Saturday 25 November 2017
(AFP (eng) 11/21/17)
Morocco's currency regulator has announced a ban on transactions in bitcoin and other virtual currencies, in a country where foreign exchange flows are tightly controlled. "Transactions via virtual currencies constitute a breach of regulations, punishable by penalties and fines," the Offices des Changes said in a statement on its website. The announcement came a week after Moroccan digital services company MTDS said it would accept payment in bitcoin. MTDS said it was the first time the regulator had taken a clear position on bitcoin payments. MTDS head Karl Stanzik said the company had dropped its proposal in order to "comply with Moroccan law" but that it would be "very difficult to control" bitcoin transactions due...
(AFP (eng) 11/21/17)
Mourning relatives on Monday started burying the victims of a stampede that killed 15 women during a food aid delivery near the popular tourist town of Essaouira on Morocco's coast. "It's a tragedy," said the husband of one of the victims, breaking down in tears after burying her. Hundreds of women had gathered on Sunday at a marketplace in the village of Sidi Boulaalam, around 60 kilometres (35 miles) northeast of Essaouira, for an annual distribution of food aid organised by a benefactor from the region. A witness told AFP that people had pushed and broken down barriers as they fought for food. "If you fall, it's over for you and you get trampled on," one survivor said, speaking from...
(AfricaNews 11/21/17)
The African Union has called for an investigation on the Libyan authorities regarding the ‘slave markets’ of African migrants in the conflict torn nation. The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Professor Alpha Conde, strongly condemned the despicable acts which are at odds with the ideals of the Founding Fathers of the Organization and relevant African and international instruments, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. He calls for an immediate end to these practices and other criminal...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/20/17)
RABAT (Reuters) - Fifteen people were killed and five more injured when a stampede broke out in a southwestern Moroccan town on Sunday as food aid was being distributed in a market, the Interior Ministry said. A hospital source put the death toll at 18, adding that most victims were women who had been scrambling for food handed out by a rich man in the small coastal town of Sidi Boulaalam. A local journalist said the donor had organised similar...
(AFP (eng) 11/20/17)
srael's cabinet voted on Sunday to close a migrant detention centre, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced an agreement to deport 40,000 Africans who entered the country illegally. Ministers unanimously approved plans to shutter the Holot centre in southern Israel and gave migrants a three-month deadline to leave the country or face deportation, said the interior and public security ministries. "The infiltrators will have the option to be imprisoned or leave the country," the public security ministry said in a...
(AFP (eng) 11/19/17)
At least 15 people were killed and five injured Sunday in a crush as food aid was distributed near the coastal tourist town of Essaouira in western Morocco, officials said. The accident happened in the town of Sidi Boulaalam, around 60 kilometres (35 miles) from Essaouira, the interior ministry said in a statement. Local media said a "benefactor" had organised the food distribution at a stall in the rural town, which was rapidly "submerged in the crowd" of 800 people, mostly women. An investigation has begun to "determine the circumstances of the incident" and establish who was responsible, the Moroccan authorities said.
(AFP (eng) 11/18/17)
Spanish and Moroccan police have netted close to four tonnes of cocaine with a street value of over 100 million euros and arrested 40 people in a long-term anti-trafficking operation, Spain's interior ministry said Friday. The ministry said that 1.3 tonnes of the drug and more than 13 million euros in cash had been seized in Spain since the launch of the joint operation last year. Morocco's DGST domestic intelligence service meanwhile said it had seized 2.6 tonnes of cocaine...
(AFP (eng) 11/18/17)
he African Union on Friday called for Libyan authorities to investigate "slave markets" of black Africans operating in the conflict-torn nation, following the release of shocking images showing the sale of young men. The demand follows the release of CNN footage of a live auction in Libya where black youths are presented to north African buyers as potential farmhands and sold off for as little as $400. Guinean President Alpha Conde, who is also Chairman of the African Union, demanded an enquiry and prosecutions relating to what he termed a "despicable trade... from another era". Meanwhile Senegal's government. commenting on Facebook, expressed "outrage at the sale of Sub-Saharan African migrants on Libyan soil,"...
(Xinhuanet 11/17/17)
Morocco and France have given a new impetus to their bilateral partnership, signing several new agreements covering various bilateral cooperation fields. The agreements were signed during the 13th Moroccan French High-level Meeting held here on Thursday under the chairmanship of Moroccan and French Prime Ministers Saadeddine El Othmani and Edouard Philippe. The two countries inked a loan agreement of 40 million euros and a grant agreement of 400,000 euros. The loan agreement was signed between the transportation company of Rabat-Sale...
