| Africatime
Tuesday 25 April 2017
(Xinhuanet 04/19/17)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, will convene Wedesday the first UN-AU Annual Conference. The two leaders will look into how to strengthen the partnership between the two organizations to face common challenges and opportunities in the continent, on issues of peace and security, sustainable development and human rights, said Stephane Dujarric, UN spokesman, at a daily briefing. "They will also sign the Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for an Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security," said Dujarric. It will be the first conference Mahamat will address with the United Nation since he was elected as chairperson of the African Union Commission. Although he had brief...
(AFP (eng) 04/11/17)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is proposing a new diplomatic push to end the decades-old dispute over Western Sahara, possibly by holding a referendum on Morocco's rule over the territory, according to a confidential report obtained by AFP on Monday. Guterres said in the report to the United Nations Security Council that he wanted "a new dynamic" and a "new spirit" in negotiations on ending one of the world's most intractable conflicts. "I intend to propose that the negotiating process be relaunched with a new dynamic and a new spirit that reflect the council's guidance," the UN chief said in the report sent to the council on Monday. The negotiations would have "the aim of reaching a mutually acceptable political solution...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/11/17)
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for new talks over the long-running Western Sahara dispute, saying the negotiations should include proposals from both Morocco and the Polisario independence movement, according to a U.N. document. The U.N. call for a restart to talks came after months of tensions in the disputed territory, which Morocco claims as part of its kingdom and Polisario says belongs to the Sahrawi people who fought a guerrilla war until a 1991 U.N.-backed ceasefire. U.N. attempts to...
(AFP (eng) 04/07/17)
Morocco's new government is set to be dominated by officials close to the palace despite the premier hailing from the country's ruling Islamist party. King Mohamed VI on Wednesday announced the new line-up to be led by Prime Minister Saad-Eddine El Othman, second-in-command of the Justice and Development Party (PJD). Local press on Thursday said the new government was an "unabashed return of an executive monarchy" and a step back for the Islamists who triumphed in October elections. The PJD...
(AFP (eng) 04/06/17)
Morocco's King Mohamed VI on Wednesday named a new government headed by a member of the ruling Islamist party, following a six-month political deadlock in the North African country. Prime Minister Saad-Eddine El Othman, second-in-command of the Justice and Development Party (PJD) that triumphed in October elections, will lead a cabinet comprised of Islamists, liberals and leftists, the official MAP news agency reported. Mohamed had named Othman premier last month. The PJD came to power after the king relinquished some of his near-absolute control following Arab Spring-inspired protests in 2011, with member Abdelilah Benkirane heading a previous coalition government for five years.
(Xinhuanet 04/06/17)
Morocco's Prime Minister Saadeddine El Othmani said on Wednesday that his new government will pursue the reforms launched by the former one. El Othmani said that the government members have agreed to boost the implementation of the reforms launched by the previous government "to reach the goals that have been set." The swift formation of the government was imposed by the harmful effects of the deadlock on the country as well as its economic, especially small businesses, El Othmani told...
(Bloomberg 03/28/17)
Morocco’s new prime minister-designate formed a governing coalition, ending a five-month impasse that has paralyzed decision-making and strained the economy. After barely a week in office, Saaddine El-Otmani of the moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party told reporters late Saturday that he will lead a coalition of six parties including partners his predecessor, Abdelilah Benkirane, had refused to include. High on the new government’s agenda will be “improving the quality of government services, education, health care, creating job opportunities, and fighting corruption,” El-Otmani said. Benkirane’s inability to form a coalition after October elections produced no clear-cut winner forced
(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...
(AFP (eng) 03/17/17)
Morocco's king on Friday appointed a new prime minister to end a political deadlock that left the North African country without a government for five months, the royal court said. King Mohammed VI named Saad-Eddine El Othmani, a former foreign minister who belongs to the Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD), to form a new government. El Othmani will replace Abdelilah Benkirane, who had been previously asked by the king to form a new government after his PJD won the most seats in elections in October 2016. The prime minister-designate is a trained psychiatrist who served as secretary general of the PJD from 2004 to 2008 and as foreign minister from January 2012
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
The king of Morocco is to appoint a new prime minister, the royal palace announced Wednesday, after an unprecedented five months of talks on forming a coalition government ended in failure. "To break the current deadlock, the king has decided to appoint another member of the PJD (Justice and Development Party) to lead the government within the shortest time possible," a palace statement said. King Mohammed VI tasked Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane with forming a new government after the Islamist PJD won the most seats in elections in October 2016.
(Xinhuanet 03/16/17)
Morocco and Cote d'Ivoire have called for sustainable and inclusive political solutions for crises facing Africa, a final statement issued following Morocco's King Mohammed visit to Cote d'Ivoire said. The King and Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara reiterated their will to see a more united and solidarity-based Africa, capable of fighting efficiently and victoriously against the new forms of criminality, namely terrorism, cybercrimes, sea piracy and drug trafficking, according to the statement carried by the official MAP news agency on Wednesday...
(AFP (eng) 03/09/17)
Morocco is "more determined than ever" to develop the Western Sahara, Interior Minister Mohamed Hassad said Wednesday on a two-day visit to the disputed territory. Rabat insists the former Spanish colony is an integral part of its kingdom, but the Algeria-based Polisario Front demands a referendum on self-determination there. 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. "We are more determined...
(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...
(Xinhuanet 03/06/17)
Nearly five months after the parliamentary elections in Morocco, the re-appointed Islamist Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane is still struggling to form a new government. The leader of Justice and Development Party (PJD) has gained the support of two parties since late October, yet he has been unable to make a deal with a third party to secure the majority of 395-seat parliament. With PJD's 125 seats, the coalition with the leftist Party of Progress and Socialism (12 seats) and the...
(Xinhuanet 02/28/17)
Zambia has not withdrawn its recognition of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), its Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Monday. Last week, King Mohammed VI of Morocco was in Zambia for an official visit and held talks with President Edgar Lungu. Some local media has reported that one of the issues tackled was for Zambia to cut its diplomatic ties with the SADR, which Morocco considers as part of its territory. But the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in...
(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...
(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...

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