Thursday 14 December 2017

Tunisie

(The Guardian 04/06/16)
Reeling from external trade shocks, resulting in search for alternative source of funds for financing public expenditures, experts have advised African countries to exercise restraint in sourcing for foreign loans. This is even as the government of Nigeria may have shelved any plan to increase taxes, especially the Value Added Tax (VAT), at least this year.
(This Day Live 04/06/16)
The 18 member countries of African Petroleum Producers Association are considering strategies that will keep them afloat in the wake of the challenging crude oil price environment. Since the prices of crude oil in the international market took an uncertain path, the economies of some key African oil producing countries have received some significant battering, especially those that rely heavily on crude oil export to meet their respective economic and social responsibilities. Over the periods that oil prices have slipped and revenues from sales by producers dipped, the budgets of a number of Africa's top oil pro¬ducers like Nigeria have either impaired significantly with challenging revenue benchmarks or looked quite unconvincing since more than 70 per cent of their revenues...
(AFP (eng) 04/05/16)
Inkyfada, an electronic magazine investigating Tunisian involvement in the so-called Panama Papers, came under attack by hackers on Tuesday just hours after its first postings on the scandal. "Our site has come under a serious IT attack. The hackers have managed to post false information under our name," it said on Twitter, adding that it was being temporarily taken offline. Monia Ben Hamadi, editorial chief of Inkyfada, told AFP that the false reports had been identified but not the hackers. "The attack was orchestrated from several places," she said. Reporters Without Borders (RSF), in a statement, condemned the cyber-attack which it said showed "how investigative journalism still causes fear" in Tunisia following its 2011 revolution. Several countries have vowed to...
(Foreign Policy 04/05/16)
Africa’s petrostates are crashing hard. A cool $115 in the summer of 2014, a barrel of Brent crude, the international pricing benchmark, now fetches below $40. And having failed to build massive foreign exchange reserves like Saudi Arabia or other Gulf monarchies, African oil exporters are now being forced to grapple with depreciating national currencies, mounting inflation, and deep cuts in government spending. Some of these states are now dangerously unstable, staring down popular unrest or domestic insurgencies that left unaddressed could set them back years, if not decades, in development terms.
(Independent Online 04/05/16)
The African Union (AU) Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Integration concludes in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Tuesday with Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the chairperson of the African Union Commission, imploring African countries to improve young people’s skills in science and engineering. The Conference of Ministers is an annual event jointly organised by the Economic Commission for Africa and the African Union Commission. It is being held at the Conference Centre of the Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa. Read: The grim situation facing SA's youth “With an average of over 90 percent of graduates in social sciences, Africa’s innovation and scientific skills lag behind,” said Dlamini Zuma. “There is general agreement on the skills crisis that...
(Vanguard 04/04/16)
Addis Ababa — Africans migrate more from one Africa country to another, contrary to belief that almost every African migrates beyond the continent, a report by United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) has revealed The revelation was made on Saturday by Mrs Takyiwaa Manuh, Director, Social Development Policy Division, UNECA, who gave highlight of the report entitled "Challenges of International Migration in Africa" at ongoing African Development Week in Addis Ababa. Manuh said that the situation contained in the report was contrary to popular belief that Africans migrated more to other continents. "Media coverage and research on irregular migration and high death toll amongst those crossing the Mediterranean have falsely reinforced the belief that Africans migration is essentially directed...
(RFI(EN) 04/02/16)
African countries are becoming the fastest growing economies in the world, with East African nations leading the pack in 2015. But infrastructure still remains a challenge. The United Nations and the African Union are pushing for the continent to industrialize, if it is to reach 1 of the 17 sustainable development goals. Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki is the Chief Executive Officer of the New Partnership for Africa's Development, (NEPAD). He spoke with RFI's Christina Okello about his vision for Africa's future. 1) NEPAD places regional integration at the core of Africa's development, why is that? If you consider the challenge posed by terrorism, regional integration is a good mechanism.
