World View: Protests Across Morocco After Horrific Death of Fishmonger in Garbage Truck

The Associated Press

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Wife of North Korea’s child dictator Kim Jong-un has disappeared
  • Protests across Morocco after horrific death of fishmonger in garbage truck

Wife of North Korea’s child dictator Kim Jong-un has disappeared

Kim Jong-un and Ri Sol-ju in 2012
Kim Jong-un and Ri Sol-ju in 2012

After the pretty Ri Sol-ju married North Korea’s child dictator Kim Jong-un in 2012, they were often seen together in tours of factories, hospitals and parks. But now Ri has not been seen in public since March 28, and there is speculation that something has happened to her.

There are several theories:

  • The most prevalent theory is that Ri may have angered the leader’s younger sister, Kim Yo-jong, who is increasingly emerging as the power behind her brother’s throne.
  • Another theory is that Kim is simply tired of her, and sent her away. Or perhaps she suffered the same fate as Kim’s uncle, Jang Song-thaek, who was Kim’s mentor until Kim became dissatisfied with him and, according to some reports, had him eaten alive by ravenous dogs.
  • Kim has gained 70 pounds in the last year, and reportedly has been drinking heavily. This may have caused marital problems.
  • There have been reports of instability in Kim’s government, and it’s possible that Ri is being closely guarded for her own protection.
  • More prosaically, she may be pregnant, and prefers to stay out of sight for the time being until the child is born.

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Protests across Morocco after horrific death of fishmonger in garbage truck

Protests have continued across Morocco for a fourth day on Tuesday over the death of Mouhcine Fikri, a fishmonger, crushed by a garbage truck.

The story is this: It is apparently illegal to sell swordfish in Morocco at this time, but Fikri was selling swordfish anyway, after purchasing it at the port in the town of Al Hoceima in northern Morocco. A policeman confiscated his swordfish, reportedly worth about $11,000, and threw it into a garbage truck. Fikri jumped into the garbage truck to retrieve his fish, and he was crushed to death by the garbage truck. Some people who were present claim that the policeman told the garbage truck driver to crush him on purpose, though the police deny this.

The picture of Fikri being crushed went viral on social media, and triggered anti-government protests across the country. On Tuesday, the government announced the arrests of 11 people, in an attempt to stop the protests.

The “Arab Spring” has been roiling the Arab countries since 2011, when a new generation of Arabs came of age and began protesting across the entire Mideast.

The Arab Spring uprisings were triggered on December 17, 2010, when a street vendor, Mohamed Bouazizi, set fire to himself in Sidi Bouzid in central Tunisia, in protest of the police confiscation of his vegetable cart. After days of clashes between protesters and the police, long-time dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was forced to flee the country to exile in Saudi Arabia. By January 2011, the clashes had spread to Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and Lebanon, launching the Arab Spring.

Morocco is a Muslim country, but it has largely escaped the chaos of the Arab Spring, mainly because it has historically been ethnically Berber rather than Arab, putting it on a slightly different generational timeline, despite some Arab-Berber intermarriage.

Some analysts are comparing the death of Moroccan fishmonger Mouhcine Fikri to the death of Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi, and suggesting that Morocco might be about to undergo the same kind of chaos as the countries of the Arab Spring. From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, one can safely predict that Morocco is headed for that chaos, but whether it’s happening now or next year or the year after cannot be predicted.

Al Hoceima is in the Rif region of northern Morocco, with a population of about 55,000. The region was the heart of of the revolt against the Spanish colonists during the 1920s, and was the scene of a popular insurrection in 1958. Daily Sabah (Ankara) and Al Jazeera and Quartz and

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KEYS: Generational Dynamics, North Korea, Kim Jong-un, Ri Sol-ju, Kim Yo-jong, Jang Song-thaek, Morocco, Mouhcine Fikri, Arab Spring, Tunisia, Sidi Bouzid, Mohamed Bouazizi, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Lebanon, Arabs, Berbers
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