Saturday 24 June 2017
(AFP (eng) 06/23/17)
Authorities in Morocco on Thursday dismantled a suspected "terrorist cell" linked to the Islamic State group and accused of plotting major attacks on tourist sites, the government said. Four suspected cell members were detained and weapons were seized from them during the arrest operation in the Atlantic coast resort town of Essaouira, said the interior ministry. They had been planning to carry out "large-scale" attacks on "sensitive installations and tourist sites of Essaouira", it said in a statement. The group also intended to "broaden the scope of its terrorist operations to other cities of the kingdom," it alleged. The security services in Morocco have regularly announced the dismantling of IS cells and arrests of suspected...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
DAR ES SALAAM (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Sadick Thenest remembers how his 8-year-old daughter had a narrow brush with death two years ago, when she contracted cholera after drinking contaminated water. “She was so gaunt, weak and had terrible diarrhea,” said the refugee from Burundi. “A slight delay in rushing her to hospital would have meant something else - but with God’s grace she survived.” The father of four, aged 35, is among thousands of refugees grappling with frequent outbreaks of waterborne diseases in the crowded Nyarugusu camp in western Tanzania, due to poor sanitation. “Living in a refugee camp is a constant struggle. You either stick to health rules or contract diseases,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by...
(AFP (eng) 06/22/17)
The leader of a protest movement in northern Morocco was "severely" beaten and verbally abused by police during his arrest, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said Thursday. Nasser Zefzafi -- leader of Al-Hirak al-Shaabi, or the "Popular Movement" -- was detained on May 29 in a village 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the city of Al-Hoceima along with two fellow activists. A dozen police officers broke down the door of his house in the early hours of the morning,...
(AFP (eng) 06/21/17)
Morocco will begin the process of moving towards a flexible exchange rate system gradually in the second half of this year, the governor of the country's central bank said Tuesday. The North African country has had a fixed exchange rate regime for the dirham since the 1970s. "There will be no devaluation. We are not in a situation of currency crisis," central bank chief Abdellatif Jouahri told reporters. "The International Monetary Fund (which has helped the Moroccan authorities in the...
(AFP (eng) 06/21/17)
Kenya's sports minister Hassan Wario assured the CAF delegation that all five stadiums will be ready at least three months before the competition. The Confederation of African Football has said four out of five Kenyan stadiums fall short of standards for hosting next year's African Nations Championship (CHAN) and has given Kenya until June to upgrade them. An inspection team led by CAF vice-president Suketu Patel said a lot of work needs to be done, but insisted Kenya remained on track to host the international tournament, reserved for players featuring in their domestic league competitions.
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including...
(AFP (eng) 06/20/17)
Police have arrested three more members of a protest movement in northern Morocco's neglected Rif region, prompting hundreds of demonstrators to rally demanding their release, activists said Tuesday. Three activists from Al-Hirak al-Shaabi, or "Popular Movement", were arrested Monday in the flashpoint northern port of Al-Hoceima, a member of the grassroots group told AFP. Two other activists, one of them a minor, were summoned by the police and told to "sign a pledge vowing not to take part in any...
(Others 06/20/17)
Moroccan authorities have arrested more people in relation to anti-government protests in the North African Arab country. Lawyers and rights groups said on Tuesday that more activists had been arrested over involvement in protests across Morocco. “There are arrests on a daily basis,” said Abdessadak Elbouchattaoui, a lawyer, adding that, “On average, there are about four arrests a day, sometimes reaching 10 a day.” Morocco's Ministry of Justice would not comment on reports about the growing number of arrests. It...
(Others 06/20/17)
Political demonstrations are rare in Morocco but protests are spreading. Moroccan authorities have arrested more activists involved in the country's biggest political protests since the Arab Spring, lawyers and rights groups said on Tuesday. For months, demonstrators have taken to the streets around the northern city of Al-Hoceima to vent frustration over the economic, social and political problems of a kingdom that presents itself as a beacon of stability in a turbulent region. Political demonstrations are rare in Morocco, where...
(Others 06/20/17)
No member of staff at the Agadir Beach Club in Morocco bothered to help little Sienna Buckley despite her blood being spattered on the floor following an accident, a judge was told today Tuesday. Sienna, then aged only three, was shocked and crying in pain after suffering a large gash to her chin when she fell on a defective ramp at the Moroccan resort. “None of the hotel staff or receptionists offered to help despite the fact that there was...
(AFP (eng) 06/17/17)
Morocco's OCP group denounced Friday a decision by a South African court to hold a Moroccan ship laden with phosphate mined from the disputed Western Sahara pending a trial. The court said it wanted to determine ownership of the cargo of the boat that is being held at Port Elizabeth. The 34,000-tonne vessel from Western Sahara, which was destined for New Zealand, was last month prevented from departing due to a court motion seeking that the vessel return its cargo...