(Voice of America 04/01/16)
A peaceful transition to democracy in Tunisia proved to be a rare success story of the Arab Spring, yet as one official says, "many challenges" remain for the country. Tunisia was fortunate to have pragmatic politicians who favored compromise over confrontation. The Islamist political party Ennahda, which won the first elections after the 2011 revolution, voluntarily handed over power to a technocrat government. A strong civil society in Tunisia also helped with the move away from autocracy. However, Faycal Gouia, Tunisia's ambassador to the United States, says his country still faces serious problems going forward.
(Forbes 04/01/16)
Africa seems to be the only continent today that is regularly referred to as a country. It bristles me every time I hear it said. It’s reminiscent of Ronald Reagan’s chatter with the press aboard Air Force One in late 1982 on his way back to the US from a Presidential visit to Latin America: “I learned a lot down there…You’d be surprised, because, you know, they’re all individual countries.” As a relatively freshly minted PhD in international business economics at the time, I thought a statement like that coming from the President of the United States was more than odd. Just as such an utterance was, of course, grossly naïve, if not insulting, to Latin Americans, so too is...
(Bloomberg 04/01/16)
Trade barriers and poor infrastructure are preventing sugar producers in sub-Saharan Africa from accessing under-supplied regions on the continent as an imminent end to import quotas in the European Union compels them to find new markets. A preferential-access deal with the EU for African, Caribbean and Pacific sugar producers ends in September 2017, potentially depriving the farmers further access to a duty-free market. Exports to the EU account for a fifth of the sub-Saharan region’s current annual output of about 7.5 million metric tons, according to Cooperatieve Rabobank UA. While sub-Saharan Africa consumes more sugar than it produces, growers may struggle to plug this shortfall because insufficient infrastructure makes deliveries between regions difficult and import duties lift the cost of...
(Financial Times 03/31/16)
When Israel faced a resolution at the International Atomic Energy Agency last September demanding that it open its undeclared nuclear facilities to UN inspectors, the measure failed to pass. It foundered in part because several African countries — which normally would have voted in lock-step with Arab states — abstained or voted No. The ballot was just one of many examples of a growing alignment between Israel and sub-Saharan African states: the Jewish state is searching for new allies as its traditionally close ties with Europe cool, and both it and African states face a common threat from radical Islamist groups.
(The Guardian 03/30/16)
Africa needs to grow its economy in order to reduce poverty and create jobs for the millions who will be entering the workforce. In the development community, this statement has become almost trite. But is it the whole truth? After decades of underperformance, Africa had economic growth rates of 5.8% from 2004 to 2014 (pdf), democracy is now the norm rather than the exception, and corruption is being tackled as the rule-of-law has been strengthened in several countries. By 2030 sub-Saharan Africa could be adding more working-age people to the global labour force than the rest of the world combined. If jobs can be created, then this demographic transition alone could raise GDP per capita by a further 50% by...
(Sunday Times 03/30/16)
The spectre of high debt is raising its head again in Africa, analysts say, as sub-Saharan nations that borrowed cheaply on global markets are now squeezed by a commodities crash. The return of debt troubles in Africa has caught some by surprise, they say, 20 years after a global campaign was mounted to offer debt relief to the world's most impoverished nations. "It is clearly a source of concern. People did not see it coming," said Julien Marcilly, chief economist at French group Coface, which offers worldwide insurance to protect firms from the risk of clients defaulting. An IMF-World Bank programme launched in 1996 has to date approved $76 billion (68 billion euros) in external debt relief for 36 of...
(Usa Today 03/29/16)
Uber is expanding in Africa. The ride-hailing app launched in the cities of Abuja, Nigeria and Mombasa, Kenya on Wednesday. These are the 399th and 400th world cities where the service operates. But just as Uber has butted heads with traditional taxis in Paris, London, Toronto, Sao Paulo and many other places, so it is facing tensions in African metropolises. On the same day that Uber launched in Mombasa, an Uber taxi in the capital Nairobi was set on fire. This was the second Uber taxi torched in the city in a matter of weeks. Kenyan police said that a man hired the Uber and led the driver to a dark alley where the taxi was attacked by four men...
