Tagged: France

French citizen kidnapped in a mountainous region of Tizi Ouzou in eastern Algeria, France24 Arabic, 22 September 2014

The French Foreign Ministry confirmed the kidnapping of a French citizen in the mountainous Tikjda region where he was on vacation in an area near Tizi Ouzou in eastern Algeria. The Foreign Ministry did not mention that the kidnappers were from al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which operates in the area, or another gang.

French citizen kidnapped in AlgeriaIn a Monday statement, the French Foreign Ministry confirmed the kidnapping of a French citizen in the mountainous Tikjda region, located between the Tizi Ouzou and Bouira provinces (120 km east of Algiers), on Sunday evening as he was on vacation in the area.

The ministry confirmed that “a French citizen was kidnapped in the Tizi Ouzou region that he was visiting,” and that there had been no declaration of responsibility.

The ministry said that “all efforts are being made to find our citizen. The authorities have been mobilized and nothing is out of the question,” adding that “we are in constant contact with the Algerian authorities who are cooperating with us and supporting us fully.”

Security sources previously confirmed that the matter is related to a French tourist who was on a tour in the Tikjda region, the highest summit of of the Djurdjura mountain range.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb operates in the area
Sources did not mention that that kidnappers were from al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which operates in the area, or if the issue was related to armed gangs that have previously kidnapped Algerian citizens for the purpose of demanding a ransom.

According to the “al-Hadath al-Djazaïri” news website, the victim “entered Algeria two days prior where him and his Algerian friends rented a chalet in Tikjda.”

The site added that, according to a high-level security source, the French citizen “went out last night for a tourist outing with his friends, when a terrorist group from Aït Ourban surprised them after confirmed that he was a French national. They kidnapped him a released the Algerians.”

Over the last ten years, approximately 80 people have been kidnapped to Tizi Ouzou, all of them Algerians. Most of them were released after a ransom was  payed, while three were killed according to the press.

The most recent victim was a 19-year-old man who was found dead a week after being kidnapped in October 2012.

The three perpetrators were arrested and sentenced to death in November 2013 on charges of murder and kidnap for ransom.

In 2011, Algerian security forces arrested members of a criminal organization charged with being behind a number of kidnapping incidents in the Kabylie region.

The members of this gang were charged with belonging to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and placing fake security barriers in the Aghrib region, near Azeffoun.

Investigation revealed that the members of the gang were responsible for three kidnappings and  the killing of a contractor who tried to escape his capture in 2010.

The had been no news of the kidnapping of a foreigner in the region prior to this incident, which comes hours after the Islamic State released a call to kill every citizen affiliated with the countries of the coalition (including France), which have formed to fight this group in Syria and Iraq.

Translated by Kevin Moore.

Original article available here.

‘Spanish journal: Of Maghreb counties, Morocco exerting the greatest effort toward political and economic modernization,’ Menara (Morocco), 14 May 2014

The European Union considers Morocco to be an important partner, with many trade agreements in place between the two. Although economic relations have been somewhat strained as of late (due to Morocco’s hesitancy in re-opening its waters to European fishermen, and the EU’s reluctance to grant Moroccan produce preferential tariffs), Morocco is still viewed as the North African country moving towards political and economic modernization at the fastest pace. Continue reading

‘Number of Moroccans in Syria surpasses 8,000 fighters,’ Al-Massae (Morocco), 12 May 2014

A new report suggests that there could be over 8,000 Moroccans fighting in Syria against the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Previous reports suggested a number between 1,000 and 1,500 Moroccans were in Syria, mainly fighting in a unit called “Sham al-Islam,” led by former Guantanamo Bay prisoner and Moroccan national Ibrahim Benchekroun. Continue reading

‘Maghreb and European states exchange lists of Jihadists,’ Hespress (Morocco), 5 May 2014

Western European and North African countries have begun to regularly exchange intelligence related to “jihadist” fighters making their way to Syria. Continue reading

‘World Federation of Trade Unions condemns American aggression against Syria,’ Tishreen (Syria), 21 February 2014

The World Federation of Trade Unions has reconfirmed its solidarity with the Syrian people to shape their own present and future, Syrian state media outlet “Tishreen” reports. Sticking to the usual line, foreign intervention (led by the US and a number of European states, as well as Israel and Gulf States) in Syrian affairs has been condemned. Continue reading

‘French petrol company “Total” renews its licence to prospect for oil in Western Sahara,’ an-Nahar (Lebanon), 7 February 2014

