| Africatime
Sunday 26 March 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 03/23/17)
N'DJAMENA French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen pledged on Wednesday to break with her country's decades-old relationship with Africa known as "Francafrique" and abolish the CFA franc currency policy that binds Paris and its former colonies. Francafrique describes an informal web of relationships Paris has maintained with its former African colonies and its support, sometimes in the form of military backing, for politicians who favor French business interests. Le Pen, one of the frontrunners in the presidential election, spoke at the end of a two-day visit to Chad where she sought to outline her policies regarding the continent, which has long held an important place in French foreign policy. "It was only in coming...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/20/17)
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika appeared in a video on Sunday for the first time in a month since his abrupt cancellation of a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Algiers triggered speculation over his health. Since a stroke in 2013, Bouteflika, 80, has appeared rarely in public and usually only in state news images with visiting dignitaries, leaving questions over whether the leader in power for nearly two decades will finish his term. In a video broadcast on Sunday on state television, Bouteflika was seen receiving his minister of Africa and Arab Affairs. It was his first such appearance since he postponed Merkel's visit to Algiers on Feb. 20 citing acute bronchitis.
(Middle East Monitor 03/09/17)
Algeria rejected calls for Morocco’s return to the African Union to be hailed in the Arab League on Sunday, a diplomatic source said. The diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the Algeria’s Permanent Representative to the Arab League Nadir Arbaoui refused the proposal of his Moroccan counterpart to enlist hailing Morocco’s return to the African Union to the agenda of the upcoming meeting of the Arab League prime ministers. The diplomat told the Anadolu Agency that a verbal skirmish erupted between the two representatives that resulted in ending the meeting and raised the issue to the prime ministers themselves. In January, the African Union officially accepted Morocco’s return after three
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
An official from the Polisario Front fighting for the independence of the Western Sahara on Tuesday blamed Morocco for the resignation of a UN envoy to the disputed territory. Christopher Ross quitting last week was a result of "Morocco blocking negotiations since 2012" on the future of the former Spanish colony, M'hamed Kheddad said. Morocco insists that the Western Sahara is an integral part of its kingdom, but the Algeria-based Polisario is demanding a referendum on self-determination. The two sides...
(AFP (eng) 03/07/17)
The UN envoy for Western Sahara has offered his resignation after leading efforts for eight years to settle the conflict between Morocco and the Polisario Front independence movement, a senior UN official said Monday. Christopher Ross submitted his resignation in a letter sent last week to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who is considering whether to make a new appointment. Ross's departure would highlight the failure of the United Nations to make progress in settling the decades-old conflict in north Africa...
(AFP (eng) 03/01/17)
Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who has rarely appeared in public since a crippling stroke in 2013, marks his 80th birthday on Thursday amid persistent doubts over his health. He suffered a bout of bronchitis in February, forcing German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the last minute to cancel a scheduled visit to Algiers and sparking renewed speculation about his future. "The president has not directly addressed the Algerians since 2012. No Algerian can believe that there is not a power vacuum,"...
(AFP (eng) 02/27/17)
Morocco said Sunday it will pull back from a zone of the contested Western Sahara that has raised tensions with Algeria-backed Polisario Front separatists. "The Kingdom of Morocco will proceed from today with a unilateral withdrawal from the (Guerguerat) zone," the foreign ministry said in a statement. It said the decision was taken by King Mohamed VI at the request of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. Rabat now "hopes the secretary general's intervention will allow a return to the previous...
(AFP (eng) 02/25/17)
Morocco's King Mohammed VI on Friday asked the United Nations to take urgent measures to end "provocation" by the Algeria-backed Polisario Front threatening the ceasefire in the disputed Western Sahara. Morocco insists that the former Spanish colony is an integral part of its kingdom, but the Polisario is demanding a referendum on self-determination. The two sides fought for control of the Western Sahara from 1974 to 1991, with Rabat gaining control of the territory before a UN-brokered ceasefire took effect...
(Xinhuanet 02/22/17)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to Algeria scheduled for Monday and Tuesday has been postponed to a later date due to Algerian President Bouteflika "acute bronchitis," according to the statement issued by the president office. "Algerian and German authorities mutually agreed on Monday to postpone Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Angela Merkel's official visit," read the official APS agency's statement. The source specified that the visit will be rescheduled on a date to be agreed upon by both...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/17)
Speculation mounted Tuesday over Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's health and political future after acute bronchitis forced the 79-year-old to postpone a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Merkel had been due to meet him Monday as part of efforts to push North African countries to reduce the flow of migrants across the Mediterranean into Europe. But Bouteflika's office said he was "temporarily unavailable due to acute bronchitis", forcing Merkel's visit to be pushed back. Bouteflika, who has been in power...
