The UK prepares to support French counterterrorism efforts in the Sahel region, through providing surveillance aircraft and helicopters, British government sources told different media outlets. Currently about 4,500 French troops are engaged in counter-insurgency operations in the Sahel where France has spearheaded efforts to create a joint-military force bringing together soldiers from five Sahel countries (Senegal, Mali, Chad, Burkina Faso and Mauritania). “We are looking at rotary support or Istar [Intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, reconnaissance],” a Whitehall source told the Times. Hundreds of millions have been pledged to assist the French-led Barkhane operations in the Sahel countries. Major contributions so far have come from Saudi Arabia, the EU, the G5 members, the US, and the United Arab Emirates.
January 15, 2018 10:18 UTC
The suffering of 338 Moroccans in Libyan detention centers came to an end with their arrival on board two Libyan Al Ifriqiyah airways planes, in Casablanca airport on Friday night, the ministry of Moroccans living abroad and migrant affairs said. This repatriation operation is the third of its kind in five months, following the return to Morocco of 200 nationals on the eve of Eid Al Adha onboard Al Ifriqiyah and 235 others who were lifted by Morocco’s flag carrier, Royal Air Maroc, the ministry said in a statement. The repatriation took place in close coordination with Morocco’s foreign affairs Ministry, the Moroccan embassy in Tunis and different security services. With the fall of IS in the Middle East, the terrorist group is shifting activity to war-torn Libya and the Sahel where like-minded group are roaming. The increasing presence of IS in Libya is putting pressure on Moroccan security services in scrutinizing the profiles of the returnees from Libya to avert an infiltration by terrorists.
January 15, 2018 10:07 UTC
Yennayer is the first day of the year in the North African agricultural calendar, modelled on the "Julian" calendar. By declaring that 12 January is a paid day off work, the government actually does not follow the North African agricultural calendar. It officialises a recent tradition that celebrates Yennayer on a fixed date, on 12 January, as if the difference between this calendar and the official state's calendar could be stopped forever. In fact, the calendar whose year opens with Yennayer remains in use, though on a very small scale, in other countries. It has only a distant relationship with the initial symbolism of Thabbourth useggwas, the popular North African celebration.
January 14, 2018 13:52 UTC
Hundreds of people gathered in the Tunisian capital, Tunis, on Sunday to protest against austerity and unemployment on the seventh anniversary of the country's democratic transition of power. Tunisians protest austerity measures Increasing anger Tunisians have held rallies across the country to protest the government's new austerity measures, aimed at minimizing the country's deficit. Tunisians protest austerity measures One protester dead One protester died in unclear circumstances in Tebourba, a town 40 kilometers west of the capital Tunis. Tunisians protest austerity measures Opposition to increase protests The leader of Tunisia's main opposition party Popular Front, Hamma Hammami, said they would step up protests until the government changed its "unjust" 2018 budget. Tunisians protest austerity measures Tunisia's economy in crisis Tunisia's has been in economic crisis since 2011, when the Arab Spring uprising unseated the government.
January 14, 2018 13:39 UTC
Update: 15:28, 14 January 2018 SundayNew protest calls as Tunisia marks uprising anniversaryWorld Bulletin / News DeskPolitical parties and a union called for fresh protests on Sunday as Tunisia marked seven years since its Arab Spring uprising after a week that saw renewed unrest. On Sunday, the powerful UGTT labour union called for Tunisians to rally in the capital Tunis. With tensions high, security forces were deployed around the capital's Habib Bourguiba Avenue, epicentre of the 2011 protests, and barricades set up to block off entrances. On Saturday, Essebsi announced an increase in aid to the needy and improved health care as part of social reforms following the unrest. Tunisia's 2011 revolt was sparked by the deadly self-immolation of a fruit seller who was protesting against police harassment and unemployment.
January 14, 2018 10:30 UTC
TUNIS - Tunisia's President Beji Caid Essebsi consulted with political parties, unions and employers Saturday as the government mulled a package of social reforms following a week of unrest triggered by austerity measures. The North African country has been shaken by a wave of protests over poverty and unemployment during which hundreds were arrested before the unrest tapered off. At the opening of his consultations, Essebsi accused the foreign press of "amplifying" the social unrest and damaging the country's image in its coverage of protests. "The social and political climate are not good in Tunisia," he acknowledged, but his government was confident it could "overcome the problems". Protests are common in Tunisia in January when people mark the anniversary of the revolution that ousted Ben Ali.
January 14, 2018 04:41 UTC
The new special representative of the UN Secretary General for the Sahara and Head of the MINURSO, Colin Stewart, held separate meetings in Rabat on Friday with Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Nasser bourita, and of the Interior, Abdelouafi Laftit. The contents of talks between Colin Stewart and Foreign Min-ister Bourita were not disclosed. Laftit also reiterated Moroccan authorities’ warning against the Polisario’s continued provocative actions in the buffer zone and, particularly, in El Guergarate. The consequences of such provocations could undermine peace and security in the region and hinder the negotiation process to reach a solution to the artificial conflict over the Moroccan Sahara, MAP added. The UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, responded im-mediately, warning the Polisario against obstructing commer-cial traffic flow between Morocco and Mauritania and calling on the separatisy front to retreat from the area.
