Friday 24 November 2017
(Xinhuanet 11/23/17)
Leaders of Tunisia and Portugal inked agreements and exchanged their views on regional situation as Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa started a two-day official visit to Tunisia Monday. Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed and his Portuguese counterpart signed seven bilateral cooperation protocols in sectors including civil protection, transport, education, scientific research, vocational training and employment. The two leaders co-chaired a high-level meeting to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries. "The joint declaration, which has crowned the work of the high-level Tunisian-Portuguese meeting, reflected the shared desire of both countries to raise the bilateral partnership to a higher level, at a time when the two countries celebrate 60...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/21/17)
TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisia will continue with a package of painful economic policies, Prime Minister Youssef Chahed said on Tuesday, despite resistance from labor unions and business associations to changes that will raise taxes and put thousands out of work. The North African country is under pressure from the International Monetary Fund to speed up policy changes and help its economy recover from militant attacks in 2015 that hurt its vital tourism industry. Tunisia plans to raise value-added and other taxes and lay off about 10,000 government workers as part of the 2018 budget to cut its budget deficit.
(AfricaNews 11/21/17)
The African Union has called for an investigation on the Libyan authorities regarding the ‘slave markets’ of African migrants in the conflict torn nation. The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Professor Alpha Conde, strongly condemned the despicable acts which are at odds with the ideals of the Founding Fathers of the Organization and relevant African and international instruments, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. He calls for an immediate end to these practices and other criminal...
(AFP (eng) 11/20/17)
srael's cabinet voted on Sunday to close a migrant detention centre, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced an agreement to deport 40,000 Africans who entered the country illegally. Ministers unanimously approved plans to shutter the Holot centre in southern Israel and gave migrants a three-month deadline to leave the country or face deportation, said the interior and public security ministries. "The infiltrators will have the option to be imprisoned or leave the country," the public security ministry said in a...
(AFP (eng) 11/18/17)
he African Union on Friday called for Libyan authorities to investigate "slave markets" of black Africans operating in the conflict-torn nation, following the release of shocking images showing the sale of young men. The demand follows the release of CNN footage of a live auction in Libya where black youths are presented to north African buyers as potential farmhands and sold off for as little as $400. Guinean President Alpha Conde, who is also Chairman of the African Union, demanded an enquiry and prosecutions relating to what he termed a "despicable trade... from another era". Meanwhile Senegal's government. commenting on Facebook, expressed "outrage at the sale of Sub-Saharan African migrants on Libyan soil,"...
(AFP (eng) 11/16/17)
Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel said Wednesday that North Africa is under threat from foreign fighters escaping the Islamic State jihadist group's defeats in Iraq and Syria. Messahel spoke at a news conference in Cairo after a meeting with his Egyptian and Tunisian counterparts, Sameh Shoukry and Khemaies Jhinaoui, over Libya. The Islamic State rose to prominence in the chaos of Syria's conflict, which broke out in 2011 with protests against President Bashar al-Assad. After its explosive rise in 2014 and conquest of vast swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq, IS established a "caliphate" that attracted thousands of foreign fighters.
(AFP (eng) 11/11/17)
Tunisia on Friday extended for another three months a state of emergency introduced two years ago following a series of deadly jihadist attacks in the North African country. President Beji Caid Essebsi "decided to prolong the state of emergency across the whole country for three months from November 12", his office said in a statement. The security measure has been in place since a November 2015 bombing on a presidential guard bus in the capital Tunis killed 12 security service...
(AFP (eng) 11/03/17)
US politicians are voicing concern over America's growing military presence across Africa, where they worry the Pentagon is getting ever more embroiled in a secretive campaign against a shifting enemy. Last month's killing of four US soldiers in a Niger ambush has thrust the issue into the spotlight, with lawmakers calling for greater transparency on what is going on in Africa. "The footprint in Africa is much bigger than the American public understands," Democratic Senator Tim Kaine said this week...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Though its motto is "one Africa, one voice", the reality of "Africa's parliament" could not be more different. Since its creation in 2004, the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) has struggled to make its voice heard, prompting its deputies to ask themselves at a recent gathering: "What are we for?" "Every time we're here, we obsess over the same things. If we are not making laws, then what's the point of being here?" Corneille Padonou of Benin said to his fellow parliamentarians...
(AFP (eng) 10/06/17)
Tunisia's first post-revolt municipal elections originally due to take place in December will be held in March, the authorities said Thursday, after they were postponed at the request of political parties. The decision to hold the elections on March 25 was taken after a closed-door meeting of the Independent High Authority for Elections with representatives of the government, parties and civil society. The long-delayed polls had been seen as the final stage in Tunisia's transition to democracy following its 2011...