(Voice of America 03/29/16)
 
00:00
As Sub-Saharan Africa strives to break the shackles of poverty, its population of nearly one billion people is hard at work. A 2014 report by the U.S. Department of Labor concluded that one out of five Sub-Saharan children are working under difficult if not squalid conditions. Poverty is the driving force behind child labor, says Alex Soho of the International Labor Organization in South Africa. "They are poor. Their income is low. They cannot afford hiring adult laborers,” he said. ”So they have to rely, you know, on the work of their kids. This is true for farmers. This is true, also, for farm workers, who have to take them [children] along with them to the plantations, in particular, the...
(Xinhuanet 03/26/16)
(Xinhua) -- China has appointed its first envoy to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). Kuang Weilin, who also serves as Head of the Chinese Mission to the African Union (AU) was named to the post and presented his credentials to Carlos Lopes, UNECA Executive Secretary on Monday at the headquarters of UNECA in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.. During their meeting, Kuang said he was glad to be the first Chinese envoy to UNECA, and that China counts on UNECA for fresh ideas on how to best promote Africa's development. UNECA is considered as a top research institute and think-tank in Africa. Lopes expressed his delight with the Chinese government agreeing to formalize its relationship with UNECA,...
(Xinhuanet 03/26/16)
(Xinhua) -- Researchers have suggested creating community conservancies to promote the coexistence of humans and lions, against a backdrop of dwindling lion population in Africa. A team of researchers from Britain's University of Glasgow have conducted a study in Kenya, in which they say community conservancies could help stem the loss of lions. There has been a dramatic decline in lion numbers in almost all areas where lions and people overlap, indicating that habitat fragmentation and human-wildlife conflict are a major driver behind the loss. However the increase in lion numbers in Kenya's Masai Mara National Reserve have made researchers believe the conservancy membership for local people could engender the coexistence. "The lion populations have increased substantially within Kenya's Masai...
(Business Day Ghana 03/25/16)
Africa's private sector will continue to lead the continent towards economic transformation, African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina said Monday at the launch of the fourth Africa CEO Forum in Abidjan. Addressing some 500 CEOs from 43 African countries and 20 more worldwide, he said, "The 'Africa rising' story remains strong. Yes, African economies face economic headwinds from the significant decline in the price of commodities ... but African economies remain resilient.
(Dw-World 03/25/16)
A UN report has pointed the finger at superstition as a force driving rising attacks on people with albinism. At least 40 people have been attacked in the last eight months, but that number could well be higher. The UN report published Tuesday condemned superstitious practises behind the violence. All the attacks took place in sub-Saharan Africa and most victims were children, according to Ikponwosa Ero, the UN's independent expert on human rights and albinism. The report pointed to 40 attacks as having occurred in the last eight months across seven countries, but that figure could be greater, as many happen in secret and are not reported. In some regions of the world albinos' body parts are valued in witchcraft...
(Daily News (zw) 03/24/16)
HARARE - Still reeling from the damaging breakaway from within its ranks of former Vice President Joice Mujuru and her supporters, President Robert Mugabe’s warring Zanu PF is facing yet another bitter split — this time involving party members loyal to embattled Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa. This also comes as the stage is set for an explosive meeting in Harare between Mugabe and restive war veterans on April 7 — as the mindless bloodletting within the former liberation movement continues unabated. Zanu PF insiders who spoke to the Daily News yesterday said the latest acrimonious “divorce proceedings” involving Team Lacoste — which they said was already “well under way” and evident in the troubled provinces of Midlands and Mashonaland East...

Pages

(Middle East Monitor 06/30/15)
The Tunisian gunman who killed 38 people on a beach resort last week was trained by an Islamic State (ISIS) affiliated group in Libya, an Algerian security source revealed. The source, who spoke to the Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity, said a "number of countries are helping the Tunisian security services to investigate the terrorist attack." According to the source, "the agencies including an Algerian-French security body concluded that Rezgui had unclear ties to ISIS in Cyrenaica, Libya." "The investigation revealed that Rezgui moved secretly at least twice to Libya in the period between August 2014 and January 2015 and stayed for at least two weeks during his second visit in the Cyrenaica region." According to the same source,...
