For the past two weeks, nearly 200 members of the “unemployed graduates” movement have camped out in front of the Ministry of Education in the Moroccan capital Rabat. Some of these protesters threatened to set themselves on fire if they were not immediately given jobs in the public sector. After a clash with police Wednesday, several young men carried out this threat.
According to the Moroccan Organisation for Human Rights, jobs usually go to young graduates who have contacts within political parties. Although some 2011 graduates have been hired, the organization says there are no clear reasons why they were chosen over others.
"Since the movement began two weeks ago, it hasn’t been difficult to find enough people to keep the protest going. But Wednesday, when some unemployed graduates came to give the protesters food and water, the authorities violently intervened, preventing the protesters from receiving the refreshments. In protest, three people from the group set themselves on fire [according to the Human Rights Office, there were five. Two of them are now in critical condition while the other three suffered minor injuries]. And the police just stood there watching." - Aziz Elbeghiti (part of the unemployed graduates movement that is occupying the area outside an annex of the Ministry of Education in Rabat)
The movement is comprised of young people who have completed higher education but now find themselves jobless. According to the latest official figures, more than one third of Morocco’s young people are unemployed.
In July 2011, after a sit-in that lasted several days, unemployed graduates in Rabat secured an agreement promising they would be recruited by the public sector this year. Or so they thought – they later discovered that the recruitment would be limited only to those who graduated in 2010. So two weeks ago, 180 of the activists formed “the senior management group excluded from the July 20 agreement.”
The group’s leader, Mahmoud Houas, had already indicated that things could take a turn for the worse if the authorities did not resolve the situation quickly, and he even hinted at the possibility of collective suicide.
more on - http://observers.france24.com/content/20120120-desperate-work-unemployed-university-graduates-themselves-fire-immolation-morocco-rabat-protest-youth-young
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