| Africatime
Saturday 29 April 2017
(AFP (eng) 04/27/17)
Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed was booed off stage as he addressed a town hall meeting Thursday in a southeastern region rocked by protests and a general strike. Six years since a revolution ignited by grievances over joblessness, corruption and perceived marginalisation of the country's periphery, Tunisia has seen a wave of protests. Chahed and several government ministers arrived in the town of Tataouine to find a town closed down by a general strike. The market, banks and shops in the town centre were shut and burned tyres lay in some streets -- evidence of barricades erected during the protests of recent weeks. The prime minister met representatives of civil society and announced measures to...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/27/17)
Tunisia's parliament on Wednesday debated a bill that would grant amnesty to businessmen accused of corruption during the rule of autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali - a bill already delayed two years by popular opposition. The bill would protect from prosecution those accused of corruption; in exchange, they would be required to return the money they extracted. Government officials see the "economic reconciliation" law as a way to inject funds into an economy still recovering after the 2011 revolt that ousted Ben Ali. But critics are calling for protests over what they call an amnesty for criminals.
(Xinhuanet 04/19/17)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, will convene Wedesday the first UN-AU Annual Conference. The two leaders will look into how to strengthen the partnership between the two organizations to face common challenges and opportunities in the continent, on issues of peace and security, sustainable development and human rights, said Stephane Dujarric, UN spokesman, at a daily briefing. "They will also sign the Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for an Enhanced...
(AFP (eng) 04/03/17)
Tunisia is hold municipal polls on December 17, the country's first since its 2011 revolution, the electoral commission announced Monday. After legislative and presidential votes in 2014, on the back of the adoption of a new constitution, local polls aim to complete the process of democratisation following the revolution that toppled longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. The date of December 17 was agreed in consultations with the government, political parties and civil society groups, the president of Tunisia's...
(AFP (eng) 04/01/17)
Tunisian activists say they are frustrated by the slow progress on reforms to improve civil liberties six years after an uprising calling for more freedoms in the North African country. The 2011 revolution that toppled longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali ushered in a new era of freedom of expression and the creation of dozens of civil society groups and political parties. But activists say the law still contains "oppressive" and "backward" provisions inconsistent with a 2014 constitution guaranteeing...
(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...
(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...

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