Saturday 19 August 2017
(AFP (eng) 06/30/17)
A "mentally disturbed" man stabbed and wounded two German tourists on Friday in a Tunisian marketplace near the northeastern beach resort of Hammamet, the government said. The attack on a mother and her 27-year-old daughter took place in the arts and crafts market of the town of Nabeul, the tourism and interior ministries said in a joint statement. "The incident is not an act of terrorism", the statement said. The mother was slightly wounded and treated on the spot while her daughter "is in stable condition", the ministries said, adding that the attacker had been detained by police. Two attacks targeting tourists killed 59 foreigners and a Tunisian police officer in 2015, sending revenues in the key tourism sector plummeting...
(Xinhuanet 06/30/17)
The Tunisian Ministry of the Interior said two German tourists, a mother and her daughter, were stabbed earlier Friday in Nabeul, a coastal town in northeastern Tunisia. The incident is "not a terrorist attack" and the aggressor "has been suffering from psychological disorders since 2011," said Yasser Mosbeh, the spokesman of the ministry. The two Germans, accompanied by the father, were attacked in a craft tourist area in Nabeul's city center, according to the ministry. The injured daughter, 27, is still under medical care while her mother has been discharged from hospital, local media reported.
(Xinhuanet 06/30/17)
Foreign investment in Tunisia grew 2.2 percent to 0.82 billion dinars (0.33 U.S. dollars) in the first five months, Foreign Investment Promotion Agency (FIPA) of Tunisia said Thursday. During the same period of last year, foreign investment was 0.80 billion dinars, said Hatem Soussi, director of the monitoring and support unit of FIPA. According to him, 18.8 million dinars was portfolio investment, a drop of 29.6 percent, while the rest was foreign direct investment, an increase of 3.3 percent. The energy sector, which accounts for 50 percent of total investment, attracts the lion share of the foreign investment, with 0.41 billion dinars until May, a slight decline of 2.3 percent compared to the same period of 2016. "Foreign investment in...
(Xinhuanet 06/30/17)
Denmark, Iceland and Norway on Wednesday lifted travel restrictions against Tunisia, according to the Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Sweden and Finland took similar decisions six months ago. Several European countries imposed travel bans on the North African country following the terror attacks first in March 2015 on Bardo Museum in the capital Tunis and then on one of the beaches in the eastern coastal province of Sousse in June the same year. Those attacks have killed altogether 62 people, most of whom were tourists. Tunisia has repeatedly called for lifting of such restrictions, citing the improved security situation in the country, according to the Tunis Afrique Presse news agency. Analysts believe that the eased restrictions will boost the tourism...
(AFP (eng) 06/29/17)
Authorities in Tunisia on Wednesday announced they have frozen the assets of football club magnate and former presidential hopeful Slim Riahi on suspicions of money laundering. An investigating judge imposed the restriction on all of Riahi's shares on the stock market, bank accounts and property, said prosecution spokesman Sofiene Sliti. The announcement comes after the government launched what Prime Minister Youssef Chahed has called a "war" on graft from which he said nobody involved in corruption would emerge unscathed. Corruption was widespread in Tunisia under longtime president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who was ousted in the 2011 uprising that spawned the Arab Spring, but it remains endemic. Riahi was quick to respond to Wednesday's allegations, telling the private Nessma...
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
The generic version of the most advanced drug against HIV has been introduced in Kenya, a first in Africa where more than 25 million have the disease, the NGO Unitaid said Wednesday. The drug, Dolutegravir (DTG) is the anti-retroviral drug of choice for those living with HIV in developed countries, but its high price has put it out of reach for most struggling with the disease in Africa. "The generic DTG has two advantages: on the one hand, it is very good from a pharmaceutical point of view. On the other hand, it is much cheaper," said Robert Matiru of Unitaid, which works to reduce the costs of medicines treating AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria. He described the drug as "the...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
DAR ES SALAAM (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Sadick Thenest remembers how his 8-year-old daughter had a narrow brush with death two years ago, when she contracted cholera after drinking contaminated water. “She was so gaunt, weak and had terrible diarrhea,” said the refugee from Burundi. “A slight delay in rushing her to hospital would have meant something else - but with God’s grace she survived.” The father of four, aged 35, is among thousands of refugees grappling with frequent outbreaks of waterborne diseases in the crowded Nyarugusu camp in western Tanzania, due to poor sanitation. “Living in a refugee camp is a constant struggle. You either stick to health rules or contract diseases,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by...
