Monday 18 December 2017
(The Guardian 10/29/13)
The new wave of political violence must not divert us, at this critical juncture, from building a genuine, pluralistic democracy. At this critical moment in our history, Tunisia continues its struggle to secure its revolution. Ranged against it are the repeated attempts to abort not only its dreams of freedom and dignity but the dream of the whole of the Arab spring. In other Arab countries, the march towards freedom has already been violently repressed or derailed. Although the last three months have brought successive political crises in Tunisia, these have been overcome through consensus-building, making the Tunisian model the repository of hope for supporters of democracy in the region and beyond. Last week was the second anniversary of Tunisia's...
(CNN 10/29/13)
(CNN) -- A U.N. peacekeeper was killed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in recent fighting, according to a statement release Sunday from the spokesperson for the Secretary-General. The Tanzanian peacekeeper was part the U.N. Organization Stabilization Mission in the unstable eastern part of the vast nation in Central Africa. The mission was joining the Congolese military in an effort to protect civilians about 25 kilometers (15 miles) north of Goma, the largest city in the region, the statement said. The mission said Friday it was on "high alert" and monitoring the clashes between Congolese forces and M23 rebels. The U.N .mission stated that about 5,000 civilians from the town of Kibumba crossed the border into Rwanda on Friday...
(Voice of America 10/29/13)
A spokesman for the African Union (AU) says high ranking officials from the group will meet in the Ivory Coast’s commercial capital, Abidjan Tuesday to promote security and stability on the continent. “The whole idea is to bridge the divide between the policy makers and the practitioners,” said AU spokesman El-Ghassim Wane. “It is also to facilitate coordination [and] harmonization among special envoys among officials working on the same issues on the African continent, and it provides the platform for outreach for AU’s efforts on peace and security on the continent.” Also attending the meeting will be the leadership of regional economic communities, the United Nations, Arab League, European Union and member of bilateral partners, academic researchers and representatives of...
(Irish Examiner 10/29/13)
Scores of children were among the members of immigrant families who have been DNA-tested in the past two years. Around 220 DNA tests were carried out, mainly as part of family reunification proceedings where a relative of an individual who has been granted permission to reside in the State applies to the immigration authorities for permission to join them here. Most of the tests, 82%, were sought to establish the parentage of a child central to the application, but people needing to prove that they were siblings, half-siblings, aunts, uncles and grandparents were also tested. Some of the most frequently tested nationalities were those from Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Uganda and Afghanistan. The Department of...
(Zimbabwe Independent 10/29/13)
Surprise of the week: the club of African presidents (aka the African Union) has held a special meeting and declared that African presidents should be immune from prosecution for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes while they are in office. They are taking this step, they say, because the International Criminal Court (ICC) is unfairly targeting Africans: all eight cases currently under investigation are about crimes committed in African countries. “We would love nothing more than to have an international forum for justice and accountability, but what choice do we have when we get only bias and race-hunting at the ICC?” said President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya (who by a strange coincidence is currently under indictment by the ICC)...
(AFP (eng) 10/28/13)
TUNIS, October 28, 2013 (AFP) - Tunisian party leaders were to meet Monday to try to agree on a new premier in a bid to resolve a months-long political crisis linked to rising jihadist violence. The government led by the moderate Islamist Ennahda party is to be replaced as part of a roadmap aimed at breaking the political stalemate, which included the launch of a "national dialogue" on Friday. The meeting of 21 party chiefs on Monday was set to start at 1500 GMT, according to the powerful UGTT trade union, which has been mediating talks between the government and the opposition. The new prime minister will have two weeks to form a government of independents under the timetable for...
(AFP (eng) 10/28/13)
TUNIS, October 28, 2013 (AFP) - Eight members of an armed group have been arrested in connection with the deaths of six Tunisian policemen in a clash last week, the interior ministry announced. It said in a statement late Sunday that anti-terrorism units of the national guard arrested "eight terrorist elements implicated in the recent events" in the Sidi Bouzid region of central Tunisia. Explosives and arms were seized, it said, without giving other details of the operation. It said a gunman killed in the clash which left six policemen dead last Wednesday was an Algerian national. Since the 2011 uprising that ousted Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's regime, Tunisia has been rocked by violence blamed on jihadist groups suppressed...