(AFP (eng) 06/29/15)
Tunisia said Monday it had made its first arrests after a beach massacre that killed 38 people, as European officials paid tribute to victims of the country's worst jihadist attack. British Home Secretary Theresa May, speaking at the scene of Friday's gun attack at a Tunisian holiday resort, vowed that "the terrorists will not win" after London warned that Britain's death toll could rise to "around 30". The massacre, claimed by the Islamic State group, was the deadliest for Britain since the 2005 London bombings, and there are fears it could inflict a devastating blow to Tunisia's vital tourism industry. Interior Minister Hajem Gharsalli said the authorities had arrested "a significant number of people from the network that was behind...
(AFP (eng) 06/29/15)
Port el Kantaoui - Tunisia said on Monday it had made its first arrests after a beach massacre that killed 38 people, as European officials paid tribute to victims of the country's worst jihadist attack. British Home Secretary Theresa May, speaking at the scene of Friday's gun attack at a Tunisian holiday resort, vowed that "the terrorists will not win" after London warned that Britain's death toll could rise to "around 30". The massacre, claimed by the Islamic State group (ISIS), was the deadliest for Britain since the 2005 London bombings, and there are fears it could inflict a devastating blow to Tunisia's vital tourism industry. Interior Minister Hajem Gharsalli said the authorities had arrested "a significant number of people...
(AFP (eng) 06/29/15)
Video footage shared on social networks Monday showed the jihadist who killed 38 people at a Tunisian resort walk slowly across the sand, where the bloodied bodies of his victims lie still. Intermittent gunfire can be heard in the 11-minute amateur video, which a Tunisian man shot using his mobile phone. "That's him over there, wearing shorts!... He is there! He's coming!" people could be heard shouting in Arabic, many of them apparently hotel employees and lifeguards. The man who shot the video is hiding behind a wall and films the gunman, identified by authorities as 23-year-old student Seifeddine Rezgui, as strolls down to the beach from the hotel compound.
(Bloomberg 06/29/15)
“Tunisia’s tourism is living through dark days,” said Massoud Riahi, who scratches out a living selling silver necklaces outside Tunisia’s Bardo museum. Riahi’s income has plummeted since armed militants attacked the building in March, killing at least 22 people. Friday’s massacre at a Tunisian seaside resort will only make things tougher. Riahi spoke from his perch outside the museum, housed in a 15th century palace in the capital city Tunis, two days after a gunman opened fire on tourists lounging on a beach in Sousse, killing at least 38. While Tunisia has evaded the worst of the unrest that swept through Libya, Syria and Egypt since 2011, the violence is hurting an economy struggling to recover after the uprising that...
(News24 06/29/15)
 
00:00
Tunis - Video footage shared on social networks on Monday showed the jihadist who killed 38 people at a Tunisian resort walk slowly across the sand, where the bloodied bodies of his victims lie still. Intermittent gunfire can be heard in the 11-minute amateur video, which a Tunisian man shot using his mobile phone. Watch the video below. "That's him over there, wearing shorts!... He is there! He's coming!" people could be heard shouting in Arabic, many of them apparently hotel employees and lifeguards. The man who shot the video is hiding behind a wall and films the gunman, identified by authorities as 23-year-old student Seifeddine Rezgui, as he strolls down to the beach from the hotel compound. He then...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/29/15)
On Wednesday, Saif Rezgui sat down with friends in his Tunisian hometown to chat about his favorite soccer team, girls and his break-dance skills over coffee and cigarettes. On Thursday, he met up with his uncle in Gaafour, catching up on family matters, on a break from his master’s studies in the nearby historic town of Kairouan. A day later, Resgui walked calmly though the Imperial Marhaba beach hotel on Tunisia’s Mediterranean coast opening fire with a Kalashnikov, and in more than five minutes slaughtered 39 foreign tourists in the name of Islamic State. Once again, Tunisia is in shock over how one of its young men with little warning turned from what appeared to be a normal life to...
(Bloomberg 06/29/15)
U.S. intelligence agencies are considering whether to provide information, analysis and possibly tactical lessons to African governments about how to attack wildlife poaching networks, according to a top official. “We are looking for opportunities” where “we can contribute,” Terrance Ford, the national intelligence manager for Africa in the office of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, said in an interview last week. “We haven’t settled on” the next opportunity, but “it’s an issue of where we can make a difference,” Ford said after speaking to an intelligence conference in Washington. “We have a role to play in this, so we are trying to do that.” Infrared and photographic imagery from satellites and other data could help locate and track herds...
