Monday 25 September 2017
(AFP (eng) 07/11/17)
A trial opened in Tunisia on Tuesday over the 2015 attack on the Bardo museum that killed 21 foreign tourists and a police officer, court officials said. Two gunmen opened fire at the National Bardo Museum in an operation claimed by the Islamic State group. Some 21 detained suspects, including two women, attended Tuesday morning's unannounced hearing, defence lawyer Samir Ben Amor said. Three others, who were not under arrest, were not present, he said. About 30 people are also on trial in absentia, defence lawyer Rafik Ghak said. The suspects were not named. Since its revolution in 2011, Tunisia has faced a series of jihadist attacks that have claimed the lives of more than 100 soldiers and police along...
(The Associated Press 07/11/17)
Two dozen people, including two women, went on trial on Tuesday for their alleged roles in the 2015 attack on Tunisia’s Bardo National Museum that killed 21 foreign tourists and a police officer. The March 18, 2015 attack on the famed museum outside Tunis was the opening salvo in a series of assaults in this North African country, including the slaying of 38 people, mostly British tourists, at a beach hotel. All were claimed by the Islamic State group. The two museum attackers, who authorities said trained in a camp in neighboring Libya, were killed by security forces, but a lengthy investigation uncovered a network of helpers who allegedly provided direct or indirect support for the operation. A dozen of...
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
In the past five years, terrorist attacks have killed nearly 20,000 people across Africa. Two groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabab, accounted for 71 percent of reported incidents and 91 percent of fatalities. But, while these and other militant groups remain active, fatal terrorist attacks across the continent are on pace to fall for a second straight year, and the total number of attacks is running far below 2012 highs. These findings are part of VOA’s original analysis of data from ACLED, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. ACLED tracks political violence, protests and terrorist events across Africa. Their reports include attacks since 1997 based on data collected from local news media, government statements, non-governmental organizations and published research...
(Washington Post 07/10/17)
TUNIS, Tunisia — The two Tunisian former Guantanamo Bay detainees call their homeland an open-air prison and yearn for escape, even back to the U.S. detention center in Cuba. At least two other Tunisians freed from Guantanamo made their way to Syria, and another has seemingly vanished. Hedi Hammami and Salah Sassi have been free for seven years, nearly as long as the two were imprisoned at the American military base on the Caribbean island. The men remain close, complaining that constant police harassment has left them few alternatives for companionship. “I was in a small prison and today I find myself in a larger one in Tunisia,” said Hammami, who lives on the outskirts of Tunis in a rented...
(Xinhuanet 07/10/17)
Tunisia and China signed on Friday three agreements to boost commercial cooperation between the two countries. The agreements were signed at the fifth edition of the forum "Tunisia-China: A Partnership for the Future" hosted by the Arab Institute for Business Leaders (IACE) in the capital Tunis. The agreements involve a mega-project to build a commercial complex worth 65 million U.S. dollars in Tunisia, which covers an area of 200,000 square meters. According to IACE President Ahmed Bouzguenda, the long-awaited agreements benefit from China's Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along ancient trade routes. Tunisian senior officials and representatives from a dozen of Chinese multinational enterprises and banks...
(Foreign Policy 07/10/17)
On May 23, as U.S. President Donald Trump began his first Middle East tour, a less sensational but potentially more consequential development was unfolding in Tunisia. Following months of increasing social unrest, political deadlock, and murmurings of a second uprising in the birthplace of the Arab Spring, the government of Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed announced a “total war against corruption.” Chahed’s statement, which followed the arrest of three prominent businessmen and one customs officer, signaled the start of a much broader campaign against cases of graft that had been increasingly viewed within Tunisia as the leading threat to the country’s democratization. Since May 23, the state has arrested and seized the assets of around a dozen additional individuals implicated...
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa, are making it harder for operators such as Vodafone Group Plc, Orange SA and Bharti Airtel Ltd. to grow. Their choice: Pull back or double down. Two companies beating at least a partial retreat are Millicom International Cellular SA, which...