(AFP (eng) 11/17/17)
Africa is making only faltering progress towards food and nutrition security, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned. "Multiple forms of malnutrition coexist, with countries experiencing simultaneously high rates of child undernutrition or anaemia as well as high rates of obesity," it says in a new report, Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition. In sub-Saharan Africa, "progress towards the World Health Assembly global nutrition targets has been generally poor," the Rome-based agency says, referring to goals to...
(AFP (eng) 11/16/17)
Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel said Wednesday that North Africa is under threat from foreign fighters escaping the Islamic State jihadist group's defeats in Iraq and Syria. Messahel spoke at a news conference in Cairo after a meeting with his Egyptian and Tunisian counterparts, Sameh Shoukry and Khemaies Jhinaoui, over Libya. The Islamic State rose to prominence in the chaos of Syria's conflict, which broke out in 2011 with protests against President Bashar al-Assad. After its explosive rise in 2014 and conquest of vast swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq, IS established a "caliphate" that attracted thousands of foreign fighters.
(Xinhuanet 11/14/17)
Morocco has allocated 720 million U.S. dollars to a program meant to curb disparities between cities and rural areas in 2018, local media reported on Monday. The financial daily L'Economiste said that 74 percent of this budget will be dedicated to road infrastructures to open up hard-to-reach areas. Educational infrastructure will receive 11 percent of the budget, the same source added. The program will be funded by the fund of rural and mountainous zones development with the aim of opening...
(AFP (eng) 11/14/17)
Huddling against a hillside in northern Morocco is a tourist town famed for the striking blue of its buildings, and now the mayor is mixing in another colour -- green. Chefchaouen -- known locally as Chaouen -- wants to become a model for sustainable development at a time when the northwest African kingdom has shone a spotlight onto its commitment to the environment and a greener future. Take Aziz, a local council employee in his forties. He whizzes silently around...
(Xinhuanet 11/14/17)
Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Nasser Bourita will pay an official visit to China Thursday to Friday, at the invitation of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, a spokesman said Monday. "It is Bourita's first visit to China since he took office, and China attaches great importance to the visit," said spokesman Geng Shuang at a news briefing. Geng said Chinese leaders would meet Bourita during his stay, and Wang would hold talks with him. "China hopes to...
(Xinhuanet 11/14/17)
The British company SDX Energy has announced new gas discovery in the onshore drilling operation conducted near the northern Moroccan city of Kenitra, local media reported on Monday. Citing a statement from the company, Hespress.com news site said the well was drilled to a depth of 1,774 meters and encountered total net conventional gas pay of some 17.2 meters. The well, named KSR-15, will be in production by early December, with operations to connect the well to nearby infrastructure expected...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/14/17)
KIGALI (Reuters) - The global airline industry has $1.2 billion blocked in nine dollar-strapped African countries, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Monday. The global commodities price crash that began in 2014 hit economies across Africa hard, particularly big resource exporters such as Angola and Nigeria. Low oil and mineral prices have reduced government revenue and caused chronic dollar shortages and immense pressure on local currencies. The fiscal slump has meant governments have not allowed foreign airlines to...
(AFP (eng) 11/13/17)
The violence that broke out late Saturday in central Brussels after the qualification of the Moroccan national football team for the next World Cup injured 22 police officers, police told Belga news agency. Riot police were sent out to control a crowd of about 300 people after the final whistle, at one point firing water canon at small groups of stone-throwing revellers. "Unacceptable aggression in the centre of Brussels -- living together means respect, also for the police who are...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/13/17)
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Celebrations in Brussels to mark Morocco’s return to soccer’s World Cup finals for the first time in two decades turned violent late on Saturday, when crowds clashed with police, setting cars on fire and injuring 22 police officers. Images on social media showed overturned, burning cars and broken shop windows in Brussels city center as well as police trucks firing water cannons at crowds gathered in front of the city’s stock exchange. Brussels police said that of...
(APA 11/13/17)
APA-Rabat (Maroc) - Une trentaine d’entreprises marocaines se rendront à Lagos du 14 au 16 novembre pour une mission de prospection, indique Maroc Export, initiatrice de ce voyage d’affaires. Cette mission, qui concernera les secteurs des BTP et matériaux de construction, de l’électrique, des énergies renouvelables, des TIC et du pharmaceutique, aura pour objectif le renforcement des échanges commerciaux avec ce pays d’une part et le développement d’un partenariat gagnant-gagnant basé sur les complémentarités entre les entreprises marocaines et leurs...
(AFP (eng) 11/13/17)
Ministers from 13 European and African countries on Monday pledged steps to ease the migrant crisis around the Mediterranean, vowing especially to improve conditions for migrants held in Libya. Interior ministers and other representatives from countries impacted by the ongoing wave of migration up through Africa towards Europe, including Libya, voiced deep concern over the "ongoing human tragedy" along the so-called Central Mediterranean route. "The participants intend to address the challenges posed by the alarming situation along the migration route...

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