(The Associated Press 06/27/15)
A young man pulled a Kalashnikov from a beach umbrella and sprayed gunfire at European sunbathers at a Tunisian resort, killing at least 39 people — one of three deadly attacks Friday from Europe to North Africa to the Middle East that followed a call to violence by Islamic State extremists. The shootings in the Tunisian resort of Sousse happened at about the same time as a bombing at a Shiite mosque in Kuwait and an attack on a U.S.-owned factory in France that included a beheading. It was unclear if the violence was linked but it came days after the IS militants urged their followers "to make Ramadan a month of calamities for the nonbelievers." In all, the assailants...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/27/15)
London - British tour operators Thomson and First Choice sent 10 planes to evacuate tourists from Tunisia on Saturday after 39 people including at least five Britons were killed in the resort of Sousse in an attack claimed by Islamic State. The British government said it expected the number of British casualties to rise after the attack on Friday at the Imperial Marhaba hotel in Sousse, 140km south of the capital Tunis. Other casualties included German and Belgian tourists. "I expect it [the number of British casualties] to increase," British Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, told the BBC. "Most of the people were British and there were a large number of British caught up in the shooting." A gunman disguised as...
(Voice of America 06/27/15)
 
00:00
Tunisian officials say a terrorist attack near a hotel on the Mediterranean coast has left 37 people dead, including British, German and Belgian nationals. Interior Ministry officials say gunmen opened fire Friday on people on a beach near the Imperial Marhaba hotel in the Tunisian city of Sousse, a popular destination for visitors from Europe and other North African countries. Officials say security forces responded to the attack, and that at least one gunman is among the dead. Thirty-six people were wounded. "He [the gunman] entered premises and started shooting randomly at tourists and hotel workers and whoever was at the premises. We have surrounded the area and are searching people," Interior Ministry spokesman Mohammed Ali Aroui said. Another gunman...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/27/15)
Tunis - Tunisia plans within a week to close down 80 mosques that remain outside state control for inciting violence, as a countermeasure after the hotel attack that killed 39 people, Prime Minister Habib Essid said on Friday. The announcement came after a gunman opened fire on a tourist resort hotel in Sousse city, south of the capital. Since its 2011 uprising to oust Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisia has struggled to manage ultraconservative Islamist movements.
(AFP (eng) 06/26/15)
A man pulled a gun hidden in a beach umbrella and opened fire at a packed Tunisian holiday resort Friday, massacring 37 people in the country's worst attack in recent history. The carnage at the popular Mediterranean resort of Port el Kantaoui came the same day as a suicide bomber killed 25 people at a Shiite mosque in Kuwait and a suspected Islamist attacked a factory in France. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the Tunisia attack, but the Islamic State group, which marks the first anniversary of its "caliphate" straddling Iraq and Syria Monday, said it was behind the Kuwait bombing. Witnesses described scenes of panic after the shooting at the Riu Imperial Marhaba Hotel on the...
(AFP (eng) 06/26/15)
British holidaymakers caught up in the attacks Friday in the Tunisian resort of Sousse said tourists ran from the beach in panic when they realised they were under gunfire. Gary Pine, a product manager from Bristol in southwest England, said he heard an estimated 20 to 30 shots before tourists ran to their hotels for cover. "Over to our left, about 100 yards (metres) or so away, we saw what we thought was firecrackers going off," he told Britain's Sky News television by telephone. "But you could see quite quickly the panic that was starting to ensue from the next resort along from us. "People were exiting the beach pretty quick. "Only when you could start hearing bullets whizzing around...