(Xinhuanet 06/21/17)
Tunisian President of People's Representatives Assembly Mohamed Ennaceur met Tuesday with He Ping, editor-in-chief of China's Xinhua News Agency and both agreed to boost bilateral cooperation including media. Ennaceur told He Ping that Tunisia attaches great importance to developing its friendly ties with China and hopes to enhance the bilateral cooperation in all fields. Ennaceur underscored the importance of deepening the cooperation between Tunisian and Chinese media outlets in promoting the davelopment of the Tunisian-Chinese relations. He Ping said that Xinhua is willing to expand communication and deepen cooperation with its Tunisian counterparts to promote mutual understanding between the two peoples. He Ping said that news reports are helping the public to understand the Belt and Road Initiative, a global...
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including Saudi-born Salafism and Wahhabism, form the ideological bedrock for most terror groups. According to a study by Leif Wenar of King’s College London based on the Global Terrorism Database, three out of four terror attacks in the last 10 years...
(AFP (eng) 06/16/17)
A Tunisian shepherdess was killed Friday when she stepped on a landmine in a military zone in the country's west, where the army is fighting jihadists, a security official said. The woman, in her 50s, stepped on a mine "planted by jihadists" and died of internal bleeding after straying about one kilometre (mile) into the Mount Salloum military zone, the official told AFP. Mount Salloum, in the Kasserine region near the border with Algeria, is a stronghold of jihadists. There have been several deaths from landmine blasts in the region. On Monday a Tunisian soldier died of his wounds on Mount Ouergha, also in the west of the country. Since its 2011 revolution, Tunisia has experienced an increase in jihadist...
(AFP (eng) 06/16/17)
Tunisia's national railway company said on Friday that it had opened an investigation after a video emerged online showing a driver apparently stopping a train to buy peaches. The short video, reported filmed from inside a train in the Sahel region, shows crates of fruit placed at the edge of the railway and a vendor climbing onto the train to give a plastic bag to someone. "Look, he stops an entire train to pick up peaches," said one passenger, while others stood up to watch the scene. Hassen Miadi, communications director of the Tunisian national railway, described it as an "isolated case". "We have opened an investigation into this video and will take the necessary administrative measures," he told local...
(AFP (eng) 06/16/17)
Protesters agreed Friday to end a blockade of a Tunisian oil and gas plant that saw bloody clashes with police last month after the government met many of their demands. The mainly young unemployed protesters had held a three-month sit-in at the El-Kamour pumping station demanding jobs and investment in the impoverished southern Tataouine region. Amid growing fears the social unrest could spread, Employment Minister Imed Hammami signed a deal with representatives of the protesters brokered by Tunisia's powerful trade union confederation.