(AFP (eng) 10/05/17)
Prime Minister Youssef Chahed said Thursday a probe into the young Tunisian who stabbed to death two women in the French city of Marseille had uncovered no links to terrorist groups. "The investigation is underway and we do not really have links today or proof of any ties when this person was in Tunisia with terrorist groups or Daesh," he told reporters after talks with his French counterpart Edouard Philippe, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group. IS...
(AFP (eng) 10/02/17)
Representatives of Libya's rival authorities have made progress on amending a deal on a political transition for the North African country, the special UN envoy said on Sunday. UN envoy Ghassan Salame opened new talks in Tunisia between the rival Libyan administrations on Tuesday, less than a week after presenting a plan to end the chaos in the conflict-wracked country. Years of political turmoil since the 2011 overthrow of long-time dictator Moamer Kadhafi have left Libya divided between rival governments...
(Xinhuanet 10/02/17)
China has donated maritime control and surveillance equipments to help Tunisia strengthen maritime borders security, Chinese ambassy in Tunis said on Saturday. The donation, including two mobile scanners which cost 12 million dinars (about 4.8 million U.S. dollars), was received by the Tunisian customs at the port of La Goulette, located in the northern suburbs of capital Tunis. "The surveillance system will concern the maritime and land borders, and thus immunize the national economy against contraband and parallel trade," said...
(AFP (eng) 09/22/17)
Tunisia, where sodomy is punishable by jail, has banned forced anal examinations to determine sexual orientation, the North African state's minister for human rights said Friday. The authorities carry out the tests on suspected homosexuals but "these exams can no longer be imposed by force, physical or moral, or without the consent of the person concerned", Mehdi Ben Gharbia told AFP. Foreign and local rights groups have condemned the practice of forced anal exams as "cruel" and "inhuman". Ben Gharbia...
(AFP (eng) 09/19/17)
Tunisia's electoral commission on Monday indefinitely postponed the first municipal elections since a 2011 uprising that toppled long-time dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, in a blow to the fledgling democracy. The commission announced the postponement after a meeting between party heads and representatives of Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, President Beji Caid. "The majority of participants in the meeting were in favour of postponing the municipal elections," said interim commission head Anouar Ben Hassen. The parties would meet again within 10 days in another bid to set a date, he said.
(Xinhuanet 09/19/17)
Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi received Libya's self-proclaimed National Army chief, General Khalifa Haftar, here on Monday to discuss settlement of the Libyan conflict. Libya's U.N.-backed Government of National Accord operates in the country's west and is headquartered in Tripoli, struggling for more extensive influence across Libya. The rival government, backed by Haftar's self-proclaimed Libyan National Army, is based in the city of Tobruk. The Libya's National Army controls most of the country's east and south and desires for international...
(AFP (eng) 09/18/17)
Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar visited neighbouring Tunisia on Monday for talks with President Beji Caid Essebsi, who offered to act as a mediator between rival Libyan factions. Libya, which plunged into chaos after the ouster and killing of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011, has two rival governments and parliaments, as well as several militia groups battling to control its oil wealth. "The stability of Libya is a necessary condition for the stability of Tunisia," Essebsi said, calling on Libyans to "overcome their differences" and "to work to build a state". In a statement, he said Tunisia did not want to "interfere in Libya's internal affairs" but rather to "facilitate dialogue between the different
(AFP (eng) 09/18/17)
The head of Tunisia's Islamist Ennahda party on Sunday said the country's first post-revolution municipal polls due in December would be postponed, probably until March next year. Rached Ghannouchi told private Shems FM radio: "We were not favourable to a postponement of the municipal elections but there are objective reasons for a delay." He said that the electoral commission was expected to announce a new date on Monday and the polls would "probably" be held in March 2018. There was...
(AFP (eng) 09/18/17)
More than 1,000 people protested Saturday in Tunis against a controversial amnesty law adopted by parliament for officials accused of corruption under toppled dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. The law passed on Wednesday evening after a rowdy parliamentary debate following a cabinet reshuffle that saw Ben Ali-era officials join the cabinet as ministers of finance and education. The reshuffle was seen as strengthening President Beji Caid Essebsi's grip on power, months ahead of Tunisia's first post-revolution municipal polls. "We...
(AFP (eng) 09/15/17)
Opposition groups on Thursday raised the alarm over Tunisia's transition to democracy after parliament passed an amnesty law for officials accused of corruption under toppled dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. The law passed Wednesday evening after a rowdy debate in parliament, coming in the wake of a cabinet reshuffle that saw Ben Ali-era officials join the cabinet as ministers of finance and education. The reshuffle was seen as strengthening President Beji Caid Essebsi's grip on power months ahead of...

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