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Moroccan king pardons 483 prisoners

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Moroccan King Mohammed VI granted pardon to 483 prisoners on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr holiday, said a statement from the Moroccan Justice ministry Saturday.

Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of Muslim holy month of Ramadan, is celebrated on Sunday in Morocco.

On April 5, a pardon was granted for 5,654 prisoners in Morocco, as part of measures to strengthen the protection of the detainees in prisons, particularly against the spread of the coronavirus epidemic.

(XINHUA)

Olawale Olukoga: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

Foreign

4.3 mln Moroccan households receive financial aid amid COVID-19

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A total of 4.3 million Moroccan households employed in the informal sector are entitled to financial aid to deal with the impacts of coronavirus, Minister of Economy and Finance Mohamed Benchaaboun said on Monday.

This number includes more than 2.3 million households registered in the Moroccan Medical Assistance Regime (RAMED), he said in a parliamentary hearing session.

Regarding the families operating in the informal sector and not enrolled in RAMED regime, their number is recorded at around 2 million, after checking the consistency of the applications submitted, he added.

Families of two people or less receive stipends of 85 U.S. dollars, while families of three to four people receive 105 dollars. Families of more than four people receive 125 dollars.

The minister added that the distribution of this aid has started on April 23. Until April 26, more than 80 percent of this financial aid have been distributed throughout the country.

The death toll from the novel coronavirus on Monday reached 162 in Morocco among 4,120 confirmed cases.

On April 18, Morocco extended the state of medical emergency until May 20. A nationwide curfew for a month has been in place since April 25.
(XINHUA)

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Sport

Moroccan FA orders matches played without fans over coronavirus fears

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All football matches in Morocco will be played without fans from Thursday, the Moroccan football association (FRMF) said on Wednesday after the north African country reported its first coronavirus case.

A 39-year-old Moroccan man coming from the northern Italian city of Bergamo was Morocco’s first registered case of coronavirus on Monday, the health ministry said.

Morocco has cancelled an international agricultural fair, due to take place in April, along with many other cultural and sports events as authorities continue to implement precautionary measures at entry points and hospitals to prevent the spread of the virus.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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General news

Director urges management of Moroccan news agency to address gender inequality

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Ms Meryem Louali, the Director of the Strategic and Technogical Committee of the Morocco News Agency (MAP),  says in spite of the progress made by the agency to address gender inequality, much still need to be done.

Louali made this known while addressing participants during a training and seminar on leadership enhancement in Rabat, Moroccan capital, for women from 20 African news agencies.

NAN reports that the five-day seminar, which opened on Monday, aims at developing women’s soft skills, strengthening their knowledge and leadership abilities for the effective running of their organisations towards addressing the challenges the continent faces.

FAAPA is organising the seminar, under theme: “Women’s Leadership: Needs and Strategies of African News Agencies”, at the African Centre for the Training of Journalists, which is hosted by MAP.

Louali, who is also the new president of the a Parity Committee for the agency, said that as of 2018, out of the over 600 members of staff, 200 were women.

“Women represent 38 per cent  of all MAP employees at the end of 2018, an improvement of three points compared to January 2014,

“At the journalistic level, the rate of female journalists increased from 31 to 35 per cent during the same period, with an increase of 4 points.

” Much remains to be done to increase women’s rights, opportunities and participation in public life and senior jobs.

“MAP constituted the committee to promote the female component in the agency’s human capital, was held on Tuesday in Sale.

She said that the committee, which was set up as part of the 60th anniversary of MAP, will monitor and assess the yearly evolution of the parity rate within the agency’s different departments and submit proposals to contribute to the amelioration of MAP’s female competences (administrative and journalistic staff).

She also said that the committee will create an institutional mechanism so that women could get the same rights as their male counterparts, and will address issues related to gender equality.

Louali said that MAP organised coaching sessions for its female staff, before setting up the parity committee to improve the presence of women at the decision-making bodies of the agency.

She advised women journalists to build self-confidence and forge a common front, to enable them succeed in their places of work.

