Saturday 21 April 2018
(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 acts of human trafficking. He calls for a swift action to be taken and identify all perpetrators and accomplices, with the view of bringing the criminals to justice. This comes following the release of shocking images showing the sale of...
(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 handouts before, but this year some 1,000 people arrived, storming an iron barrier under which several women were crushed. King Mohammed ordered that the victims’ families be given any assistance they needed and the wounded treated at his cost, the...
(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 statement. Israeli official figures from June 30 show a total of 38,043 African migrants in the country. They include 27,494 Eritreans and 7,869 Sudanese, and their presence in south Tel Aviv has raised discontent among Israelis there and elsewhere. Speaking...
(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 in the joint operation, which had input from US, Italian and German law enforcement agencies. Madrid said the operation had "dismantled a major criminal organisation based in Spain and Morocco, directed from Venezuela by a wanted Spanish national". In all,...
(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 and the French Development Agency to finance the extension of line 2 of the Rabat-Sale tramway. Another agreement concerns a subsidy of 500,000 euros, along with the loan of 30 million euros to finance line 2 of the Casablanca tramway...
(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 end hunger by 2025. The annual document came out Thursday at the start of a two-day food and health seminar in Ivory Coast's economic capital, Abidjan. Around 200 people from 47 African nations are gathered to discuss "sustainable food systems...
(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 up hard-to-reach areas, developing educational and health infrastructures and improving access to drinking water and electricity. A total amount of 9.7 million U.S. dollars has been geared to fund development partnership projects in oases and Argan trees areas, the same...
(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 town on an electric bicycle doing his job as an inspector of building sites. "It's a practical and eco-friendly way of getting around!" he says. "It respects the environment and allows us to get around easily without using polluting modes...
(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 exchange ideas with Morocco on bilateral ties, international and regional issues of both countries' concern, implement consensus, deepen cooperation and promote friendship to push forward the strategic partnership between two countries," Geng said.
(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 to take place as soon as the drill rig is demobilized, the same source pointed out. The new discovery came after another was found near the discovered site. The previously drilled well, named KSR-14, is now connected to the production...
(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 repatriate their dollar profits in full. At an aviation meeting in the Rwandan capital, IATA’s Vice President for Africa, Raphale Kuuchi, said that airlines were in talks with “a few governments to unblock airline funds”. He did not specify the...
(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 committed to our safety day and night," Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon said Sunday on his twitter account. An AFP reporter on the scene said calm had mostly returned by 2030 GMT, about two hours after the end of the...
(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 some 1,500 people had come to celebrate Morocco’s 2-0 win over Ivory Coast, but that around 300 started to behave violently and attacked police officers and firemen called to put out burning cars and dust bins. More than 100,000 people...
(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 homologues nigérians. Les volets de cette manifestation comporteront l’organisation d’un symposium sur les échanges économiques et commerciaux entre le Maroc et le Nigéria suivi de rencontres B to B au profit de 30 participants marocains et leurs homologues nigérians. L'économie...
(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 to North Africa," Switzerland, which hosted the third meeting of the so-called contact group on the crisis, said in a statement. Thousands of migrants and refugees who attempt to travel along this route "find themselves in catastrophic situations," it said,...
(AFP (eng) 11/11/17)
A French appeals court on Friday dealt a blow to two journalists accused of trying to blackmail the king of Morocco by ruling that secret recordings could be used as evidence against them. Lawyers for French investigative journalists Eric Laurent and Catherine Graciet argued unsuccessfully that tapes of conversations between them and a Moroccan official were inadmissible. "It's a very big victory," Patrice Spinosi, a lawyer for the king told AFP. "There is no longer any obstacle to going ahead to conviction."
(AFP (eng) 11/09/17)
A Moroccan court has sentenced two members of a northern protest movement to 20 years in prison each for torching a police building earlier this year, their lawyer said. Rachid Benali told AFP the verdict was issued on Tuesday by a court in Al-Hoceima, a port city in the neglected northern Rif region which was rocked by protests for social justice. The court sentenced two members of Hirak al-Shaabi, or "Popular Movement", to 20 years in jail and four others to prison terms ranging from one to five years, Benali said.

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