(AFP (eng) 06/19/15)
Tunisia said Friday it was shutting its consulate in conflict-hit Libya as 10 staffers abducted by an armed militia in Tripoli returned home after a week in captivity. The staff were seized when gunmen burst into the consulate in the Libyan capital, in the latest attack targeting foreign citizens and diplomatic missions in the lawless nation. Libya descended into chaos after a revolt unseated and killed longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011. It now has rival governments and parliaments, as well as powerful militias battling for influence and a share of its oil wealth, including the Fajr Libya militia alliance that controls Tripoli. Tunisian Foreign Minister Taieb Baccouche said the decision to shut the consulate was taken after the kidnapping...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/19/15)
Ten members of Tunisia's diplomatic staff kidnapped in Libya a week ago have been freed and returned to Tunis on Friday, and the Tunisian government has shut down its consular operations in Tripoli. No group has claimed responsibility for the abduction. Armed groups in Libya have repeatedly kidnapped diplomats and foreign nationals to pressure their governments to free Libyan militants held in jails overseas. Libya's two rival governments - one internationally recognised in the east and the other self-declared in Tripoli - are fighting for control, four years after the fall of strongman Muammar Gaddafi. Tunisia had been one of the few countries to keep a diplomatic presence in Tripoli. Most Western governments and companies pulled out last summer when...
(AFP 06/19/15)
All 10 Tunisian consular workers kidnapped in the Libyan capital by an armed militia have been freed after a week in captivity, the Tunisian foreign minister said on Friday. "They have all been freed and they will arrive today (Friday) in Tunis," Taieb Baccouche told Mosaique FM radio, a day after Tunisia said that three of the 10 consular workers had been released. Their release comes as Tunisian officials and media reports said a Libyan militia leader detained in Tunisia would be deported as part of a deal with the kidnappers. The prosecutor's office told AFP that the man, identified in media reports as Walid Glib, had been detained on suspicion of "involvement in terrorist affairs". Spokesman Karim Chebbi said...
(AL Jazeera 06/19/15)
We drove fast, our windows open, the car radio blaring, for 10 hours, deep into the Senegalese countryside, the roaring sound of hot dry air blowing into the car. Outside lay the African savannah - and the immense possibilities of escape. Along this road leading to the Sahara Desert, villages are rare. They appear unannounced like an opportunity. A relief from the monotony of what felt like an endless journey. It is in one such village that my cameraman Jose and I stopped, a chance for him to smoke a cigarette and for me to assess our surroundings. A few huts in the near distance, dry sandy earth, abandoned tractors, plastic bags blowing in the wind. Mechanically we took our...
(Voice of America 06/19/15)
 
00:00
There’s a new weapon in the fight to stop elephant poaching: genetics. DNA testing, which is frequently used to solve crimes, has pinpointed where most of Africa’s elephants are being slaughtered. The African elephant is the world’s largest land animal and is vital to the environment in which it lives. But the elephant population is shrinking fast, as demand for illegal ivory remains high, especially in Asia. University of Washington biology professor Sam Wasser and his colleagues conducted the ivory DNA research. They tested samples seized by authorities between 1996 and 2014. Watch related video report by George Putic: “We are currently losing an estimated 50,000 African elephants a year to poaching. And there’s only about 470,000 elephants remaining in...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/18/15)
It's a scandal that any family in a continent as rich as Africa, with its vast oil and mineral wealth, should be so poor they feel forced to sell their daughter, the African Union's (AU) goodwill ambassador on child marriage said. Globally 15 million girls are married off every year - the equivalent of the population of Zimbabwe or Mali - sometimes in exchange for a dowry or "bride price". "It's very painful when families say we have no choice, we're so poor and that's why we married off our daughter," Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. "Really, can we be that poor? The extent of poverty which compels families to sell off their daughter is a wake-up call...

Pages

(AL Jazeera 07/30/13)
President's office says incident appears to be one of the biggest attacks on the country's security forces in decades. Eight Tunisian soldiers have been killed by gunmen near the Algerian border, the president's office said, in what appeared to be one of the biggest attacks on the country's security forces in decades. The incident on Monday occurred in the remote area of Mount Chaambi, where Tunisian troops have been trying to track down armed groups since December last year. Adnan Mancer, Tunisia's presidential spokesman, told the Associated Press news agency that the attack took place on Jebel Chaambi, Tunisia's tallest mountain and a suspected hideout of al-Qaeda-linked armed groups. The army has been searching the mountainous region near the Algerian...
(AL Jazeera 07/30/13)
Ali Larayedh has called a general election for December 17 after emergency meeting aimed at easing political tensions. Tunisian Prime Minister Ali Larayedh has called a general election for December 17 after an emergency meeting aimed at easing political tensions and as protests demanded the Islamist government's ouster. Larayedh on Monday defied calls led by Tunisia's Ettakatol party, part of the ruling coalition led by the Islamist Ennahda party, that the government should dissolve. "This government will stay in office: we are not clinging to power, but we have a duty and a responsibility that we will exercise to the end," he told state television, proposing December 17 as the date for a general election. "We think that the National...
