Sunday 25 February 2018
(Xinhuanet 08/24/13)
The Japanese Defense Ministry is mulling to dispatch resident officials tasked with military information gathering to Africa countries in a move to strengthen its intelligence collecting capability in the countries, according to local media. The officials will be sent to seven African countries, namely Algeria, Morocco, Nigeria, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa, and Brazil in South America from fiscal 2014 to obtain information over terrorism and other security issues, Japan's Kyodo News quoted government officials as saying. The defense ministry will include the costs in its budget request for fiscal 2014, said the report, adding that the ministry also plans to increase the number of such staff in European countries that have influence on Africa countries, such as Britain,...
(AFP (eng) 08/23/13)
TUNIS, August 23, 2013 (AFP) - Tunisia's opposition Friday rejected the ruling Islamists' proposals for ending a month-long political crisis, ahead of anti-government protests, saying their offer to enter talks on a technocrat administration was insufficient. "All negotiations without the (immediate) dissolution of the government are a waste of time," said Taieb Baccouche, a representative of the National Salvation Front (NSF), the broad coalition of opposition parties. He was speaking after meeting members of the UGTT trade union confederation, which has been mediating between the two sides and which forwarded the ruling Ennahda party's proposals. The UGTT's secretary general, Houcine Abassi, met parliamentary speaker Mustapha Ben Jaafar and was due to hold talks with Ennahda's leader Rached Ghannouchi later in...
(AL Jazeera 08/23/13)
TUNIS, TUNISIA – Tunisia’s increasingly isolated government has accepted a proposition by the country's union as a starting point to begin negotiations with secularist opposition parties. The influential Tunisian General Labour Union, UGTT by its French acronym, announced in a statement on its Facebook page on Thursday that the Islamist Ennahdha party had agreed to the initiative that it has proposed as a compromise solution. Rachid Ghannouchi, president of Ennahdha, confirmed in a statement that he had agreed to the UGTT initiative “as a starting point for national dialogue”. His party has not yet accepted the UGTT’s proposition to dissolve Prime Minister Ali Laarayedh's government and replace it with an interim government made up of experienced leaders without any political...
(AFP (eng) 08/22/13)
TUNIS, August 22, 2013 (AFP) - Tunisia's ruling Islamists said Thursday that they are ready to negotiate with the opposition on the formation of an apolitical government, raising hopes of an end to a month-long crisis. But Ennahda ruled out any prospect of the cabinet that it heads resigning imminently, calling first for a "national dialogue" bringing together supporters and opponents of the ruling coalition. "Ennahda announces that it has accepted the initiative of the UGTT union as the starting point for a national dialogue to get the country out of the crisis," the party said in a statement. The powerful trade union confederation, which is mediating between the rival factions, has proposed replacing the existing administration with a non-partisan...
(AFP (eng) 08/21/13)
TUNIS, August 21, 2013 (AFP) - Tunisia's powerful UGTT trade union confederation resumed mediation efforts on Wednesday to try to end weeks of deadlock between the ruling Islamist Ennahda party and the mainly secular opposition. The talks, which again showed no sign of progress, come amid turmoil and bloodshed in nearby Egypt, following the army's ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last month, and with anti-government protests planned across Tunisia this weekend. Union representatives met members of the National Salvation Front (NSF), a loose coalition of opposition parties, who once again ruled out any dialogue with Ennahda while the coalition it leads remains in power. "The opposition considers that it is not a question of engaging in dialogue, as Ennahda...
(AFP (eng) 08/21/13)
Tunisia's prime minister warned Tuesday that he would not tolerate any attacks on state institutions during planned protests to call for his Islamist-led government's resignation, state media reported. "Ali Larayedh said there would be no hesitation or restraint faced with those who by terrorism, anarchy or rebellion carried out attacks on institutions of the state," the official TAP news agency said. He was commenting on the week-long protests which the opposition are planning to hold. Tunisia was plunged into crisis last month by the assassination of opposition MP Mohamed Brahmi, with a coalition of opposition factions calling for the formation of a non-partisan national unity government. Larayedh's ruling Islamist Ennahda party has rejected the call. The opposition National Salvation Front...