(The Independent 10/27/13)
East London - The people of Africa must reject any idea from outside the continent which would lead to regime change in an African state, President Jacob Zuma said on Saturday. “Through the AU (African Union), the peoples of Africa must reject any idea from outside the continent which seeks to foster an agenda of regime change,” Zuma said at the University of Fort Hare's East London campus. In a speech prepared for delivery at the university's Organisation of African Unity (OAU) 50th anniversary lecture, the president said the replacement of democratically elected governments on the continent must be rejected. “We must do everything we can to prevent Africa from being cheaply auctioned as a result of the ineptitude and...
(CNN 10/26/13)
(CNN) -- Is Sepp Blatter angling for another term as head of world football? The 77-year-old vowed at the 2011 FIFA presidential elections, where he stood unopposed after a bribery controversy ruled out his only rival, that this would be his fourth and final four-year stint in office. However, this week he hinted that he has "a mission" to fulfill and said he feels "young enough to be in this office." And he fueled speculation that he may stand again with comments in Friday's release of the FIFA Weekly magazine, in which he said the African and Asian regions deserved more representation at World Cup finals. Blatter, who has stayed in power since 1998 by vowing to take FIFA's showpiece...
(AFP (eng) 10/25/13)
TUNIS, October 25, 2013 (AFP) - Tunisia's divided factions began hard-won negotiations Friday to end a protracted political crisis after Islamist premier Ali Larayedh managed to avert an opposition boycott by making a written pledge to resign. The repeatedly delayed national dialogue aims to break months of deadlock between the Islamist-led government and the mainly secular opposition that has paralysed Tunisia's political transition nearly three years after the January 2011 uprising. "Today is an important date in the history of Tunisia. The whole world is watching and waiting for us to succeed," the powerful UGTT trade union, which brokered the talks, said on its Facebook page. "We have registered our first success with the official launch of the national dialogue,"...
(AFP (eng) 10/25/13)
TUNIS, October 25, 2013 (AFP) - Tunisia's Islamist premier Ali Larayedh made a written pledge to step down in a last-ditch bid to rescue crisis talks on Friday that the opposition was threatening to boycott. The national dialogue aims to end months of political deadlock between the government and the mainly secular opposition that has paralysed Tunisia's political transition nearly three years after the January 2011 overthrow of veteran strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Amid growing doubts that the opposition would attend a new attempt to launch the negotiations on Friday, Prime Minister Ali Larayedh sent a written commitment to mediators that his government would resign, his ruling Islamist party Ennahda said. The pledge drew a positive initial reaction...
(AFP (eng) 10/25/13)
TUNIS, October 25, 2013 (AFP) - The brokers of long-awaited talks between Tunisia's ruling Islamists and the opposition said they will make a new attempt to open them on Friday despite doubts over who will attend. "The national dialogue launch will go ahead at 10:00 am (0900 GMT)," the UGTT trade union confederation, which has been the lead mediator in the protracted political crisis, said just hours before the planned start. "We will see which parties turn up." The mainly secular opposition said on Thursday evening that it would not take part until Islamist Prime Minister Ali Larayedh gives a "clear and explicit" undertaking that his government will step down within three weeks of the dialogue's launch. The timeframe is...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/25/13)
BRUSSELS | Fri Oct 25, 2013 (Reuters) - European Union leaders rebuffed calls from southern European states on Friday for emergency action to tackle a wave of illegal migration from Africa despite the deaths of hundreds of people in Mediterranean boat disasters. EU leaders meeting in Brussels expressed "deep sadness" at the drownings, which have killed up to 550 migrants this month alone, but postponed any new action until December. A more thorough overhaul of the bloc's immigration policies will wait until after next year's European elections when rising anti-immigration sentiment is set to boost far-right parties. Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta, among southern European leaders who had called for urgent action from the EU summit, put a brave face...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/25/13)
SAN FRANCISCO | (Reuters) - Seeking to avoid a repeat of Facebook Inc's much-maligned public debut, Twitter Inc revealed more modest ambitions, saying its initial offering would raise up to $1.6 billion and value the company at up to about $11 billion. The valuation was more conservative than the $15 billion some analysts had expected for the social media phenomenon, potentially attracting investors who might consider the money-losing company's listing price a better deal, with room to rise. Twitter had signaled for weeks it would price its IPO modestly to avoid the sort of stock plummet that spoiled Facebook's coming-out party. It said on Thursday it intends to sell 70 million shares between $17 and $20 apiece, raking in up...
