Monday 20 November 2017
(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...
(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...

Pages