiting for these promises to be fulfilled.

Undoubtedly, Aziz Rabbah’s choice to held talks with the representatives' of the Hirak of Jerada was a good move. The fact that the minister was entrusted with the mission of negotiating with these youths instead of the Interior Minister shows that the PJD official is trustworthy. 

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