(AFP (eng) 10/24/13)
TUNIS, October 24, 2013 (AFP) - One of Tunisia's main opposition parties on Thursday ruled out participating in negotiations to end months of political deadlock without the government giving a written promise that it will quit. "Nidaa Tounes believes it is not feasible for the dialogue to begin... without a formal and written commitment by the government to resign," said the party headed by ex-premier Beji Caid Essebsi, who is an outspoken critic of ruling Islamist party Ennahda. The opposition is demanding that the Ennahda-led government give a clear commitment to step down within three weeks of the start of negotiations, to make way for a caretaker cabinet of independents. The national dialogue due to start on Wednesday faced fresh...
(AFP (eng) 10/24/13)
SIDI BOUZID, October 24, 2013 (AFP) - The funerals of six policemen killed in clashes with gunmen in central Tunisia will take place on Thursday in the five different towns they hailed from, officials said. The latest deadly violence, which erupted in the central Sidi Bouzid region on Wednesday and which the authorities blamed on "terrorists," comes a week after two policemen were killed in similar circumstances and amid rising anti-government sentiment within the security forces. Five burials are expected in Sidi Bouzid and in Kasserine near the Algerian border, with the sixth funeral to be held in Kef in northwestern Tunisia. A military source in Kasserine said the families of the victims were refusing the presence of government representatives...
(BBC News Africa 10/24/13)
Tunisia's president has announced three days of national mourning for eight officers killed by suspected militants in the central Sidi Bouzidi province. President Moncef Marzouki was speaking on the second anniversary of the country's first free elections. Earlier, PM Ali Larayedh confirmed the government would resign after talks with the opposition on appointing a caretaker administration were complete. The negotiations are aimed at ending months of political crisis in Tunisia. The prime minister said his moderate Islamist-led government was committed to the "principle of relinquishing power in line with the different phases envisaged in the roadmap". "We will not submit to anyone except the interests of the country," he said. His address came after thousands of anti-government protesters marched through...
(AFP (eng) 10/23/13)
TUNIS, October 23, 2013 (AFP) - Seven Tunisian police were killed in clashes with gunmen Wednesday, as the country waited for the government's expected resignation and the launch of talks on ending months of political deadlock. Fighting erupted in the central Sidi Bouzid region, when members of the National Guard raided a house where the militants were holed up, a police source told AFP. In addition to the seven police killed, two gunmen also died in the ensuing firefight, state television reported. In the meantime, a keenly awaited speech in which Islamist premier Ali Larayedh was expected to announce his government's intention to step down under the terms of a deal with the opposition was heavily delayed. And the hard-won...
(AFP (eng) 10/23/13)
TUNIS, October 23, 2013 (AFP) - Tunisia's ruling Islamists and opposition were to begin hard-won negotiations on Wednesday to end months of political deadlock, with Prime Minister Ali Larayedh expected to announce his government's resignation. Ahead of the long-awaited national dialogue, which mediators hope will mark a crucial step in the country's democratic transition, rival protests are planned in the capital's central Habib Bourguiba Avenue, epicentre of the January 2011 revolution. A coalition of secular opposition parties has called a demonstration early afternoon to demand the immediate departure of the government led by ruling Islamist party Ennahda, which it accuses of clinging to power. Separately, the League for the Protection of the Revolution, a controversial pro-government militia, has urged supporters...
(BBC News Africa 10/23/13)
At least seven police have been killed in Tunisia in clashes with Islamist militants, reports say. A heavy exchange of gunfire was reported in the central region of Sidi Bouzid and at least two militants were also reported killed. The violence came as the Islamist-led government and opposition began talks to end months of political crisis. Thousands of anti-government protesters marched through the capital, Tunis, calling on the prime minster to resign. Parliament speaker Mustapha Ben Jaafar said he expected PM Ali Larayedh to announce his intention to stand down. A coalition led by the moderate Islamist Ennahda party was elected in 2011. Last month Ennahda agreed in principle to relinquish power, in an effort to end Tunisia's political deadlock...

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