January 13, 2018 18:22 UTC
The long awaited launch of the flexible exchange rate system for the Dirham currency will start on January 15 after it was postponed for 5 months. The gradual Dirham float will start with an anchor of 2.5% in-stead of 0.3% currently, while fixing the Dirham exchange rate via a peg that is 60 percent weighted to the Euro and 40 percent to the Dollar, the Economy Ministry said in a state-ment. The floating of the pegged Dirham was encouraged by the IMF which sees in a more flexible exchange regime a move to strengthen the competitiveness of the Moroccan economy and its resilience against external shocks. This cautious and gradually approach will enable the Moroccan economy to wither the risks of a hastened Dirham float and the potential devaluation that may ensue. Morocco has undertaken reforms to strengthen public finances by maintaining inflation under control and ending subsidies for fuel as well as curbing public sector employment.
January 13, 2018 14:37 UTC
The Political Bureau of the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM) has dispelled speculations about its intention to submit a draft bill to forfeit nationality from Jews of Moroccan origin living in Israeli settlements. The Party’s Spokesperson confirmed that the legal measure against the Moroccan Jews in Israeli settlements was not on the agenda. And during a meeting on January 4 in Paris with the Secretary General of the Federation of Moroccan Jews in France, Simon Skira, PAM’s Secretary General, Ilyas El Omari, promised to withdraw the draft bill. Ilyas El Omari had promised Hamas leader Khalid Mishaal, who was on a recent visit to Morocco, to table a draft bill at the Parliament to withdraw the Moroccan nationality from Israeli settlers. The draft bill had triggered a backlash from Moroccan Jewish figures who denounced an unfeasible legal move that bears prejudice to the Moroccan Jewish community.
January 13, 2018 14:26 UTC
Source: Xinhua| 2018-01-13 21:57:08|Editor: Zhou XinVideo Player CloseDUBAI, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- Digital consumption in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region is growing rapidly, according to a report by the global consulting company Ernest and Young. The growth was driven by "a large population and fast-improving mobile connectivity," United Arab Emirates' (UAE) state news agency WAM quoted the report as saying. "Digital video revenues and viewership are set to grow by at least 22 percent annually till 2021 in the MENA region," Nripendra Singh, a regional director of media and entertainment of the consulting company was quoted as saying. Further, teenagers and young adults, who are major users of digital content in the region, "are entering the workforce and becoming paying consumers adding a significant boost to media expense," added the report. Content providers have to focus on relevant genres for young audience, including sports, premium action or coming-of-age films, said the report.
January 13, 2018 13:52 UTC
Reporters without Borders (RSF) accused Tunisian authorities of harassing journalists covering the anti-austerity protests that have been simmering across Tunisia. In a statement, RSF condemned the Tunisian police for brief detention and interrogation of one reporter and the confisca-tion of another’s phone. “Journalists must be able to freely cover the protests currently taking place in Tunisia. The movement degenerated into riots after the death of a man during a demonstration in Tebourba west of Tunis. Calm has returned overall in the country since Thursday night with the exception of minor protests.
January 13, 2018 13:52 UTC
Astounding expose of Britain involvement in Zimbabwean massacresfrom PAMENUS TUSO in Bulawayo, ZimbabweBULAWAYO, (CAJ News) – A former Zimbabwe cabinet minister and liberation war intelligence supremo has made startling claims regarding the mass massacres south of Zimbabwe in the 1980s, claiming the atrocities that left thousands dead were planned well before independence, with theinvolvement of colonial master, Britain. Britain is said to have preferred Robert Mugabe’s ZANU ahead of Joshua Nkomo’s ZAPU. It is then that they planned to make sure that ZAPand ZIPRA (Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army ‘ZIPRA’, (ZAPU)’s military wing) was the enemy,” Dabengwa alleged. “After analysing the political situation in neighbouring countries such as South African, Botswana, and Namibia the major said the only threat is Zapu and ZIPRA. The issue is the most emotive in Zimbabwean politics and the main cause of inherent tribalism in the country.
January 13, 2018 12:45 UTC
Companies Cytonn to spend Sh6bn in Central Kenya projectsCytonn Investments chief executive Edwin Dande. FILE | PHOTO | NMGCytonn Investments is to spend Sh6 billion on real estate projects in the central Kenya region, having opened an office in Nyeri town as part of its expansion plan. “Cytonn Investments Management Plc today (last Friday) opened an office to serve Mt Kenya region and tap into the vast real estate investment opportunities the region offers. Kenya region as part of the company’s regional expansion plan,” the company said in a statement. Cytonn’s CEO Edwin Dande said the first phase of the firm’s growth had focused on Nairobi’s metropolitan, where it has real estate projects worth over Sh82 billion.
January 13, 2018 04:30 UTC
Now, both Sudan and Tunisia have witnessed unrest due to austerity measures and rising food prices. The latest unrest happened last week, with more than 200 people being arrested, many injured and one death. When it comes to the question of the economy of North Africa, the aid that these countries need to stabilize and to help democracy flourish does not consist of loans from international institutions. And they will do nothing to stop the boats from coming to European shores, overladen with desperate people seeking a way out. What the people of these countries need are livable wages and affordable prices.
January 12, 2018 21:56 UTC
Berbers in North Africa are heralding in the Amazigh New Year, with festivities showcasing traditional food, music and dance planned throughout the region. Friday marks the first day of the year 2968 for North Africa's indigenous inhabitants, who are also known as Amazigh. The Amazigh New Year - or Yennayer, as it is locally called - is the first day of the agricultural calendar used by Berbers for millenia. Ahmed Assid, an Amazigh activist, told Al Jazeera the event has a "significant historical connotation" for Berbers: "It dates back to ancient times when the Amazigh king Shoshenq I was enthroned in Egypt, after defeating Ramses III." Amazigh activist Ahmed Assid said that such recognition was a welcome development.
January 12, 2018 12:37 UTC