She also urged them to network for them to have efficient career booster to engender job opportunities.(NAN)


SH/AFA

Edited by Felix Ajide

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Foreign

Moroccan navy rescues 329 Spain-bound migrants in Mediterranean

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(Xinhua/NAN) The Moroccan navy said it rescued 329 Spain-bound migrants in the Mediterranean from Oct. 10 to Oct. 13.

Official news agency MAP quoted a military source as saying that the migrants, mostly sub-Saharan nationals, were trying to cross the Strait of Gibraltar aboard small boats that were in trouble in the Mediterranean.

The rescued persons, including 49 women and several minor and children, were safely transported to the ports of Tangier, Al Hoceima, Nador and Ksar Sghir after receiving necessary care.

Morocco has become a hub for African migrants who seek to reach Europe for a better life.

According to the Moroccan authorities, more than 40, 300 illegal immigration attempts were foiled in the first six months of 2019. (NAN/Xinhua)

HS/YEE

Edited by Halima Sheji

 

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Agriculture

OCP Africa, Moroccan varsity partner to boost Agritech capacity across Africa

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Capacity building for Agritech start-ups in Nigeria received a boost recently as the Impulse Start-up Accelerator programme was hosted in Lagos, Nigeria, to help start-ups in agritecth.

The programme, an initiative of the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), is supported by OCP Group and its subsidiary OCP Africa and the Impulse Acceleration programme.

The partners said on Thursday in Lagos at the Impulse Accelerator Forum that the programme was to help start-ups in the fields of agritech, agricultural biotech, mining tech and materials science and nanotech.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that OCP Group, UM6P and OCP Africa have created Impulse to contribute to the development of solutions to the challenges faced by the smallholder farmer in Africa.

It is also to reinforce the innovation system of OCP Group through the creation of long term and mutually beneficial relationships with the start-up world.

On the initiative, the Programme Director, Impulse, Mr Adnane Soulimani, explained that Impulse was the first step toward the creation of a much bigger sector-agnostic accelerator called, “MassChallenge Africa’’, that would accelerate each year between 50 to 100 start-ups working on African challenges.

“Start-ups that will be selected for our programme will benefit from the mentorship of senior managers and business experts from OCP Group, one of the world’s leaders in the fields of phosphate and phosphate-based fertilizers.

“Start-ups will also have access to potential business opportunities through OCP Group, UM6P and their ecosystems,’’ Soulimani said.

One of the Speakers, Mr Ayodele Balogun, an agronomist, noted that until recently, much attention had not been paid to sustainable agriculture in Nigeria.

“Effectively, we lose FOREX because we are not able to produce enough and process enough to satisfy ourselves,’’ he said.

The OCP Country Manager, Mr Caleb Usoh highlighted the efforts of the Federal Government to harness the potential of the sector to address the trade deficit that existed in the country.

Usoh said: “OCP Africa is committed to supporting the Nigerian government’s effort towards the development of the agriculture sector.

“In 2016, OCP Africa entered into a partnership with the Fertiliser Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FESPAN) under the `Presidential Fertilizer Initiative’, with the support of Nigeria Investment Sovereign Authority (NSIA).

“The partnership activities encompass the entire agricultural chain: creating fertilizer solutions, making fertilizers available on the local market at competitive prices, and fostering mentorship for Nigerian farmers.

“Thanks to the partnership with FESPAN, local investments in new fertilizer blending plants have grown from nine factories in 2016 to 25 factories within a span of three years creating a number of direct and indirect employment opportunities for Nigeria’s youths and reducing the prices of fertilizers for farmers.’’

A start-up specialist, Mr Dennis Goje, advised start-ups to familiarise themselves with government socio-economic policies in order to be firmly grounded in their chosen trade.

Goje said that the consistency of government policies on agriculture since 2011 had made some of the success stories we now have possible. Therefore, start-ups and commercial farmers were able to understand the direction of government in this regard.

Contributing, Mr Adunoye Olubiyi, another Agronomist acknowledged the impact of the agritech initiatives and advised farmers to be more deliberate in engaging the processes.

“One of the things we have benefited from Hello Tractor is that we have been able to scale up production without having to worry about money to make things available.

“Last year, we did some things in the range of 30 hectares in terms of production.

“However, this year, we have been able to do about 120 hectares because of the support from Hello Tractor. For next year, we are projecting 200 hectares,’’ Olubiyi said.

