| Africatime
Sunday 26 March 2017
(AFP (eng) 03/25/17)
Tunisia on Friday summoned the British ambassador to the North African country to protest against what it called an "unjustified" ban on electronic devices on flights to the United Kingdom. The foreign ministry's head of European affairs, Mohamed Mezghani, told ambassador Louise de Sousa that Tunisia was "surprised" it was not consulted or informed of the decision ahead of its announcement. The ban on large electronics devices was "unjustified and does not reflect the security situation in Tunisia", he said. Mezghani also cited a 2016 report by the International Civil Aviation Organization which he said described
(Reuters (Eng) 03/23/17)
N'DJAMENA French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen pledged on Wednesday to break with her country's decades-old relationship with Africa known as "Francafrique" and abolish the CFA franc currency policy that binds Paris and its former colonies. Francafrique describes an informal web of relationships Paris has maintained with its former African colonies and its support, sometimes in the form of military backing, for politicians who favor French business interests. Le Pen, one of the frontrunners in the presidential election, spoke at the end of a two-day visit to Chad where she sought to outline her policies regarding the continent, which has long held an important place in French foreign policy. "It was only in coming here and explaining that I...
(Xinhuanet 03/17/17)
The Assembly of People's Representatives (PRA) in Tunisia approved on Thursday night the candidacy of two new members of Youssef Chahed's National Unity government. They are the Minister of Religious Affairs Ahmed Adhoum and the Secretary of State for Trade Abdellatif Hmam, respectively with 119 and 120 votes in favor. Forty deputies voted against both candidates without any abstentions. "Tunisia and its people are currently facing a series of challenges that are the result of a legacy and an accumulation...
(AFP (eng) 03/15/17)
The body in charge of organising elections in Tunisia on Tuesday proposed November 26 as the date for holding the first municipal polls since the country's 2011 revolution. "It is still possible to hold the elections in 2017," said the president of the electoral body, Chafik Sarsar, at a meeting with Prime Minister Youssef Chahed and party officials. He proposed November 26, a date which he said could be delayed until the first half of December, while calling for the...
(AFP (eng) 03/07/17)
The battle against jihadists in Ben Guerdane a year ago was a "turning point" for Tunisia, Prime Minister Youssef Chahed said on Tuesday during a visit to commemorate the anniversary. Jihadist groups mounted a coordinated assault on security installations in the town on the border with Libya last March 7, aiming to win over residents and establish an "emirate" of the Islamic State jihadist group, according to Tunisia's authorities. At least 55 assailants were killed, along with 13 members of...
(AFP (eng) 03/03/17)
Tunisia and Germany announced a new agreement on tackling illegal migration, during a visit on Friday by Chancellor Angela Merkel. The accord follows frictions between the two countries over the case of a Tunisian rejected asylum seeker blamed for a truck rampage at a Berlin Christmas market that killed 12 people. This agreement "will satisfy Tunisia and will satisfy Germany," Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi said at a joint press conference. Merkel, on a two-day trip which also included a stop in Egypt, said Germany and Tunisia agreed on speedier repatriations for rejected asylum
(AFP (eng) 03/02/17)
A Tunisian businessman resigned from the government Thursday after his appointment as public services and governance minister last week prompted an outcry from the powerful UGTT trade union. Khalil Ghariani was named on Saturday, replacing UGTT official Abid Briki, in what the union condemned as a "provocation". Ghariani is on the board of the employers' federation UTICA, which shared a 2015 Nobel Prize with the UGTT for their work during Tunisia's transition towards democracy after its 2011 revolution. Despite their shared award, the two groups have long been at odds over private sector salary
(AFP (eng) 03/02/17)
Tunisia welcomed Wednesday a move by Belgium to partially lift travel restrictions on its nationals put in place following a deadly attack on a Tunisian beach resort in 2015. "I welcome... Belgium’s decision to lift part of the restrictions on travel to Tunisia," Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui told reporters after meeting with his Belgian counterpart Didier Reynders in Tunis. "It think this is an important decision as it recognises Tunisian efforts concerning security." Reynders said the decision was not just...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/17)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel starts a two-day trip to Egypt and Tunisia on Thursday, part of her push to limit migrant flows to Europe through North Africa, especially chaos-torn Libya. Since the 2011 overthrow of Moamer Kadhafi, Libya has lacked a national government, which has made it the main gateway for African migrants heading for the 28-member EU on dangerous Mediterranean crossings. Merkel, who faces elections in September, has been under intense pressure to reduce the number of asylum seekers coming to Germany, which has taken in over one million migrants since 2015. Her government has urged the Maghreb states and Egypt to step up border controls and speed up repatriations of migrants whose asylum applications
(AFP (eng) 02/21/17)
Algerian, Egyptian and Tunisian foreign ministers met on Sunday in Tunis, Tunisia to discuss ways of ending the Libyan crisis. The initiative proposed by Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi is meant to tackle the results of consultations the three countries will have with the Libyan rival factions to reach a convergence of views between them and lay the foundations for a consensual political solution to the crisis. Libya is currently divided between two rival administrations: the Government of National Unity...