(AFP (eng) 08/21/13)
The Tunisian football federation announced on Tuesday that the start of the new league had been postponed after clubs resisted plans to hold closed matches due to the political crisis. "Following the demands of the League 1 clubs meeting today... it was decided to delay the start of the 2013-2104 season to a later date," the FTF said in a statement, without giving a reason for the decision. The championship had been due to start on Thursday. The clubs have in recent weeks demanded financial compensation following a decision by the interior ministry to hold closed matches for the first days of the championship, due to the political crisis plaguing the country since the assassination of an opposition MP last...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/21/13)
(Reuters) - Tanzania-focused miner African Barrick Gold pinned its turnaround hopes on a new chief executive on Wednesday, appointing industry veteran Bradley A Gordon to replace Greg Hawkins at the helm of the struggling group. The FTSE 250 company, whose poor performance meant it was under pressure even before a gold price rout began in April, said Gordon's appointment would be effective immediately. Gordon, who has worked in the gold mining industry for 30 years, was previously CEO of Intrepid Mines, the Canadian and Australian listed precious metals exploration and development company with primary operations in Indonesia. Analysts welcomed the change, and said Gordon's his lack of African experience was balanced by his ability to manage difficult operations. "The announcement...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/21/13)
LONDON | Wed Aug 21, 2013 (Reuters) - Tanzania-focused miner African Barrick Gold on Wednesday named industry veteran Bradley A Gordon as its new chief executive, succeeding Greg Hawkins who has resigned to pursue other opportunities. African Barrick was under pressure even before a gold price rout began in April, hit by illegal mining, power generation problems and strikes, issues which forced it to warn in February that output would shrink for a fifth straight year. Gordon, who has worked in the gold mining industry for 30 years, was previously CEO of Intrepid Mines, the Canadian and Australian listed precious metals exploration and development company with primary operations in Indonesia. African Barrick initiated a review of its operations earlier this...
(AFP (eng) 08/20/13)
TUNIS (AFP) – Amina Sboui, a Tunisian activist who was detained for nearly three months, said on Tuesday she had left the radical women's protest group Femen, accusing it of Islamophobia. "I do not want my name to be associated with an Islamophobic organisation," she told the Maghreb edition of the Huffington Post. "I did not appreciate the action taken by the girls shouting 'Amina Akbar, Femen Akbar' in front of the Tunisian embassy in Paris," Sboui said. Those chants were a parody of Allahu akbar (God is greatest), a phrase frequently used by Muslims to express their allegiance to and praise of God. Amina also criticised the burning of the black Tawhid flag, which affirms the oneness of God,...
(AFP (eng) 08/20/13)
Tunisia on Monday pushed ahead with talks to resolve a political crisis sparked by the assassination of an opposition politician, but with no sign of an end to the deadlock. Rached Ghannouchi, the leader of the ruling Islamist Ennahda party, and the powerful UGTT trade union's chief Houcine Abassi held talks to seek a way out of the weeks-old crisis. But the meeting failed to make any substantive progress, while a coalition of opposition parties renewed calls for the government's resignation. "We are not very optimistic... There are no clear concessions from Ennahda," Abassi told private radio station Mosaique FM. The leader of the trade union, which is playing a mediating role, was due to present the Islamists' proposals to...
(AFP (eng) 08/20/13)
African immigrants warned Monday of a rise in racist attacks in Morocco, as hundreds gathered outside a morgue holding the body of a Senegalese man who was murdered last week. Some 250 people, mostly Senegalese immigrants, gathered outside the morgue in Rabat, where the man's remains were taken after he was stabbed to death on a bus in the Moroccan capital last Monday. Anna Bynes, a Senegalese student at Rabat university, said the attack was the latest in a string of racist violence targeting sub-Saharan Africans. "It is the last straw... The other day it was a Congolese man killed on a bus in Tangiers. Then a Gabonese woman was raped. Today a Senegalese has been killed." The police on...
(Le Monde 08/19/13)
Alors que le gouvernement tunisien va peut-être tomber, contesté par les anti-Ennahda – le parti islamiste au pouvoir –, et que les manifestants des deux camps occupent la rue depuis l'assassinat, le 25 juillet, de l'opposant Mohamed Brahmi, les acteurs économiques du pays lancent un cri d'alarme. "L'économie tunisienne agonise", a alerté Wided Bouchamaoui, la présidente de l'Union tunisienne de l'industrie, du commerce et de l'artisanat (Utica), le 1er août sur la chaîne Nessma TV. La patronne des patrons tunisiens a accusé l'équipe gouvernementale de passivité. "Depuis la fin 2012, nous avons appelé à décréter l'état d'urgence économique, à tranquilliser les investisseurs nationaux et internationaux (...). Mais nos appels n'ont aucune suite." Certains investisseurs extérieurs sont en effet inquiets par...
