Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Tuesday, November 9, 1999 Published at 13:55 GMT


World: Africa

King sacks Morocco's interior minister

King Mohamed VI is making a break from the past

Morocco's long-serving and powerful Interior Minister Driss Basri has been dismissed by King Mohammed VI.

State-run radio said he had been replaced by Ahmed Midaoui, the former head of national security.


The BBC's Nick Pelham: Few decisions could be taken without Basri's approval
Mr Basri was born in 1938 and had been interior minister since November 1981.

A former police commissioner, he first entered government as long ago as April 1974 as secretary of state for the interior and was the late King Hassan's closest aide.

So far, there has been no explanation for the change.

Sahara problem

Mr Basri ran the system of security force rule which held Morocco, under Hassan II, in check for 20 years.


[ image: Driss Basri: No longer the king's right hand man]
Driss Basri: No longer the king's right hand man
In that time, he built up immense authority, controlling not just the interior ministry but also communications and the kingdom's local affairs.

From the early 1980s, few decisions could be taken without Mr Basri's approval.

He arranged the country's elections and it was he who both advised Hassan II and implemented his will.

Mr Basri also managed the portfolio of the Western Sahara, the disputed territory in the South which Morocco has controlled for 25 years.

His handling of Western Sahara may have proved his undoing, correspondents say.

Diplomats say recent pro-independence demonstrations in the territory have been brutally suppressed by Mr Basri's forces.

And Morocco's new king, who succeeded his father in July, has emphasised he wants to reign over a state of law not of fear.





Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©




Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia



Relevant Stories

09 Nov 99 | Africa
The departure of Morocco's strong man

07 Nov 99 | Africa
King proposes Western Sahara council

01 Oct 99 | Africa
Dissident returns to Morocco

30 Jul 99 | Africa
Moroccan king steps into spotlight

24 Jul 99 | Africa
New king - new Morocco?





Internet Links


Morocco CIA factbook

Kingdom of Morocco

Morocco resources

Arab Net - Morocco


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Dam builders charged in bribery scandal

Burundi camps 'too dire' to help

Sudan power struggle denied

Animal airlift planned for Congo

Spy allegations bug South Africa

Senate leader's dismissal 'a good omen'

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Zimbabwe constitution: Just a bit of paper?

South African gays take centre stage

Nigeria's ruling party's convention

UN to return to Burundi

Bissau military hold fire

Nile basin agreement on water cooperation

Congo Brazzaville defends peace initiative

African Media Watch

Liberia names new army chief