(AFP (eng) 02/14/17)
Tunisia's prime minister on Tuesday rejected German claims that his country has been blocking the return of rejected asylum seekers including the key suspect in the Berlin attack, hours ahead of talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel. The German leader plans to press Youssef Chahed to speed up the repatriations of Tunisians, with the issue taking on greater urgency since the deadly assault on a Berlin Christmas market in December. The jihadist attack which claimed 12 lives has been blamed on...
(AFP (eng) 02/14/17)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected to press Tunisia's Prime Minister Youssef Chahed to speed up the return of rejected asylum seekers when he visits Berlin Tuesday. The issue has become more urgent for Germany since the deadly jihadist attack on a Berlin Christmas market last December, blamed on Anis Amri, a Tunisian who should have been sent back months before. After the attack which claimed 12 lives, it emerged that Amri's asylum application had been rejected half a year...
(Voice of America 02/14/17)
U.S. President Donald Trump made his first phone calls to African heads of state Monday, speaking with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and South African President Jacob Zuma. Nigeria and South Africa said the calls were made at the request of the U.S. president, who until now has said little about Africa or African issues since assuming office last month. The Nigerian presidency said Trump and Buhari discussed issues of terrorism, and said Trump assured Buhari the United States is ready...
(Xinhuanet 02/03/17)
T20 Africa Conference, the meeting for the G20 think tanks and African countries, ended on Friday in Johannesburg with a commitment to accelerate cooperation between the G20 and Africa. The three-day conference aimed to chart a course for the future cooperation between Africa and the G20. The day ended with the formulation of the communique which will be given to the current G20 chair Germany. The communique will also be the reference for further discussion between Africa and T20. T20...
(Xinhuanet 02/01/17)
Newly elected senior officials of the African Union (AU) Commission, including Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the AU Commission, were sworn in on Tuesday at the conclusion of the 28th AU summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. In addition to the two top officials, other officials took the oath for positions including, peace and security; political affairs; trade and industry; social affairs; infrastructure and energy; and rural economy and agriculture. The 28th AU summit also elected Alpha Conde, President of...
(Bloomberg 01/25/17)
Taiwan’s last two African allies have no plans to switch allegiances and break ties with Taipei as Beijing tries to woo the self-ruled island’s diplomatic partners. Burkina Faso won’t cut relations with Taiwan despite people and companies with links to China offering funding in return for recognition of the One-China principle, according to Foreign Minister Alpha Barry. Swaziland said its relationship with Taiwan is based on mutual interests, not on money. “We get outrageous proposals telling us, ‘if you sign...
(Libya Herald 01/19/17)
The UN-brokered Libya Dialogue which was expected to meet in Tunis today, Wednesday, has now been postponed until Sunday. It is the second time in a week the meeting has been put off. The group had intended to meet last week in Ghadames but that did not happen – mainly because of the Presidency Council and others were opposed to the Dialogue team discussing and possibly approving changes to the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA). In the event, it was proposed that the meeting take place today and tomorrow. However, it appears that the opposition did not calm. Demands for a delay have continued.
(RFI 01/14/17)
The 27th Africa-France Summit kicked off on Friday in the Malian capital Bamako with more than 30 African heads of state meeting French officials to discuss the threat of jihadists in the Sahel region and improve democracy in Africa. the meeting is also an opportunity for French president François Hollande to showcase his legacy. The choice to hold the 27th Africa-France summit in Mali is not insignificant. Bamako is where president François Hollande first revealed himself as an international statesman,...
(AFP (eng) 01/13/17)
France's top diplomat Jean-Marc Ayrault struck a defiant tone at a summit on Friday with foreign ministers from across Africa as he urged them to show confidence and hope despite the deadly jihadist threat. With the battle against extremists, the struggle to improve governance and the migrant crisis high on the agenda, ministers from at least 30 nations met in Mali's capital Bamako ahead of heads of state due on Saturday. Mali called on France four years ago to help...
(AFP (eng) 01/13/17)
Talks gathering some 30 African states and France begin in Mali's capital Bamako on Friday, with leaders expected to focus on Africa's battle against jihadists and bid to improve its democratic record. The summit, also due to take in the migrant crisis, will see foreign ministers gather first, with heads of state expected to follow Saturday, according to Malian and French conference organisers. Many of the nations taking part were once ruled by France, which in recent years has boosted...

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