Friday 24 November 2017
(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...
(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) 11/18/17)
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) 11/16/17)
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)
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...
(AFP (eng) 11/09/17)
The Polisario Front on Wednesday condemned a speech by Moroccan King Mohammed VI ruling out independence for the disputed territory of Western Sahara. The speech on Monday "contradicts the commitments of Morocco", said a senior official of the pro-independence movement, Mohamed Salem Ould Salek, quoted by the Algerian news agency APS. He said the king's stand ran contrary to commitments to the African Union banning occupation of the territory of a fellow member country. Morocco rejoined the AU in January, having walked out in 1984 in protest at the admission...
(AFP (eng) 11/07/17)
Morocco's King Mohammed VI has ruled out any peace deal that allows for the independence of the Western Sahara as the United Nations renews efforts to resolve the decades-old dispute. A UN peacekeeping force has been deployed in the former Spanish colony since 1991 with a mandate to organise a referendum on its independence or integration with Morocco. Morocco agreed to the vote in a 1988 agreement with the pro-independence Polisario Front that ended 13 years of conflict but has...
(AFP (eng) 11/03/17)
US politicians are voicing concern over America's growing military presence across Africa, where they worry the Pentagon is getting ever more embroiled in a secretive campaign against a shifting enemy. Last month's killing of four US soldiers in a Niger ambush has thrust the issue into the spotlight, with lawmakers calling for greater transparency on what is going on in Africa. "The footprint in Africa is much bigger than the American public understands," Democratic Senator Tim Kaine said this week...
(AFP (eng) 10/30/17)
Tensions still simmer in Morocco's neglected north a year after a fishmonger was crushed to death in a rubbish truck, sparking a wave of protests for social justice. On Saturday, residents of the port city of Al-Hoceima marked the first anniversary of Mouhcine Fikri's death as he tried to retrieve swordfish confiscated by authorities because they were caught out of season. The 31-year-old's death had sparked demonstrations for justice that quickly snowballed into a wider social movement named Al-Hirak al-Shaabi,...
(AFP (eng) 10/25/17)
King Mohammed VI of Morocco on Tuesday sacked three ministers because of "delays in development programmes" in the troubled northern Rif region, the palace said. The Rif was gripped earlier this year by months of angry demonstrations calling for jobs, development and an end to corruption in the North African kingdom. Morocco in 2015 launched a $700 million (600 million euro) programme to revive the northern port city of Al-Hoceima, a focal point of the protest movement. But a report released on Tuesday cited "malfunctions" and unjustified delays, the royal cabinet said. "There was a big delay in launching projects, and worse, the majority...
(AFP (eng) 10/24/17)
A protest leader who spearheaded demonstrations that rocked northern Morocco earlier this year went on trial Tuesday in a packed courtroom in the city of Casablanca. Unemployed Nasser Zefzafi, 39, who was arrested in May, faces the death penalty for allegedly "undermining the internal security of the state" after becoming the flag bearer for the protest movement in the impoverished Rif region. Zefzafi's silhouette could be seen through the opaque glass in the courtroom alongside some 30 other defendants, in...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/17)
Morocco has recalled its ambassador after the Algerian foreign minister accused the kingdom's banks of "laundering hashish money" in Africa, in the latest diplomatic spat between the North African rivals. The foreign ministry said it also summoned Algeria's charge d'affaires in Rabat on Friday evening to protest the "very serious statements... concerning the African policy of the kingdom of Morocco." Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel made his comments at a meeting of business leaders in Algiers on Friday, excerpts of which were widely circulated on social media. He was discussing the sharp increase in investment...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/17)
A 1,200-kilometre (750 mile) round bus trip taking about 22 hours: that is the weekly grind faced by families of activists arrested over a protest movement in northern Morocco if they want to see their loved ones jailed in Casablanca. "The families of those detained are exhausted, every week it's the same ordeal," complained Rachid Ahbbad, as he visited his 19-year-old son Bilal who was jailed in June. "Why do they make us go through this suffering?" The Rif region...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Though its motto is "one Africa, one voice", the reality of "Africa's parliament" could not be more different. Since its creation in 2004, the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) has struggled to make its voice heard, prompting its deputies to ask themselves at a recent gathering: "What are we for?" "Every time we're here, we obsess over the same things. If we are not making laws, then what's the point of being here?" Corneille Padonou of Benin said to his fellow parliamentarians...
(AFP (eng) 10/16/17)
The UN's new envoy for Western Sahara will travel to Morocco at the weekend as part of a regional tour aimed at kick-starting talks on ending the decades-old conflict over the disputed territory. Former German president Horst Kohler will travel to Rabat on Sunday before heading to Algeria and Mauritania, UN sources said. The visit comes ahead of his first report to the Security Council on October 24 on prospects for re-launching negotiations that have been comatose for years. The council adopted a resolution in April that called for a new UN push for talks between Morocco and the Algerian-backed Polisario Front.
(AFP (eng) 10/16/17)
Morocco's ambassador to Greece had his diplomatic vehicle stolen on Sunday after a break-in at his residence, Athens police said. The break-in occurred early on Sunday morning in the affluent Athens suburb of Psychiko, an area popular with embassies that is nominally well-guarded. The robbers also stole a few items from the ambassador's residence, a police source said. Reports said the ambassador and his wife were present at the time of the robbery nut were unhurt.
(Xinhuanet 10/12/17)
Morocco and Russia signed here Wednesday eleven cooperation agreements in the sectors of agriculture, energy, trade, customs services and diplomatic ties. The agreements were signed during a working meeting chaired by the two countries' prime ministers Saad Eddine El Othmani and Dmitri Medvedev. The cooperation agreements are expected to give new impetus to their strategic partnership and expand their cooperation, the ministers said. On this occasion, El Othmani and Medvedev hailed the steady development of bilateral ties, especially in terms...
(AFP (eng) 10/08/17)
Morocco's oldest political party Istiqlal has elected former finance minister Nizar Baraka as its new leader, the party said on its website. On Saturday, Baraka won 924 votes, largely beating his predecessor as head of the party Hamid Chabat, who secured 234 votes. Seen as a "man of consensus", Baraka served as finance minister from 2012 to 2013 after years as minister of state for economic affairs. Since 2013, he had been chairman of the official Economic, Social and Environmental Council. His grandfather Allal El Fassi was an emblematic nationalist figure in Morocco who in his time also headed the same party.
(Middle East Monitor 09/26/17)
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bahrain Sheikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Al Khalifa has given his country’s full backing for a final solution to the Western Sahara issue under full Moroccan sovereignty. Addressing the UN General Assembly convening in New York, Al Khalifa stressed “the need to support the negotiations aimed at achieving a consensual and final political solution to this problem in the context of Moroccan national sovereignty.” The Bahraini official argued that the final solution should also be based on “relevant Security Council resolutions that confirm the seriousness of Morocco’s self-government initiative” and urged “all parties to fully cooperate with the United Nations in this respect.”

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