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NORTH AFRICA

TUNISIA – President Kaïs Saïed now has more power

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Tunisian President Kaïs Saïed announced on Wednesday, September 22, a series of measures that would give him more power in decision-making. The promulgation of these measures follows his speech of Monday, September 20, 2021 in Sidi Bouzid, the cradle of the Tunisian revolution. 

Tunisians were on the lookout for President Kaïs Saïed’s roadmap, which was finally disclosed on Wednesday, September 22. Parliament remains frozen and the immunity of Members of Parliament is also frozen, resulting in a loss of their salary. The Master of Carthage decided to replace the Assembly with his new powers. It will now legislate by decree for a period that has not been specified.

According to some observers, these new measures show that Tunisia is gradually moving towards a presidential regime. The word “presidential” is used to denounce this additional takeover in favour of the Tunisian president. The latter undoubtedly strengthens its prerogatives to the detriment of the government. 

The Islamist party Ennahdha, the first force in the Assembly, for its part, reacted with the voice of its president Rached Ghannouchi, refuses these presidential measures which according to him is an abandonment of the Consitution of 2014.

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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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