Participants at the forum expressed delight at the opportunity to expand their knowledge on agritecth as they called for more initiatives that would drive sustainable agriculture in Nigeria.
ITM/PDE

(Editing by Peter Ejiofor)

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Foreign

Moroccan main telecoms operator unveils 1.04 bln dollars investment plan

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According to a company statement, it is the sixth investment agreement of its kind that Maroc Telecom has signed with the Moroccan government, covering 2019 to 2021.

The statement added that the program consists of the development of communications infrastructure across the country, as well as providing high-speed fixed and mobile broadband.

YI/MZA

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Foreign

6 Moroccan political detainees say they will give up citizenship 

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The lawyer, Mohammed Zyan, told dpa that the detainees wanted to take a stand against the Moroccan authorities.

However, it is not legal for anyone to request that they be stripped of citizenship, he added.

On Saturday, the father of Nasser Zefzafi, the leader of the protest movement, known as Hirak Rif, posted a video on his Facebook page in which he appeared reading out a message from the six detainees.

In the message, the detainees said that they would relinquish their citizenship, go on a hunger strike and renege on their allegiance to the Moroccan king.

They held the authorities responsible for their safety and called on the international community for support.

Last month, Morocco’s King Mohammed VI pardoned thousands of detainees, including some arrested over 2016 anti-government protests, in a move to mark his 20 years on the throne.

In 2016, a wave of street protests erupted in the northern province of al-Hoceima against unemployment and alleged government corruption.

The protests followed the death of a fish vendor who was crushed by a waste disposal truck while trying to prevent the destruction of his fish, which were confiscated by police.

The protests were some of the largest seen in Morocco since 2011.

YEE

(Edited by Emmanuel Yashim)

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Foreign

ndependence Day: Moroccan king pardons 262 prisoners

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Pardon

A statement by the Ministry of Justice said 217 inmates had their prison terms reduced.

It added that 45 other prisoners were granted freedom.

The Revolution for Independence is also known as the Revolution of the King and the People.

It commemorates the day when Morocco rejected France’s decision to exile King Mohammed V to Corsica in 1953 and replace him with Cousin Mohammed Ben Arafa.

 

 

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Foreign

Moroccan Agency trains 25000 African students

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Pic….Mr Mohammed Metghol, Director  Morocco International Cooperation Agency

Training

Rabat (Morocco) March 31, 2019 Morocco International Cooperation Agency says 25,000 students from 47 African countries, including Nigeria have graduated from the agency since its creation in 1986.

The Director of the agency, Mohammed Metghol made this known While briefing journalists from some African countries in Rabat, Morocco.The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the journalists from Nigeria, Senegal, Congo, South Africa, Angola, Mauritania, Liberia and Rwanda among others are in Morocco to cover the visit of the Pope to the country.

Metghol said that 13,000 of the graduands studied Law, Economics, Human and Social Sciences.

According to him, 10,000 graduated as Engineers, Technical Specialists and Scientists.

He said that 2,000 of the graduands studied Medicine, Physics and General Health.

Metghol said that the gesture was part of efforts by the Kingdom of  Morocco to train thousands of talented Africans  on vital fields for the development of Africa.

According to him, the Kingdom of Morocco is intervening in four main areas.

He listed the areas to include Academic and Scholarship programmes, Technical Cooperation  programmes, Human Development Assistance  and Humanitarian Assistance.

Metghol said that the agency was created as the official channel of the Kingdom with special focus in promoting South-South Cooperation.

“Our ambition is to play a pivotal role in South-South Cooperation, applying the Moroccan expertise and time-tested field experience to support African countries.

“Total coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in implementing the activities that are carried out in partnership with the various Moroccan ministerial departments and the national flagship partners.”

To this end, the director said that the agency had also developed partnership with 46 African countries,  including Nigeria.

He said the agency was also involved in humanitarian assistance to countries ravaged  by natural disasters or crisis.

“We have donated food items, materials and medicines to countries across the world that  needed  assistance,” the director said.

