| Africatime
Friday 24 March 2017
(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 at the end of a two-day visit to Chad where she sought to outline her policies regarding the continent, which has long held an important place in French foreign policy. "It was only in coming...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 02/06/17)
Morocco's government on Monday warned the European Union that its failure to fully implement an agriculture deal with Rabat would have severe consequences and could spur illegal migration. The North African nation and the European Union signed in 2012 a multi-million-euro fishing and agriculture trade agreement. Two years later the deal was quashed by a European court after a challenge from the Polisario Front which seeks independence for the disputed territory of Western Sahara. But the EU's top court of...
(Xinhuanet 02/03/17)
T20 Africa Conference, the meeting for the G20 think tanks and African countries, ended on Friday in Johannesburg with a commitment to accelerate cooperation between the G20 and Africa. The three-day conference aimed to chart a course for the future cooperation between Africa and the G20. The day ended with the formulation of the communique which will be given to the current G20 chair Germany. The communique will also be the reference for further discussion between Africa and T20. T20...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/01/17)
Morocco rejoined the club of African states on Tuesday, 33 years after quitting over recognition of Western Sahara, bringing one of Africa's largest economies into the fold and raising hopes of a softening of one of its thorniest territorial disputes. Capping a year-long charm offensive that mirrored a broader investment push into Africa, Morocco's King Mohammed VI was cheered as he took his seat for the first time in the Addis Ababa headquarters of the 55-nation African Union (AU), one...
(Xinhuanet 02/01/17)
South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) on Tuesday expressed regret over the readmission of Morocco to the African Union (AU). The ANC "notes the regrettable decision" by the AU to readmit Morocco into the organization, ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said in a statement. The 54-member AU voted overwhelmingly to readmit Morocco following a lengthy debate at the 28th AU Summit in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on Monday. Thirty-nine of the 54 states approved Morocco's return to...
(Xinhuanet 02/01/17)
Newly elected senior officials of the African Union (AU) Commission, including Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the AU Commission, were sworn in on Tuesday at the conclusion of the 28th AU summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. In addition to the two top officials, other officials took the oath for positions including, peace and security; political affairs; trade and industry; social affairs; infrastructure and energy; and rural economy and agriculture. The 28th AU summit also elected Alpha Conde, President of...
(AFP (eng) 01/31/17)
Morocco's King Mohammed VI took a seat at the African Union headquarters Tuesday for the first time in 33 years after being re-admitted by the bloc. "It is a beautiful day when one returns home after too long an absence. Africa is my continent and my home. I am finally home and I am happy to see you. I missed you all," the monarch told the closing ceremony of the AU summit in Ethiopia. Morocco's return to the fold comes...
(AFP (eng) 01/31/17)
The African Union decided Monday to allow Morocco back in the fold after a 33-year absence, despite stiff resistance from some member states over the status of Western Sahara. After an emotional and tense debate, member states decided by consensus to leave the question of the disputed territory of Western Sahara for another day, and resolve it with Morocco "back in the family." "From the moment that Morocco did not impose conditions ... we take their word for it and accept that Morocco be admitted to the African Union," said Mohamed Salem Ould Salek, foreign minister of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic

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