(Xinhuanet 07/07/17)
Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi said Thursday that Tunisia will spare no effort to support the Palestinian cause and push for a two-state solution. He made the remarks at a joint press briefing with his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday. Abbas arrived in Tunisia on Thursday for an official two-day visit at the invitation of the Tunisian president. Referring to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Tunisian president highlighted his country's position in favor of a two-state solution. For his part, Mahmoud Abbas expressed his gratitude to efforts made by the Tunisian administration to reach a consensual resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The president of the Palestinian Authority also said "the peace process and the end of division within the Palestinian...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The African Union's new chair Moussa Faki Mahamat on Wednesday questioned US commitment to fighting terrorism on the continent after it blocked efforts to get UN funding for an anti-jihadist force in the Sahel. "This is a specific case of a certain number of African states taking the initiative to create a dedicated force to fight terrorism. So, we don't understand how the United States could hold back or not engage in the fight against terrorism," Faki said in an interview with AFP. Faki's January election as chairperson of the AU commission came days after the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, who has proposed slashing US funding for aid projects and multilateral institutions like the UN. The former Chadian...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The costs of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa could double to almost $60 billion annually just 13 years from now, as obesity fuels an explosion of the disease, a report said Thursday. In 2015, the overall diabetes cost in the region was nearly $20 billion (18 billion euros), or 1.2 percent of total economic production, according to research published by The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. This included medication and hospital stays, and loss of labour productivity due to illness or death. About half of all treatment costs were paid for by patients themselves.
(Voice of America 07/04/17)
GENEVA — The U.N. children’s fund warns tens of thousands of malnourished children are at great risk in Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan, which are on the brink of famine. UNICEF reports an estimated 4.7 million children in the cholera-stricken countries are malnourished. Of these, UNICEF spokesman Christofe Boulierac tells VOA, more than one million are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. “Let me remind you that a child who is suffering from severe acute malnutrition are nine times more likely to die of disease than a well-nourished child," he said. "So, having cholera and diarrhea in countries where so many children are so fragile because of malnutrition among other things because of such a bad access to safe water is...
(RFI(EN) 07/04/17)
New tax rules in Israel could leave hundreds of African migrants worse off than they are. In May, the government introduced a new deposit law, enabling the governemnt to take 20 percent of migrants' salaries each month and place it out of reach. The money can only be accessed once they leave the country. Rights groups say the policy is designed to force them out of the country. "We're not pressuring you to leave but will make your life miserable so you decide to leave," Anwar Suliman, a Darfuri refugee living in Israel since 2008, told RFI . "Every time the state makes a different law, different pressure, but we said we can't go back right now." Suliman fled Darfur...
(APA 07/03/17)
APA-Yaounde (Cameroon) - Economic exchanges between Cameroon and Tunisia have gone from CFA 10 billion francs in 2010 to CFA 15 billion francs in 2015, APA learnt at the end of a bilateral forum held in Yaounde. Cameroon’s imports from the North African country include agro-industry, hydrocarbons, building materials, pharmaceuticals products, and machinery and production equipment produced. Yaounde wishes the trend to continue, through a shift towards the trade in manufactured goods. The meeting in Yaounde has, according to the relevant departments of the ministry of Commerce, identified the ways of boosting cooperation through business partnerships, technology transfer and the sharing of experience from Tunisia in the field of agro-industrial processing. Other areas of interest include strengthening cooperation in scientific...
(AFP (eng) 07/01/17)
The body of Anis Amri, the Tunisian blamed for the deadly truck attack on a Berlin Christmas market, was repatriated to the North African country on Friday for burial. The remains of the 24-year-old, who was shot dead by Italian police on December 23 while on the run in Milan, arrived at Tunis-Carthage airport and were handed over to his family, an airport source said. He is due to be buried in his hometown of Oueslatia in central Tunisia, one of his brothers, Abdelkader, told AFP by telephone. Amri, a rejected asylum seeker, is believed to have hijacked a truck and rammed it into a crowd at the Berlin Christmas market on December 19, killing 12 people. The rampage was...
(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...

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