 

Sent from my iPad

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Foreign

Moroccans defy rain to welcome Pope

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Rain

Rabat ( Morocco), March 31, 2019 The people of Morocco on Saturday defied the heavy downpour to welcome Pope Francis to their country.The Pope was received at the Rabat Sale Airport by His Majesty King Mohammed VI, King of Morocco and was immediately driven to the Esplanade Mauaoleum where a grand reception had been organised for him.The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the excited crowd on sighting the Pope stood up with cheers and admiration for the HOLY SEE who was visiting Morocco for the first time.

NNN reports that more than 100 Imams, government officials, students, Christians, Muslims, migrants, local and international journalists among others attended the reception.

In spite of the heavy downpour which began as early as 9 a.m. people started arriving the venue to enable them secure seats at vantage position so they could have a glimpse of the Pope.

Security was very tight as both the Moroccan Police and Army had barricaded all routes leading to venue of the reception few days to the Pope’s visit.

Journalists were not allowed to enter venue of the reception with their cell phones, cameras, laptops and other gadgets as they were collected from them at the entrance.

Only six International Press were allowed inside the venue of the reception with their equipment and other gadgets.

Pope Francis who spoke in the Spanish language, commended His Majesty, King of Morocco and his people for accepting and being hospitable to migrants.

NNN reports that the Pope who was on a two-day visit to Morocco met with the government officials on the need to accept migrants

The Pope also visited the Mohammed VI Institute where Imams, male and female are being trained on the tenets of Islam. 
EEE/ROT

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Foreign

Morocco will oppose any sterile debate aimed at exploiting the “Moroccan Sahara” – FM

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Sahara

Marrakesh (Morocco), March 25, 2019 Morocco on Monday said that it would oppose any “sterile debate” aimed at exploiting the Moroccan Sahara.

Mr Nasser Bourita, the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said this at a one -day African Ministerial Conference on the “African Union’s Support to the United Nations Political Process on the Regional Dispute over the Sahara”.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the conference was held in Marrakech, Morocco.

The conference, organised by the Moroccan Government was attended by representatives of 40 African countries, including Nigeria.

Bourita said the conference was organised to rub minds and exchange ideas on how to move forward on issues that are important to Africa.

The minister said the conference was also organised as part of the wise and enlightened vision of the African states to strengthen the unity of the continent against any attempt to deviate from its urgent priorities in sustainable human development and regional integration,

“Our meeting comes at a time when Africa is facing substantial challenges which require that we meet more, consult more and work more together to move Africa forward.

“Because our countries and our continent have considerable expectations. The expectations of a youth which is free from the dogmas of the past, lucid about its needs and demanding in its aspirations.

“This very youth which is on the receiving end of the restructuring projects of tomorrow’s Africa: the ZLECAf, Agenda 2063, the Open Sky.

“Africa’s best interest, therefore, calls us to come together, it forbids us to fight the wrong battle.

“Our watchword should resolutely be that of unity, cohesion and coherence,” Bourita said.

He said: “we Africans must be coherent with ourselves first, with the organisation that unites us and with the partners that challenge us.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

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Foreign

Thousands of Moroccan teachers stage protest over pay terms

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Thousands of Moroccan teachers stage protest over pay terms

Teachers

The teachers marched from the education ministry to the square in front of parliament where police had intervened after midnight to prevent them from spending the night in the main Mohammed V Avenue.

They want an end to renewable contracts in favour of permanent jobs that offer civil service benefits, including a better retirement pension.

Some also shouted political slogans such as “This is a corrupt country” and “We are ruled by a mafia,” urging Prime Minister Saad Eddine El Othmani and Education Minister Said Amzazi to step down.

Morocco, which has avoided the turmoil seen by other countries during and after the Arab Spring of 2011, regularly sees protests though they rarely draw several thousands or involve confrontations with police.

The protest was organised by an alliance of leftist opposition parties, main unions, civil society organisations and university students.

The teachers have been striking for three weeks in a row.

The protesting teachers were threatened by the ministry to return to the classroom or be sacked.

“We are not intimidated by the threats of the education ministry’s because we came to claim our right to be integrated in the civil service and defend the public school,” Abdelilah Taloua, a young teacher, told Reuters.

About 55,000 teachers have been hired under the new contract system since 2016 out of 240,000 teachers in total.