(AFP (eng) 06/16/17)
Human rights defenders issued a joint call Thursday for Morocco to release protesters in Al-Hoceima, a northern city shaken by seven months of demonstrations against the marginalisation of their region. The statement comes a day after a court sentenced 25 demonstrators and suspected members of the grassroots protest movement to 18 months in jail each, according to their defence attorney. On Thursday the Civil Initiative for the Rif, which includes Moroccan human rights organisations and intellectuals, issued a report after...
(AFP (eng) 06/16/17)
A South African court on Thursday ordered the further detention of a Moroccan vessel laden with phosphate mined from the disputed Western Sahara pending a trial to determine the owner of the cargo. The 34,000-tonne vessel from Western Sahara and destined for New Zealand was last month blocked from sailing off due to a court motion seeking that the vessel return its cargo. The motion argued that transportation of goods from disputed Western Sahara is illegal and in violation of international principles. "The court has basically found that the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic and the Polisario Front have established...
(APA 06/16/17)
Sudan's acting Foreign Minister, Hamid Mumtaz has held intensive talks with the Moroccan Ambassador to Khartoum, Mohamed Ma-al-Ainain to discuss arrangements for the visit in July of 100 businesspersons from Rabat. A statement emanating from Thursday's meeting said preparations on both sides are in high gear ahead of the landmark visit by the tycoons whose presence is expected to trigger more interest in improving trade relations between Sudan and Morocco. The statement said during the visit the Moroccan businesspersons will...
(AFP (eng) 06/15/17)
A court in Morocco on Wednesday sentenced 25 demonstrators and suspected members of a grassroots protest movement to 18 months in jail each, a defence attorney said. They were among 32 people arrested more than two weeks ago after clashes that erupted in the port of Al-Hoceima when police tried to detain the head of the movement, Nasser Zefzafi. His Al-Hirak al-Shaabi, or "Popular Movement", has been holding protests for weeks in the neglected northern Rif region, demanding jobs and...
(AFP (eng) 06/15/17)
French President Emmanuel Macron was in Morocco Wednesday on a 24-hour visit for talks on battling terrorism as well as the Libyan conflict and Qatar's dispute with its Gulf neighbours. As he stepped off the plane for his first visit to Morocco since his election in May, the French president, his wife Brigitte at his side, was welcomed on the tarmac by King Mohammed VI. The king's wife, Princess Lalla Salma, and Crown Prince Moulay Hassan, 14, were also present...
(APA 06/15/17)
French President Emmanuel Macron has arrived in the Moroccan capital Rabat on Wednesday afternoon to begin his first official to the kingdom upon the invitation of King Mohammed VI. A statement from the ministry of the Royal House, Protocol and Chancery said President Macron’s visit reflects “the depth of Moroccan-French relations based on a strong partnership in the common will to consolidate the multidimensional ties uniting the two countries”. The Elysee palace said Macon’s first official trip to a Maghreb...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Extortion, corruption and fear; violence, hunger and sometimes even death: for west African migrants dreaming of reaching Europe, the road to get there can be an absolute minefield. - Departure - Whether it's The Gambia, Ivory Coast, Senegal or Nigeria, everything starts with the "hustlers" -- slang for the middlemen or fixers who organise the trip. Their honesty and prices vary, with the would-be migrant usually deceived about the welcome expected in Europe. Many possess no official documents from their home country, and do not understand illegal status in Europe. Most are ignorant about the extreme difficulties they will encounter en route. "We didn't know we were risking our lives," said Kante Sekou...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Maria gave smugglers all her family savings and crossed three countries and the searing Libyan desert, but when she finally boarded a boat for Europe her dream was swiftly shattered. She was 24 and pregnant with her second child when she left Liberia with her husband and their three-year-old son. The family passed through Guinea and Mali before crossing southern Algeria to reach the Libyan desert. "The smugglers took all our money" -- more than $2,150 (2,000 euros), she said...
(APA 06/13/17)
Following instructions given by King Mohammed VI, Morocco is sending airplanes loaded with food products to Qatar, the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation announced on Monday in a statement. “This decision is made in accordance with the precepts of the Islamic religion, which encourages solidarity and mutual help among the Islamic peoples, especially during this blessed month of Ramadan," the statement added. “Morocco underlines that this decision is not linked to the political aspects of the crisis between Qatar and other brotherly countries," the text said, insisting that "Morocco’s position was clearly explained in...

Pages