(BBC News Africa 07/30/13)
Tunisia's Islamist-led government will not step down despite opposition demands, the prime minister has said. Ali Larayedh said it would fulfil its mandate and hold elections in December. He was responding to anger over the murders of two leading politicians by suspected Islamist militants, including the assassination of an MP on Thursday. As the political crisis continued, officials said that at least eight soldiers had been killed by gunmen near the Algerian border. There were reports that some of the soldiers' throats had been cut, in what is thought to be one of the worst attacks on the military in decades. The attack took place in the remote Mount Chaambi area, where troops have been searching for hideouts of suspected...
(Voice of America 07/30/13)
PARIS — A Tunisian court on Monday partially acquitted a Femen activist, while in broader unrest, the army sealed off a square in Tunis where rival protesters have clashed following last week's assassination for a secular politician. Activist Amina Sboui was acquitted of contempt and defamation charges, for having complained that inmates in the Tunisian prison where she is being held had been tortured. But the young woman, a member of the breast-baring Femen movement, remains jailed on separate charges for scrawling graffiti on a cemetery wall. While her lawyer called Sboui's partial acquittal a 'victory,' Inna Shevchenko from Femen's Paris headquarters, said it's only a first step. "It doesn't mean Amina is free, or it doesn't mean anything that...
(AL Jazeera 07/30/13)
Eight Tunisian soldiers have been killed by gunmen near the Algerian border, the president's office said, in what appeared to be one of the biggest attacks on the country's security forces in decades. The incident on Monday occurred in the remote area of Mount Chaambi, where Tunisian troops have been trying to track down armed groups since December last year. Adnan Mancer, Tunisia's presidential spokesman, told the Associated Press news agency that the attack took place on Jebel Chaambi, Tunisia's tallest mountain and a suspected hideout of al-Qaeda-linked armed groups. The army has been searching the mountainous region near the Algerian frontier since a patrol was hit by a roadside bomb in April. On June 24, the army declared the...
(Amnesty International 07/30/13)
Today’s decision by a Tunisian court to dismiss a defamation case against the 18-year-old FEMEN activist Amina Sboui is only a partial victory, Amnesty International said as it called for her release. Amina was arrested on 19 May after writing the word “Femen” – the name of an international network of feminist activists famous for staging topless protests – on a cemetery wall in Kairouan in central Tunisia. Held since then, she has faced an array of charges including defamation, insulting a civil servant and desecrating a cemetery. “Imprisoning anyone for expressing themselves is inherently disproportionate. The fact that Amina has already spent two months in prison is an indictment of the state of free expression in Tunisia,” said Philip...
(AL Jazeera 07/29/13)
Police have fired tear gas as pro- and anti-government protesters have clashed outside the Tunisian parliament building after the burial of a prominent opposition figure. Sunday's demonstrations took place in the capital Tunis, with supporters of Mohamed Brahmi, the slain opposition leader, and those who support the ruling Islamist Ennahda party being separated by security barricades and riot police. "Enough with Ghannouchi," the opposition crowd chanted, referring to Ennahda chief Rached Ghannouchi. "The people want the fall of the assassins." Ennahda supporters retorted that the parliament was a "legitimate" body and that the demonstrators should not invite any non-democratic action. Protests began on Saturday, after Brahmi's burial, with demonstrators calling for the fall of the government marching to the constituent...
(AL Jazeera 07/27/13)
Interior minister says Mohamed Brahmi killed with same gun used to murder his opposition coalition leader Chokri Belaid. Secular opposition politician Mohamed Brahmi was killed with the same gun that was used to kill his coalition party leader Chokri Belaid six months ago, Tunisia's interior minister has said. Lotfi Ben Jeddou told a news conference on Friday that it suggested the involvement of the same hardline Salafist group. "The same 9mm automatic weapon that killed Belaid also killed Brahmi," Jeddou said. He named the main suspect as hardline Salafist Boubacar Hakim, already being sought on suspicion of smuggling weapons from Libya. Ben Jeddou said that ballistic examination of the bullets fired on Thursday at Brahmi showed they came from the...