The government insisted that teachers working by contracts have the same starting salary of 5,000 dirhams (around 520 dollars) like regular teachers.

 

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Foreign

Moroccan police arrest man suspected in death of female tourists from Norway, Demmark

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Women

Rabat, Dec. 18, 2018 Moroccan police on Tuesday arrested a man suspected in the death

of two female tourists from Norway and Denmark.

The man was arrested in Marrakech, Morocco’s largest tourist hub, and police were hunting for other individuals

identified as suspects.

The two female tourists’ bodies were found in an isolated mountainous area in Morocco, with cuts to their necks.

The women’s bodies were found in an isolated area near Imlil, on the way to Toubkal, North Africa’s highest

peak and a popular hiking destination, the ministry said in a statement.

They were found near the town of Imlil in the High Atlas mountain range, near the summit of Mount Toubkal,

authorities said.

Local sources had told dpa that the two women were stabbed with a knife by unknown people.

Investigations are ongoing to arrest other suspects in the case, it added.

Edited by: Abigael Joshua/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu
(NAN)

 

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Foreign

Moroccan King says history will judge UN migration compact

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Moroccan King Mohammed VI said on Monday that “history will judge Global Compact for Migration,’’ an agreement which was formally adopted by over 150 countries in the Moroccan City of Marrakech.

The adoption was made at the opening session of the UN Inter-governmental Conference on Migration.

“For the time being, the global compact remains a promise which history will judge.

“The time for celebrating its success has not come as yet,’’ said the king in a message to the participants, read out by Prime Minister, Saad Eddine El Othmani.

He said the challenge for the conference was to show that the international community has opted for responsible solidarity.

To achieve this objective, the king stressed the sovereign right of each member state to determine and apply its own migration policy to be fully respected.

“This conference should show that multilateralism is not about empty chairs, desertion or indifference,’’ he said.

He added that multilateralism “is about synergies and making commitments in which the right to differ is respected.’’

“The global compact is not an end in itself.

“It will be meaningful only if it is effectively implemented.

“Viewed from this angle, the Marrakech conference is, first and foremost, a call to action,’’ the king concluded.

The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration was agreed upon by the member states of the United Nations on July 13, 2018.

The document is the first-ever inter-governmentally negotiated agreement to cover all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner.

Edited by: Abigael Joshua/Abdulfatah Babatunde
(NAN)

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Foreign

Moroccan carrier cancels 10 flights due to “tension’’ with Pilots

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Morocco’s Flag Carrier, Royal Air Maroc (RAM), announced that 10 of its flights on Friday have been cancelled due to “social tensions.’’

RAM tweeted that the cancellations concern flights between Morocco’s largest airport Casablanca and several cities in France and Italy.

Tensions between RAM and its pilots have intensified since Monday, after the failure of reaching an agreement between the pilots association and RAM’s administration.

The association said in a statement on Friday that a “heavy social climate’’ prevails over the company, adding that it has “exacerbated by 20 months of sterile social dialogue.’’

On Tuesday, RAM Director Abdelhamid Addou criticised in a letter to the association in what he termed as “the absence of willingness to see the company developing,’’ stressing that organising a strike “will have devastating effect’’ on the company.

Edited by: Abigael Joshua/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu
(NAN)

 

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Foreign

195 Nigerians in Moroccan prisons for drug crimes—envoy

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Amb. Baba Garba says there are 195 Nigerians in prisons in Morocco for drug related crimes, the Nigeria News Agency reports.

Garba, the NAN in Rabat, Morocco, that the government was yet to have a prisoner transfer agreement with Morocco.

“We have the menace of Nigerians that come from Latin America, transiting Morocco that are carriers of drugs.

“We have a number of them in prisons purely for drugs; I send the figures officially to government, there are 195 of them in prisons.

“We have a bi-national commission and we are proposing end of June or the first week of July because of the Ramadan.

“It is at this forum we will talk to our Moroccan counterparts about a prisoner transfer agreement but at this point we do not have such agreement.”

The envoy, however, said there were excellent relations both countries adding that the outcome of the visit of the Moroccan king to Nigeria in 2016 had boost bilateral relations.