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Tunisia has extended for another four months a state of emergency in place since a 2015 jihadist attack, the president's office announced on Wednesday. "President Beji Caid Essebsi decided on Wednesday to extend the state of emergency for four months starting from Thursday, June 15," his office said on Facebook. The state of emergency has been in place since a November 2015 jihadist bombing in Tunis that killed 12 presidential guards. The Islamic State group claimed the attack as well as bombings earlier in 2015 at the Bardo National Museum in Tunis and at a beach resort near Sousse that killed a total of 59 foreign tourists and a Tunisian guard. They were part of a wave of jihadist violence...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Tunisia on Tuesday launched a special "green police" unit aimed at dealing with the proliferation of waste, a scourge that has worsened dramatically since the 2011 revolution. "May God help you -- it's a very difficult mission," Prime Minister Youssef Chahed said at the launch of the unit, with their new uniforms and GPS-equipped pick-ups. The North African country's rubbish woes have worsened because municipalities are not dealing with the problem in advance of local elections slated for December. There is also a lack of equipment, treatment centres and landfills, Environment Minister Riadh Mouakher said. "Even municipalities themselves sometimes dump their waste in public spaces," he told reporters. But he also pinpointed a lack of awareness among the general public...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Extortion, corruption and fear; violence, hunger and sometimes even death: for west African migrants dreaming of reaching Europe, the road to get there can be an absolute minefield. - Departure - Whether it's The Gambia, Ivory Coast, Senegal or Nigeria, everything starts with the "hustlers" -- slang for the middlemen or fixers who organise the trip. Their honesty and prices vary, with the would-be migrant usually deceived about the welcome expected in Europe. Many possess no official documents from their home country, and do not understand illegal status in Europe. Most are ignorant about the extreme difficulties they will encounter en route. "We didn't know we were risking our lives," said Kante Sekou...
(Xinhuanet 06/14/17)
Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed on Tuesday launched an environmental police department as part of the government's efforts to enhance environmental protection. Amid a lack of awareness to protect the environment among the general public, the North African country's rubbish woes worsened as municipalities are not dealing with the problem in advance of local elections slated for December. "Even municipalities themselves sometimes dump their waste in public spaces," Environment Minister Riadh Mouakher said. For a month, the "green police" will be responsible for raising the awareness of not dumping waste in public places, according to Mouakher. After that, from mid-July, throwing trash outside dumpsters or burning waste will incur fines between 16 and 24 U.S. dollars. And if an offense...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Maria gave smugglers all her family savings and crossed three countries and the searing Libyan desert, but when she finally boarded a boat for Europe her dream was swiftly shattered. She was 24 and pregnant with her second child when she left Liberia with her husband and their three-year-old son. The family passed through Guinea and Mali before crossing southern Algeria to reach the Libyan desert. "The smugglers took all our money" -- more than $2,150 (2,000 euros), she said. "We spent four days in the desert. People died of thirst and the sun in the back of the truck." They finally arrived on the beach at Sabrata, 70 kilometres (45 miles) west of Libya's capital Tripoli, a key departure...
(AFP (eng) 06/13/17)
A Tunisian court Monday sentenced to one month in prison a man who smoked a cigarette in public during the Muslim dawn-to-dusk holy fasting month of Ramadan, a spokesman said. The man was seen smoking outside the Bizerte courthouse by a judiciary official who informed the police before they arrested him and referred him to the prosecution, the spokesman Chokri Lahmar told AFP. He said the man had 10 days to appeal before the sentence takes effect. On June 1 four men were sentenced to one-month jail terms for eating in public during Ramadan. There is no law against eating or drinking in public during Ramadan, but every year the issue comes to the fore in the North African country...
(AFP (eng) 06/13/17)
Uche's real journey had yet to begin but he had already spent four days in the northern Nigerian city of Kano after travelling on public buses and potholed roads from Imo state in the southeast. He planned to go to Agadez, a transit town on the southern edge of the Sahara desert in central Niger, take a truck to Sebha, in southwestern Libya, and from there to the capital Tripoli, and then to Italy or Spain. But his contact, who was supposed to drive him and three women across Nigeria's northern border, was arrested on suspicion of people smuggling. "His house had been under surveillance," explains the 38-year-old electrician in Kano's bustling Sabon Gari district. "The movement of the three...
(AFP (eng) 06/12/17)
A Tunisian soldier died on Monday of his wounds from a landmine explosion on Mount Ouergha in the west of the country near the Algerian border, the defence ministry said. It said "martyr of the nation" Mohamed Ali Toujani, a term usually used for victims of jihadist attacks, died of injuries after Friday's blast in the Kef region. Another soldier was killed in a mine blast last summer in a mountainous region of northwest Tunisia where the army has been tracking down jihadists. Since its 2011 revolution, Tunisia has experienced an increase in jihadist attacks that have cost the lives of dozens of members of the security forces and also 59 foreign tourists.

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