Wednesday 26 July 2017
(AFP (eng) 07/26/17)
Two Moroccan UN peacekeepers were killed Tuesday in an attack in the Central African Republic's southeast, two days after the death of another soldier from the same contingent, the force said, blaming pro-Christian militias for the violence. "The MINUSCA (peacekeeping mission) regrets to announce the deaths of two more blue helmets on Tuesday afternoon in Bangassou," a town 700 kilometres (430 miles) east of the capital Bangui, the peacekeeping force said in a statement. The Moroccan peacekeepers "were killed in an ambush by suspected anti-Balaka fighters
(Voice of America 07/25/17)
European and African ministers are meeting in Tunisia about efforts to regulate the flow of refugees from Africa to Europe, primarily along the deadly central Mediterranean route originating in Libya. In a declaration Monday in Tunis, the capital, the ministers said they agreed on a multi-pronged approach to the crisis, including informing people about the risks of illegal migration and the possibility of voluntarily returning home, addressing why migrants leave home and beefing up actions against human traffickers. Participating in the meetings were interior ministers from Algeria, Austria, Chad, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Libya, Mali, Malta, Niger, Slovenia, Switzerland, Tunisia and Estonia, which currently holds the EU Council presidency. Through the first half of 2017, nearly 84,000 migrants arrived in...
(AFP (eng) 07/24/17)
An ambush killed a Moroccan peacekeeper and wounded three others on Sunday in the Central African Republic, the United Nations said, blaming pro-Christian militias for the violence. "A MINUSCA (peacekeeping mission) military convoy was targeted by anti-Balaka," it said of the clash in the southern city of Bangassou. The country is struggling to emerge from a civil war that erupted in 2013 following the overthrow of former president Francois Bozize, a Christian, by Muslim rebels from the Seleka coalition. The coup led to the formation of "anti-Balaka" (anti-machete) vigilante units...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/24/17)
DAKAR (Reuters) - Christian militias in Central African Republic have launched several attacks in the town of Bangassou in recent days, attempting to seize a cathedral housing displaced Muslims and killing a Moroccan peacekeeper, the United Nations said on Sunday. The incidents, including one on Sunday, came after attacks on the same diamond-mining town in May that killed at least 115 people and point to the inability of U.N. peacekeepers to contain violence in a country where government control barely...
(The Associated Press 07/24/17)
DAKAR, Senegal (AP) -- The United Nations says a peacekeeper from Morocco has been killed in Central African Republic. A statement Monday morning says the peacekeeper was killed Sunday in the southeastern town of Bangassou by suspected anti-Balaka militias. The statement says three other peacekeepers were injured. Hundreds of people have been killed in Central African Republic and roughly 100,000 displaced in the past two months. Sectarian violence that began in 2013 has been moving into the impoverished country's central...
(AFP (eng) 07/21/17)
The Algerian-backed Polisario Front movement seeking independence for disputed Western Sahara on Thursday denounced as "unjust" a Moroccan court's decision to sentence a group of Sahrawis to prison. On Wednesday a court in Sale near Rabat sentenced 23 Sahrawis to prison terms ranging from two years to life over the killing of 11 members of the Moroccan security forces in Western Sahara. The case had been closely followed by human rights campaigners. Morocco and the Polisario Front have accused each other of provoking deadly clashes between police and Sahrawi protesters at a camp for displaced people in Gdeim Izik in November 2010.
(AFP (eng) 07/21/17)
Police in the northern Moroccan city of Al-Hoceima on Thursday fired tear gas to disperse protesters and stop them marching in defiance of a government ban. Organisers from the Al-Hirak al-Shaabi movement dubbed the demonstration the "million-man march" and said they would go ahead with it despite an injunction. Al-Hoceima, the main port in the Rif region, has been hit by unrest since a fishmonger was crushed to death in a rubbish truck last year as he tried to retrieve...
(AFP (eng) 07/14/17)
Morocco's government will make a regional tour to examine development projects, Prime Minister Saad Eddine El Othmani said Thursday after months of protests shook the northern Rif region. Media reports said the tour could begin by next week. It is expected to take in the central Beni Mellal-Khenifra region and "the southern provinces", a reference to Moroccan-controlled Western Sahara. Earlier this month, security forces began withdrawing from the restive northern cities of Al-Hoceima and Imzouren after weeks of unrest. Al-Hoceima, the main port in the neglected Rif, had been rocked by protests since a fishmonger was crushed to death in a rubbish truck in October as he tried to retrieve
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The African Union's new chair Moussa Faki Mahamat on Wednesday questioned US commitment to fighting terrorism on the continent after it blocked efforts to get UN funding for an anti-jihadist force in the Sahel. "This is a specific case of a certain number of African states taking the initiative to create a dedicated force to fight terrorism. So, we don't understand how the United States could hold back or not engage in the fight against terrorism," Faki said in an...
(AFP (eng) 07/05/17)
Morocco's top diplomat said Tuesday that the United Nations is to lead efforts to end a dispute over a partially recognised state in Western Sahara that Rabat considers its territory. Speaking in Addis Ababa at his first African Union summit since Morocco returned to the bloc in January, Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita said the AU had backed the move. Morocco left the AU in 1984 after the latter admitted the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, proclaimed by the separatist Polisario Front...
(AFP (eng) 07/04/17)
Moroccan security forces have begun withdrawing from the restive northern cities of Al-Hoceima and Imzouren, which have been rocked by weeks of social unrest, officials and residents said. A "gradual" pullback from both cities began on Monday at the request of King Mohammed VI, the governor of Al-Hoceima province, Fouad Chourak, told reporters. A resident of Al-Hoceima, who spoke to AFP by telephone Tuesday, confirmed the pullback. "Policemen have withdrawn from the central square in Al-Hoceima," the resident said. "Only a few policemen in civilian clothes are left."
(Reuters 07/04/17)
Morocco's surprise delay in announcing its proposed currency liberalization came only because the government needed "further studies" of the plan, Prime Minister Saadeddine El Othmani said, dismissing speculation that it ran into significant problems. Last week, Morocco's central bank postponed for "a few days" its planned announcement of the first phase of liberalizing the dirham, a key reform backed by the International Monetary Fund. The central back gave no reason for the delay. In a weekend interview on Morocco's two public television channels, Othmani said he met with Finance Minister Mohammed Boussaid and central bank Governor Abdellatif Jouahri to discuss the move to a flexible currency regime and...
(AFP (eng) 06/26/17)
Morocco's king has rebuked ministers over delays to a development programme meant to pump investment into a region rocked by months of protests over unemployment and perceived state neglect. Mohammed VI told ministers Sunday of his "disappointment, dissatisfaction and concern" that the $670 million (600 million euro) programme in the northern Rif region was behind schedule, according to a cabinet statement. He also cancelled the annual leave of ministers involved in programme so they can "monitor" its progress, it said. The Rif's main port, Al-Hoceima, has been rocked...
(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...
(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...
(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) 06/12/17)
Thousands of people took to the streets of Rabat Sunday demanding that authorities release the leaders of a protest movement that has rocked Morocco's neglected northern Rif region for months. The demonstrators marched along Mohamed VI avenue in downtown Rabat in a procession nearly a kilometre (less than a mile) long, chanting "Free the prisoners!", an AFP correspondent said. An interior ministry source said between 12,000 and 15,000 people took part in Sunday's protest which was organised by several organisations including Morocco's most popular Islamist group. The tolerated but unrecognised Al-Adl Wal Ihsane (Justice and Charity) organisation put the number of demonstrators...

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