“Since 2017 up on till now, we have not had farmers complain about shortage of fertiliser in NIgeria; this is one of the gains.

We have had many agreements signed with Morocco in different sectors and we are pursuing them.

We have have had agreements signed in transport, climate change, lagoon and river control.

He also added that an average of 50 students from Nigeria were being offered scholarships by the Moroccan Government.

Some students are trained in Qur’anic recitation and trained to be Imams; here the king is a leader of the faith and every mosque here is well documented and there are checks and balances.

“If we have such systems imported in our country it will checkmate certain things.”

Edited by: Sadiya Hamza
(NAN)

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Foreign

Bulgarian authorities arrest Moroccan suspected of IS ties

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Bulgarian authorities have arrested a Moroccan national suspected of ties with the terrorist Islamic State organisation, a local media reported on Monday.

“The man, wanted by Interpol on terrorism related charges, was holding a fake French identity card when he was caught illegally crossing the border from Turkey on Jan. 13 with a group of migrants near Svilengrad,’’ the report said.

According to Interpol, the suspect worked in Islamic State’s department of mechanical engineering attached to the directorate-general of military bearings in Syria.

A court in Haskovo, in southern Bulgaria, ordered a 90-day detention for the suspect, identified only as H.Z.

Bulgaria has become a main entry point for migrants trying reach other EU member states through the officially-closed Balkan route.

Many enter the country through Turkey and continue through Serbia, then attempt to cross the tightly-sealed borders of Hungary or Croatia.

Edited by: Abiodun Oluleye/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu
(NAN)

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Entertainment

Moroccan Filmmaker Khadija Alami seeks collaboration with Nollywood

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Veteran Moroccan film producer, Khadija Alami, has called for collaboration in filmmaking between morocco movie stakeholders and the Nigerian movie industry, popularly known as Nollywood.

She made the call during an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on the side line of the 2017 edition of the ZUMA Film Festival (ZUFF) held Dec.1 to Dec. 3 in Abuja, organised by the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC).

According to Alami, such collaboration will also serve as a platform to further expose and grow both countries film industries, promote exchange and transfer of cultural heritage and further boost their bilateral relations.

She noted that the two countries have rich potentials and opportunities, as well as huge human resources in the motion picture industry that can be harnessed to better position Africa films on the global stage.

“The Nigerian Nollywood is vibrant and one of the best in the world, and although Morocco film sector is doing well, it still has a lot to learn from Nigeria.

“I urge investors and stakeholders in the film making sector from both countries to consider working together for the growth and benefit of the two countries.

“Morocco and Nigeria have very rich culture and arts, which can be promoted and harnessed through movies to strengthen our relationship.

“If we exchange what define us as people, like music, dressing and other cultural identity, then we will accept one another better,’’ she said.

Alami noted that although Nigeria was a purely English speaking country, while Moroccans dominantly spoke Arabic, and French, language difference was never a barrier to the motion picture sector, especially in this digital age.

She therefore commended the organisers for repositioning ZUFF as an international brand that brought together movie/film stakeholders across Africa and beyond.

NAN reports that Alami, the Chief Executive of K Films, is the first Moroccan woman to join Oscars Jury Committee alongside Moroccan filmmaker, Nabil Ayouch.

She is an acclaimed national and international producer, known for her production of the movies: `Tala Hadids, “`The Narrow Frame of Midnight’ (Itar El Layl) and `Jawad Rhalibs’ (Insoumise).

She has also contributed to the production of important feature films such as, `The Exorcist, Beginning’ by Paul Schrader, and“`Captain Phillips’ by Paul Greengrass.

Some of her works that also gained international applauds in recent times include; Captain Phillips (2013), Son of God (2014) and Our Kind of Traitor (2016).

NAN reports that the ZUMA Film Festival, now in its 8th edition, is a platform for Nigerian film practitioners to network with their counterparts from other parts of the world and thus stimulates co-production and financing opportunities.

It presents the Nigerian film industry as a vibrant and viable investment option to Nigeria and international business communities.

Edited

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Entertainment

Moroccan actor Bachir Skirej wins Best Actor ZUMA Film Festival

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Veteran Moroccan actor, Bachir Skirej, has won the Best Actor awards for the film,” Looking for my Wife’s Husband” at the 2017 edition of the ZUMA Film Festival (ZUFF).