(AfricaNews 02/21/17)
The Algerian presidency has announced that the official visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been postponed due to what they described as the “temporary unavailability” of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. The statement released today disclosed that the President was suffering from “acute bronchitis,” the reason why he was unable to meet with the German Chancellor. “The Algerian and German authorities have today agreed, by mutual agreement, the postponement of the official visit to Algeria by Her Excellency Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany.
(AFP (eng) 02/20/17)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to Algiers was called off on Monday because President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was "temporarily unavailable" due to "acute bronchitis", his office said. "Algerian and German authorities have today mutually agreed to postpone the official visit" of Merkel, the presidency said in a statement. "This postponement is due to the fact that Mr Bouteflika, who is at his residence in Algiers, is temporarily unavailable due to acute bronchitis," it added. Merkel had been due to arrive in...
(AFP (eng) 02/20/17)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Algeria from Monday to press efforts to get North African countries to reduce the flow of migrants across the Mediterranean into Europe. Merkel, who last week hosted Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, is hoping for partnerships with Maghreb countries and Egypt to prevent a new wave of migrants making the dangerous sea crossing to the EU. Merkel arrives in Algiers at 1700 GMT before holding meetings with Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal and, on Tuesday, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. Algeria is a key actor in seeking to stabilise neighbouring Libya...
(Voice of America 02/14/17)
U.S. President Donald Trump made his first phone calls to African heads of state Monday, speaking with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and South African President Jacob Zuma. Nigeria and South Africa said the calls were made at the request of the U.S. president, who until now has said little about Africa or African issues since assuming office last month. The Nigerian presidency said Trump and Buhari discussed issues of terrorism, and said Trump assured Buhari the United States is ready...
(Xinhuanet 02/03/17)
T20 Africa Conference, the meeting for the G20 think tanks and African countries, ended on Friday in Johannesburg with a commitment to accelerate cooperation between the G20 and Africa. The three-day conference aimed to chart a course for the future cooperation between Africa and the G20. The day ended with the formulation of the communique which will be given to the current G20 chair Germany. The communique will also be the reference for further discussion between Africa and T20. T20...
(Xinhuanet 02/01/17)
Newly elected senior officials of the African Union (AU) Commission, including Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the AU Commission, were sworn in on Tuesday at the conclusion of the 28th AU summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. In addition to the two top officials, other officials took the oath for positions including, peace and security; political affairs; trade and industry; social affairs; infrastructure and energy; and rural economy and agriculture. The 28th AU summit also elected Alpha Conde, President of...
(Bloomberg 01/25/17)
Taiwan’s last two African allies have no plans to switch allegiances and break ties with Taipei as Beijing tries to woo the self-ruled island’s diplomatic partners. Burkina Faso won’t cut relations with Taiwan despite people and companies with links to China offering funding in return for recognition of the One-China principle, according to Foreign Minister Alpha Barry. Swaziland said its relationship with Taiwan is based on mutual interests, not on money. “We get outrageous proposals telling us, ‘if you sign...
(RFI 01/14/17)
The 27th Africa-France Summit kicked off on Friday in the Malian capital Bamako with more than 30 African heads of state meeting French officials to discuss the threat of jihadists in the Sahel region and improve democracy in Africa. the meeting is also an opportunity for French president François Hollande to showcase his legacy. The choice to hold the 27th Africa-France summit in Mali is not insignificant. Bamako is where president François Hollande first revealed himself as an international statesman,...
(AFP (eng) 01/13/17)
France's top diplomat Jean-Marc Ayrault struck a defiant tone at a summit on Friday with foreign ministers from across Africa as he urged them to show confidence and hope despite the deadly jihadist threat. With the battle against extremists, the struggle to improve governance and the migrant crisis high on the agenda, ministers from at least 30 nations met in Mali's capital Bamako ahead of heads of state due on Saturday. Mali called on France four years ago to help...
(AFP (eng) 01/13/17)
Talks gathering some 30 African states and France begin in Mali's capital Bamako on Friday, with leaders expected to focus on Africa's battle against jihadists and bid to improve its democratic record. The summit, also due to take in the migrant crisis, will see foreign ministers gather first, with heads of state expected to follow Saturday, according to Malian and French conference organisers. Many of the nations taking part were once ruled by France, which in recent years has boosted...

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