Muslim World News|Algeria
Muhammad ‘Abd Al-Haqq
Fresh wave of violence leaves six dead in Algeria
A fresh wave of violence in Algeria has killed at least six people and left around 20 wounded in recent days, Algerian media reported Saturday.
Overnight Friday security forces in the eastern Boudjellal mountain region shot dead two gunmen near the border with Tunisia, the APS news agency reported.
“The two terrorists armed with automatic pistols were eliminated in an ambush carried out by the security forces…,” a security source told the agency.
It was just the latest of several clashes in the region along the border with Tunisia.
Shortly afterwards, another suicide bomber drove his motorbike at a crowd near the town hall, killing a police officer, a local official and wounding 14 people: six civilians, seven police officers and a paramilitary gendarme.
The explosion seriously damaged the town hall and several nearby buildings.
On Wednesday a bomb attack at a military post near Baghlia in the same region killed two soldiers and wounded six more, the Algerian press reported Saturday.
Troops were subsequently involved in a fierce gun battle with insurgents there.
Fighters with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) have long been active in the eastern part of Algeria, particularly in the troubled Kabylie region.
Moroccan king calls for better Algeria ties, quick election
Algerian President hails Moroccan political reforms ‘towards democratic change, collective participation and good governance.’By Omar Brouksy – RABAT
Morocco’s King Mohammed VI called Saturday for the reopening of his country’s border with Algeria and prompt elections, weeks after winning support in a referendum to curb some of his prerogatives.
In the July 1 referendum, more than 98 percent of Moroccans approved a set of political reforms backed by the king following a series of youth-led, pro-democracy demonstrations in several cities.
In the annual speech on the anniversary of his 1999 coronation, the king said elections should be held soon. Any delay threatened the “dynamic of confidence” generated by the reforms, he said.
The date of the upcoming elections, the subject of regular negotiations between the interior ministry and the country’s political parties, has yet to be fixed.
“Political parties are asked to redouble their efforts in favour of the reconciliation of citizens, particularly the young, with political action,” he said in the speech from the Marchane Palace in Tangiers.
His audience was made up of civilian and military leaders, as well as foreign diplomats.
He called for the election of a new house of representatives to begin, “so that a new head of government can be named from the party which comes first.”
In transferring some of the monarchy’s political powers to elected leaders, the king hoped to prevent contagion of the Arab Spring protests that have sent shockwaves across the region.
But the political climate in Morocco remains tense and rather than satisfying the democratic aspirations of protesters the July 1 referendum fuelled popular demands for greater social justice.
Thousands of people gathered in several cities on July 17 for rallies demanding more sweeping reforms of the Arab world‘s oldest reigning monarchy.
Morocco’s youth-based February 20 movement, which has spearheaded the pro-democracy protests, has called for fresh rallies on Sunday to continue pressing for a parliamentary monarchy.
Faced with persistent political tensions at home, the king also said it was time to improve relations with neighbouring Algeria.
He advocated reopening a border that was closed in 1994 following an Islamist militant attack in Marrakesh that Morocco blamed on the Algerian secret services.
Tensions in the border region occasionally flare and last week a clash between Moroccan border guards and armed men coming from Algeria left one soldier dead.
Relations between Morocco and Algeria have also been strained by the long-running dispute over the Western Sahara.
Morocco’s 1975 annexation of the territory, a former Spanish colony, sparked a war between its forces and Algerian-backed Polisario guerrillas.
The two sides agreed to a ceasefire in 1991 but UN-sponsored talks on Western Sahara’s future have since made no headway.
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika congratulated the king on his 12-year rule, which has seen improved ties between the countries, said a statement published by the APS news agency prior to the monarch’s address.
Bouteflika hailed the political reforms “you have undertaken to lead your country towards democratic change, collective participation and good governance.”
But a spokesman for Algeria’s National Liberation Front (FLN), one of the country’s main political parties, reacted more sceptically to the speech.
Talk of improving ties usually came with “nothing concrete”, Kassa Aissi said.
But his party was committed to “more fruitful” relations with the Moroccan people, he said.
Moroccan party officials reacted by stressing the importance of effective preparations for the upcoming election.
Saad Eddine Othmani of the Justice and Development Party said: “The most important thing is not to prepare quickly for the elections, it’s about preparing well.
“The interior minister suggested October to us but we refused. We think that March 2012 would be a good date.”
Hassan Tarik of the Socialist Union Party of Popular Forces said: “We are in favour of the upcoming elections to break the current inactivity, even if holding them in October seems rather close.”
Nigeria/Algeria: Confederation Cup – Sunshine Stars Beat Js Kabylie 2-1 in Algeria
30 July 2011
Sunshine Stars of Nigeria shocked JS Kabylie of Algeria 2-1 in the African Confederation Cup this weekend to take a three-point Group B lead.
Salim Hanifi put the ‘Canaries’ ahead in Algiers, Emmanuel Sunday levelled before half-time and Sakibu Atanda snatched the winner 14 minutes before full-time in the second-tier competition.
Sunshine have six points, Noghreb Fes of Morocco three and Kabylie and Daring Club Motema Pembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo none with the top two finishers after a six-round mini-league advancing to the semi-finals.
Kabylie have won six African titles and after three previous home victories in the Confederation Cup this year were favoured to collect maximum points having lost away to Moghreb two weeks ago.
Sunshine from south-western town Akure are playing in Africa for the first time this year and had to wait 12 hours in Mali for a connecting flight and five more in Algiers before Kabylie officials arrived.Hanifi struck on 18 minutes after a Nigerian was dispossessed on the edge of his penalty area and a low cross took a deflection and was missed by an Algerian before the scorer made no mistake with a low shot past Moses Ocheje.
Sunday burst forward and as four Kabylie defenders closed in, struck a shot that went in off the hands of goalkeeper Malek Asselah, who was also to blame for the winner as he failed to grasp a shot from Atanda, who stabbed home the rebound.
Motema Pembe host Moghreb Sunday when there are also Group A fixtures involving InterClube of Angola and ASEC Mimosas of Ivory Coast in Luanda and Club Africain of Tunisia and Kaduna United of Nigeria in Tunis.