(Voice of America 07/26/13)
Tunisia braced for more protests and a general strike Friday, in response to the assassination of a leading liberal opposition figure. Outspoken opposition leader Mohamed Brahmi was shot to death Thursday by unknown gunmen outside his home in the capital, Tunis. Brahmi belonged to the secular Popular Front party. He was a vocal critic of Tunisia's Islamist-led government and was helping draw up a new constitution. It was the second such assassination this year. The February killing of liberal politician Chokri Belaid plunged Tunisia into violence that nearly derailed its fragile political transition. On Thursday, thousands took to the streets in Tunis and Sidi Bouzid to protest Brahmi's killing. Many blamed the main Islamist Ennahda party of being behind the...
(Los Angeles Times 07/26/13)
Tunisian nationalist Mohammed Brahmi is killed in front of his wife and daughter. Protesters focus their anger on the ruling Islamist party, Nahda. A Tunisian opposition figure was shot to death at his home Thursday, igniting widespread protests after the second high-profile political assassination this year in a country strained by the conflict between Islamist and secular forces. Mohammed Brahmi, a member of parliament, was shot 11 times in front of his wife and daughter by men on a motorbike, according to news reports. Brahmi, an Arab nationalist, served on the contentious panel that wrote Tunisia's proposed constitution. His death followed the assassination in February of Chokri Belaid, a passionate leftist and frequent critic of the country's dominant Islamist party,...
(Irish Times 07/26/13)
US calls for investigation into killing amid violent protests against Islamist government. Tunisian opposition politician Mohamed Brahmi was shot dead on Thursday in the second such assassination this year, setting off violent protests against the Islamist-led government in the capital and elsewhere. “This criminal gang has killed the free voice of Brahmi,” his widow, Mbarka Brahmi, told Reuters, without specifying who she thought was behind the shooting outside their home in Tunis. Mr Brahmi’s sister later accused the main Islamist Ennahda party of being behind the killing. “Ennahda killed my brother,” Souhiba Brahmi said. Ennahda has condemned the killing. The politician’s wife said Mr Brahmi had left the house after receiving a telephone call. She heard shots and found his...
(Voice of America 07/25/13)
CAPITOL HILL — Prospective U.S. diplomats to Africa say President Barack Obama’s recent trip to the continent underscored persistent challenges and vast opportunities that cry out for robust and sustained American engagement. Administration nominees for the State Department’s top Africa post, as well as numerous ambassadorships, testified Wednesday at their Senate confirmation hearing. During his three-nation trip to Africa earlier this month, Obama unveiled initiatives to boost electric service on the continent, increase trade and commercial ties, and help groom Africa’s next generation of leaders. But more must be done, according to Democratic Senator Chris Coons, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on Africa. “President Obama’s recent trip was a positive demonstration of U.S. commitment, and the president’s initiatives...
(Voice of America 07/24/13)
Malaria infections, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa, are responsible for the deaths of some 200,000 newborns and 10,000 new mothers each year. The parasitic illness can also cause miscarriage and premature birth, increasing the risk of death. There are low cost, lifesaving interventions to prevent infection, yet, according to a new study, there are significant barriers to implementing them. For the past 20 years, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended that pregnant women in areas with high rates of malaria receive insecticide-treated bed nets and periodic doses of a cheap drug to prevent the disease. Yet, despite relatively high attendance at clinics for expectant mothers and their newborns throughout sub-Saharan Africa, statistics show that just a little over 21 percent...
(AL Jazeera 07/16/13)
Executive council meets in Nigerian capital to review progress made in combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. The African Union executive council is meeting in the Nigerian capital to take stock of progress made in the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The conference, which opened in Abuja on Friday, will also address challenges encountered in the campaign against the three diseases. "It is timely that we review the implementation of the various declarations and plans of action adopted in the course of the last decade," Ethiopia's Foreign Minister Tedros Ghebreyesus told the conference, according to the African Union's website. Ghebreyesus said Ethiopia was proposing to establish an "African Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention (African–CDC) or Health Commission for Africa...

Pages