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TUNISIA: President Kaïs Saïed calls for calm after three days of rioting

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Due to the economic and social crisis in the country exacerbated by the current pandemic, the Tunisian population was regularly on the streets protesting the measures deemed inappropriate by the government. Many arrests have been made during curfew protests in a health situation dominated by the covid-19 pandemic. The clashes between the police and the rioters resulted in more than 600 arrests. President Kaïs Saïed calls for a return to calm.

It is in the city of Ariana, one of the most important cities in the suburbs of Tunis, which is located in the north of the capital, near the international airport of Tunis-Carthage that President Kaïs Saïed met with young Tunisians.

“Through you, I want to speak to all the Tunisian people, I know the state of poverty and I know who exploits your poverty. Do not let anyone exploit your misery, do not attack public and private property, we live today because of moral values and not because of looting” he affirmed.

After several days of non-stop demonstrations, including from Friday 15 January to Monday 18 January 2021 in cities such as Kasserine, Siliana, Sfax or even in the suburbs of Tunis, in the neighborhood of Ettadhamen, the Tunisian police were forced to restore order. Despite the introduction of curfew, many young people went out to protest.

The reason for this dissent is related to the economic and social difficulties that Tunisians have been experiencing for several months, a situation made more complex by the impacts of Covid-19. 

632 people between the ages of 15 and 25 were arrested according to figures from the Ministry of the Interior. These young people, desperate, have sown chaos by burning tires and dustbins against the police who were forced to use tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Tunisian President Kaïs Saïed’s appeal for calm to the rioters is part of a calming movement.

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MOROCCO

MOROCCO – After the earthquake, the challenges of reconstruction

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A week after the earthquake (September 2023) that struck the kingdom, killed 2,946 people and left more than 15,000 homeless and destroyed tens of thousands of homes, Morocco is already thinking of the next day.

How to ensure the return to school with 500 schools in ruins? And above all, how to rebuild after the destructive earthquake of a week ago? These are the questions that the Moroccan authorities and architects are asking themselves today. First, we must take stock of the situation. Should houses be destroyed or restored?

On the bridge on Saturday morning, architects will participate in inspections of all buildings, reports our correspondent in Morocco, Seddik Khalfi. Jawad el-Basri is president of the Order of Architects of Marrakech: «We have opened lists, we are hundreds of volunteer architects», he explains.

Collective buildings
For reconstruction, priority must be given to public facilities: schools, mosques and health clinics must resume as soon as possible. “In Marrakesh alone, 86 schools were affected,” he said. “ Commissions are being made about these socio-collective facilities. It was an extraordinary coordination. All efforts were concentrated and we tried not to disperse.”

Architects advocate for an integrated model. For them, it is unthinkable to reproduce the mistakes of the past. “We have asked the public authorities to work urgently, but not in a hurry, that there be a specific urban architectural model,” says the architect. We ask that the governments that will rebuild this area have an integrated project.” Architects hope to be useful and improve the lives of their fellow citizens.

Dwellings
As for dwellings, there is no official estimate of the number of buildings destroyed. But the construction site is «titanic», concedes Soufiane Abad, civil engineer to the Qualiconsult group, a Moroccan company specialized in construction, to the microphone of Arthur Ponchelet. “Right now, the authorities have chosen, and I think it’s the best option already, to categorize buildings that have suffered major damage, and not let citizens and residents sit in those buildings. Although they were standing, the level of cracking and impact not being assessed at this stage, it was preferred to keep the inhabitants sheltered in front of a possible risk of collapse.”

Roads
Paramedics are still working to find bodies under the rubble. But to reach the most remote villages, you have to go by road. Roads that were also affected by the earthquake with, in some places, significant landslides. Bouchaïb Safir, president of the Moroccan Road Association, details the efforts needed to clear the access roads. “To clear these roads, an impressive mobilization of personnel and machinery was undertaken,” he says. “ Public works companies in general responded to the call of the Moroccan Roads Association and in coordination with the Ministry of Equipment and Public Works and Water. The companies moved a large fleet of heavy machinery, including bulldozers, loaders, excavators and clearing trucks, as early as Saturday morning. Teams of skilled workers were also deployed to coordinate all these efforts.

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MOROCCO

SEISME IN MOROCCO – Death toll rises to nearly 2,500

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The provisional assessment of the violent earthquake that hit Friday a region southwest of the tourist city of Marrakech in Morocco, rose to 2,497 dead, announced Monday, September 11, 2023, the Ministry of Interior.

A previous assessment provided Sunday reported 2,122 deaths. In a statement, the Interior Ministry announced a new toll of 2,497 dead and 2,476 wounded.

As a reminder, according to a preliminary determination alert issued by the national network of geophysics, monitoring and seismic warning, the epicentre of the earthquake, which occurred at a depth of about 8 kilometers, was located at 30.961 degrees north latitude and 8.413 degrees west longitude, said

TING, which located the epicentre in the commune of Ighil, under the province of Al Haouz. Besides Morocco, mainly affected, other countries were concerned: Gibraltar, Mauritania, Portugal, Spain, and Algeria.

A first replica of magnitude 4.8 was recorded 26 km south of Casablanca, 20 minutes after the main earthquake. A second of magnitude 3.3 followed in the region of Marrakech.

Information on possible victims is not yet available. On the other hand, material damage to the buildings was reported in Marrakech, Taroudant and other cities and localities in the south-central part of the kingdom.

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MOROCCO

MOROCCO – The King of Morocco Mouhamed VI finally in Dakar, tomorrow Tuesday

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Roi Mouhamed VI

Announced in Dakar last February, the King of Morocco Mohamed VI will finally visit the Senegalese capital tomorrow Tuesday, March 14 for a visit of friendship and work, reports Les Echos.

Recall that Mouhamed VI had cancelled his official visit to Dakar on the grounds that he contracted a flu. The health of the Alawite monarch is closely monitored by Moroccans and beyond the kingdom’s borders. It tested positive for Covid-19 in an asymptomatic form last June.

A year before, he underwent heart surgery at the Royal Palace Clinic in Rabat, after a first surgery in January 2018 in Paris. Mohammed VI has ruled Morocco since July 1999, when he succeeded his father, Hassan II.

Note that this is his 9th visit to the country of Teranga. Regional but also continental issues will be on the menu of the meeting between the sovereign of Morocco and the Senegalese head of state.

The two personalities will also discuss the development of bilateral relations between Morocco and Senegal. They will preside over the signing of numerous agreements covering various areas of cooperation between the two countries. Two projects financed by Morocco will also be inaugurated: the fishing village of Dakhla and a vocational training centre in Diamniadio.

Source : Senenews

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