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the Moroccan thespian clinched the award, among other nominees for the category on Sunday night at the Awards and closing ceremony of the ZUFF in Abuja.

Other nominees for the title included Ado Gidado Dabino, for the movie etitled: `Jyin Sarauta’and Nosa Rex, for the movie `Love Upon the Hill,’ all Nigerians films.

The movie “Looking for my Wife’s Husband” is set in a middle-class, modern-day harem, and it focuses on the intricate law code dealing with polygamy.

‘Harem’ is a domestic space that is reserved for the women of the house in a Muslim family and is inaccessible to adult males except for close relations.

The movie is Directed by Mohamed Adderrahman Tazi and produced by Arts and Techniques Audio-Visuels.

It also featured other casts Mouna Fetou, Amina Rachid, among others.

However, Nigeria movies top the winners list for the night, pinching five honours.

The Best Nigerian Language Film was won by ‘JuyinSarauta’, Best Cinematography went to ‘Roti’ and the Best Feature Film and Best Picture was grabbed by ‘What Lies Within’,also a Nigerian film.

Nigerian ace actress Sogie-Efe Guobadia clinched Best Actress awards for her role in the movie ‘Hidden’, ‘Cairo Time’, an Egypt movie pinched the Best Screenplay awards.

Dr Chidia Maduekwe, Managing Director of the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC) and Chairman of the festival organising committee, said over 2,000 entries were received from filmmakers.

He noted that movies were submitted from Nigeria,Morroco,Egypt,Iran, Tanzania and Cameroon for screening by the festival secretariat.

NAN reports that a non-competitive award was also given to selected past and present Nigerian veteran actors.

They were recognised as the first recipients of the Nigerian Film Society Rock of Fame Award, the highest professional recognition within the Nigeria Film industry based solely on merit.

Some of the recipients included Sam Loco-Efe, James Iroha, popularly known as Giringori Akabogu’ who both received posthumous honours.

The living legends recognized included Ola Balogun,Sadiq Daba, Edward and Abdulkaraem Muhammed,among others.

The ZUMA Film Festival, now in its 8th edition, is platform for Nigerian film practitioners to network with their counterparts from other parts of the world and thus stimulates co-production and financing opportunities.

It presents the Nigerian film industry as a vibrant and viable investment option to Nigeria and international business communities.

The 2017 edition was held from Dec. 1 to 3 at the Jabi Lake Mall in Abuja.

Edited by: Ekemini Ladejobi
(NAN)

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Foreign

Moroccan authorities arrest Barcelona attackers’ suspected supplier – source

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NAN-F-9

Arrest

Madrid, Aug. 30, 2017Moroccan authorities have arrested a man suspected of supplying gas canisters to a jihadist cell that carried out a double attack in Catalonia on Aug. 16 that killed 16 people, a source from the Spanish investigation said.

According to the source, the cell accumulated around 120 canisters of butane gas at a house in a town south of Barcelona with which, police say, it planned to carry out a larger bomb attack.

Police believe the cell accidentally ignited the explosives on Aug. 16, the eve of the Barcelona attack, triggering a blast that destroyed the house in the town of Alcanar.

The remaining attackers then decided to use hired vans to mow down crowds along Barcelona’s most famous avenue and later mount an assault in the resort town of Cambrils.

Moroccan police arrested the man in the city of Casablanca, the source said, without giving further details.

Spain’s interior minister, Juan Zoido, said that Moroccan authorities had arrested two people linked to the attacks but declined to give details about them.

Spanish news agency EFE said the second man was arrested in the city of Oujda and was a relative of one of the members of the Barcelona cell.

The source did not confirm that.

Zoido, speaking after a meeting with the Moroccan interior minister in Morocco’s capital Rabat, said Spanish and Moroccan authorities were working closely together in the investigation.

Most of the suspected attackers were Moroccan and an imam suspected of radicalising the cell travelled there shortly before the attack took place.

Six of the attackers were shot dead by police and two died in the explosion at the house in Alcanar.

Four other people were arrested over the assaults, two of whom have now been released under certain conditions.

SH

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