Morocco has renewed French petrol company Total’s licence to prospect for oil off the coast of Moroccan-controlled Western Sahara. Morocco annexed the territory following Spain’s withdrawal in 1975. A UN-brokered ceasefire was reached between Morocco and the Polisario Front, on the condition that a referendum about self-determination be held. No referendum has been held to this day, and supporters of Sahrawi self-determination say that Morocco is strengthening its control over the region by granting oil contracts. The Polisario Front considers the licences granted to French Total and American Kosmos to prospect for oil illegal. Continue reading

‘France rules out Western military intervention in southern Libya,’ al-Jazeera (Qatar), 10 February 2014

France, who recently sent troops to northern Mali to fight armed Islamists, has ruled out Western intervention in southern Libya, at the request of Niger, who is concerned of the area becoming an even greater hotbed for terrorism. Continue reading

Cheb Khaled leaves Morocco permanently for Paris after disagreements with his aide, Ad-Dustour (Jordan), 16 December 2013

After disagreements with one of his aides and becoming disenchanted with Algerian criticisms of his residence in Morocco, Rai superstar Cheb Khaled has decided to permanently relocate to Paris to live with his wife and daughters.

Continue reading

France prepared to offer its experience to destroy Syrian chemical weapons, Al-Quds (London), 19 November 2013

France has offered its expertise to assist the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to destroy Syria’s remaining chemical weapons arsenal. France, along with Albania and Belgium, have refused to accept the weapons themselves on their territory.

Continue reading

First Moroccan-French Gay Marriage, Al-Quds (London), 11 November 2013

أول زواج مثلي مغربي فرنسي

باريس ـ بعد الحصول على حكم قضائي يأذن لهما بالارتباط، عقد دومنيك ومحمد قرانهما مساء السبت الماضي في حفل بسيط حضره 15 شخصا من المقربين جدا

وجاء ذلك في تصريح لمحاميهما، الذي أضاف أن موكليه توخيا أكبر قدر من السرية

وحاول هذا الزوج المثلي الارتباط في 14 أيلول/ سبتمبر الماضي، وحجزا قاعة الاحتفال وبعثا الدعوات، إلا أنهما أُبلغا برفض النيابة العامة إتمام الزواج قبل يومين من التاريخ المحدد

كان هذا الرفض بناء على الاتفاقية التي تربط المغرب بفرنسا، والتي تقضي بأن يتزوّج الموطنون المغاربة حسب قوانين بلدهم، والمغرب كبلد إسلامي يحرم الزواج المثلي

وهناك عشرة بلدان أخرى ممن تربطهم بفرنسا اتفاقيات شبيهة لا تسمح قوانينهم بالزواج المثلي كـ: تونس والجزائر ولاووس وكامبوديا وسلوفينيا والبوسنة وصربيا وكوسوفو وبولونيا ومونتينيكرو

لجأ المعنيان بالأمر إلى القضاء الفرنسي الذي يفصل للمرّة الأولى في قضية تتعلق بالزواج المثلي بين مواطن فرنسي وأجنبي

صدر الحكم لصالحهما، لكن النيابة العامة قامت باستئنافه، غير أن محكمة الاستئناف في “شومبري” أيدت الحكم الابتدائي
وهناك احتمال أن ترفع النيابة العامة القضية أمام المجلس الأعلى



First Moroccan-French Gay Marriage

11th November 2013

Paris – After receiving a court ruling permitting them to get engaged, Dominique and Mohammed held their wedding last Saturday evening in a simple party attended by 15 very close friends.

This comes from a statement by their lawyer, who added that his clients have the greatest secrecy in mind.

The gay couple tried to get engaged on September 14th, booked an event hall, and sent out invitations, however  they were informed of the Prosecutor General’s rejection to complete the marriage, two days before the set date.

The rejection was based upon an agreement linking Morocco and France, which requires Moroccan citizens to marry according to the laws of their country. Morocco, as an Islamic country, forbids gay marriage.

There are ten other countries connected to France by similar agreements which do not allow gay marriage in their laws: Tunisia, Algeria, Laos, Cambodia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo, Poland, and Montenegro.

The two men referred the issue to the French judiciary, which ruled favourably for the first time in the case of a gay marriage between a French citizen and a foreigner.

The ruling was released in the couple’s favour, but the Prosecutor General appealed it. However, the court of appeals in Chamber upheld the initial ruling.

There is a possibility that the Prosecutor General will raise the issue before the Supreme Court.

Translation by Kevin Moore.

Article available at Al-Quds Al-Arabi.