(AFP (eng) 08/19/13)
Ruling Islamist movement Ennahda and the opposition Nidaa Tounes said Sunday they have held secret talks in Europe to try to find a way out of Tunisia's political crisis. Nidaa Tounes leader, ex-premier Beji Caid Essebsi, a sworn enemy of the Islamists, met Ennahda chief Rached Ghannouchi while on a European tour last week, his centre-right party said in a statement. Ghannouchi himself wrote on Facebook that he had held "positive and frank" talks with Essebsi on Thursday, but he too did not elaborate. The encounter took place in Paris, according to Tunisian media reports. Ennahda has been holding internal talks since Saturday to examine "initiatives" to resolve the crisis which broke out with the July 25 assassination of opposition...
(AFP (eng) 08/19/13)
Tunisia was to push ahead on Monday with talks to resolve a political crisis sparked by the assassination of an opposition politician last month, but with no signs of compromise. The ruling Islamist Ennahda party was to hold fresh talks with the powerful UGTT trade union to try and find a way out of the weeks-old crisis. Ennahda revealed on Sunday that its leader Rached Ghannouchi had met the chief of the opposition party Nidaa Tounes, ex-premier Beji Caid Essebsi, a sworn enemy of the Islamists, while on a European tour last week. Few details of the meeting emerged, but late on Sunday Ennahda's decision-making body said it endorsed the position of Ghannouchi, who has proposed a broad-based national unity...
(AFP (eng) 08/16/13)
PARIS (AFP) – Rating agency Standard & Poor's downgraded debt issued by Tunisia by two notches on Friday because of rising opposition to the government. The credit rating agency downgraded its notation for Tunisian long-term debt from "BB-" to "B", indicating low confidence that the country will be able to respect its debt obligations. And S&P said that the outlook was negative, meaning that there was one chance in three that it would lower the rating again in the next 12 months if the economic and social situation threatened reforms to support economic growth. The agency said in a statement: "We view the popular legitimacy of Tunisia's transitional institutions as increasingly contested, jeopardizing the approval of a new constitution, holding...
(AFP (eng) 08/14/13)
Supporters and opponents of Tunisia's Islamist-led government held rival rallies marking national women's day Tuesday, as the president proposed a national unity cabinet to bridge the crippling political divide. The feuding camps held separate commemorations amid deep divisions over the balance to be struck between secularism and democracy following the 2011 overthrow of veteran strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. The mainly secular opposition accuses the moderate Islamist Ennahda party that leads the government of eroding women's rights and of failing to take strong enough action against hardline Islamists accused of murdering two prominent secular politicians this year. Ennahda insists it has the right to lead the government after emerging as the largest party in an October 2011 election for...
(Times of swaziland 08/14/13)
MBABANE – As talks regarding the extension of AGOA post 2015 kicked off on Monday in Ethiopia’s Capital City Addis Ababa, Swaziland and other 49 African countries will be very lucky to see the legislation extended with the same existing terms and conditions, International Business Times has reported. Swaziland is one of the 49 AGOA beneficiaries. AGOA stands for Africa Growth Opportunity Act. AGOA was signed into law in 2000; it offers incentives mostly in the form of duty-free trade access to 49 eligible sub-Saharan economies to liberalise their markets and build connections with American trade partners. The agreement expires in 2015, and US and African officials would be setting fresh terms for its renewal. According to International Business Times,...
(Reuters 08/14/13)
LONDON | Wed Aug 14, 2013 (Reuters) - Iron ore mining group African Minerals (AMIq.L) surprised the market on Wednesday with the abrupt departure of both chief executive and chief financial officer and said it was scrapping expansion plans to focus on existing operations. Its shares fell almost 15 percent despite what some analysts said could prove a positive as the company concentrates on its Sierra Leone mine, Tonkolili. "From the onset it was clear that (Chief Executive Keith)Calder's broader ambition was to grow African Minerals into a diversified miner across West Africa in the near term," Jefferies analysts said in a note. "Perhaps our greatest concern for African Minerals in recent months was that the company would move too...
(AFP (eng) 08/13/13)
Tunisia's ruling Islamist Ennahda party and the opposition called rival rallies for Tuesday to mark national women's day, reflecting deepening divisions in the North African country. The country is in the grip of a political crisis sparked by the murder of an opposition politician last month, the second such killing this year. But talks between Ennahda chief Rached Ghannouchi and Houcine Abassi, head of the powerful UGTT trade union confederation to discuss the crisis ended overnight after four hours without any concrete results. While Ghannouchi hailed the talks as "positive and constructive", Abassi saw "no change (in Ennahda's) attitude". The two are to hold another meeting later this week. The UGTT, which has backed some but not all of the...

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