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Archive for Algeria

Newsline: Audits on ‘higher fraud-risk’ Canadian embassies find undocumented payments

The audits in Nigeria, Algeria, Russia, India and Kenya were ordered after a probe found Canada’s embassy in Haiti was defrauded of $1.7M over 12 years. Audits of five Canadian embassies operating in “higher fraud-risk environments” have found cases of questionable procurement practices, undocumented payments for work, and sky-high levels of overtime for drivers. The audits were ordered after a 2016 investigation discovered that Canada’s embassy in Haiti was defrauded of $1.7 million over 12 years through inflated supply contracts and diverted materials. The government fired 17 locally recruited employees over the case. Management audits were conducted on Canadian embassies in Nigeria, Algeria, Russia, India and Kenya, as well as on Canada’s embassy in South Korea as a low-risk environment for comparison purposes. The audit on the Nigeria embassy was the most damning, concluding that protocols around “finance, procurement, contracting, revenues, and asset management were not consistently followed and some key controls were not in place or were circumvented.” Several dubious payments were found, including one case where the contract was signed after the work had already commenced, another where the overtime was paid at a higher rate than in the contract, and another where the value of the contract was “significantly exceeded without a contract amendment.”

Audits on ‘higher fraud-risk’ Canadian embassies find undocumented payments, ballooning overtime costs


Newsline: Algeria to reopen Libya embassy ‘soon’

Algeria has announced plans to reopen its embassy in Tripoli, foreign minister Abdelkader Messahel told Algerian parliamentarians this week. “Algeria will be in Tripoli soon,” he responded when asked in parliament on the embassy’s position in Libya. Algeria withdrew its envoys from Tripoli in 2014 along with other diplomatic missions but has since kept a close eye on the situation in neighbouring Libya. It has played an active mediating role in promoting agreement among Libyan players on the basis of the UN-backed Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) that was signed in Morocco in 2015 but has yet to be implemented. Messahel did not reveal a date as security clearance will be necessary before the capital is deemed safe. In January 2015, after the mission had been withdrawn, the embassy building was bombed allegedly by Islamists in which two diplomatic guards and a passer-by were injured.


Newsline: Algeria summons Moroccan ambassador in row over Syrian refugees

Algerian Foreign Ministry summoned Morocco’s ambassador here on Sunday in protest of Morocco’s accusations that Algeria expelled Syrian refugees into Morocco. “Following serious accusations by Moroccan authorities that blame Algeria for forcing Syrian refugees to illegally enter Moroccan territories from the two countries’ shared border, Algeria has expressed to the Ambassador of Morocco its categorical rejection for these false allegations,” a ministry statement said. Earlier on Sunday, Moroccan media reported that 55 Syrian refugees from Algeria were left helpless near the country’s borders with Algeria, noting that Moroccan authorities prevented them from entering the country and accused its western neighbor of forcing them into Morocco.


Newsline: Algeria confirms death of general consul in Mali

Algeria confirmed the death of its general consul in Mali, who was kidnapped by a militant group in the African country in April 2012. The Algerian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the general consul died of illness in Mali, while his deputy was executed by the militant group Tawhid and Jihad. The ministry also confirmed the release of two more diplomats who were kidnapped by the same militant movement in April 2012. The private Algerian TV Echorouk reported the release of the two diplomats in Mali. The TV added, however, that the fate of a third Algerian diplomat kidnapped by the same group remains uncertain. In April 2012, seven Algerian diplomats kidnapped from the Algerian consulate in Gao Region, northeastern Mali. The movement later released three diplomats, but it executed one more diplomat.


Newsline: Algeria closes embassy in Libya

The Algerian government said it has closed the Algerian Embassy and Consulate General in Libya and recalled diplomats and staff. “Following information about the existence of real and imminent threat targeting our diplomats and consular staff, it has been decided, in coordination with the Libyan authorities, to close our embassy and consulate general in Tripoli as precautionary and urgent measure,” The Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The statement noted this decision is “temporary and dictated by the difficult security conditions,” while underlining Algeria’s “solidarity” with the people and the authorities of Libya.


Newsline: Egyptian embassy in Algeria secures release of Egyptian sailor

The Egyptian embassy in Algeria has managed to secure the release of an Egyptian sailor who was on board a foreign ship held at the Algerian port of “Djen Djen” since July 2013. The Swedish ship “IOS” has been held in the Algerian port since July with six Egyptian sailors on board due to a dispute over the vessel’s ownership. The Egyptian sailors rejected leaving the ship except after receiving their financial dues. In statements to the Middle East News Agency (MENA), Egypt’s Ambassador in Algiers Ezzeddin Fahmy said a role was played by the Algerian authorities for deporting the Egyptian sailor, although no final solution has been reached so far.


Newsline: Morocco recalls ambassador from Algeria over Western Sahara

Morocco recalled its ambassador to Algeria on Wednesday after Algeria’s ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika said international monitoring of human rights in Western Sahara was needed “more than ever.” Morocco’s official MAP news agency hit back accusing Algiers, which backs the pro-independence Polisario Front, of seeking to further “its hegemonic designs in the region.” It also charged that Algeria was trying “to distract attention from the serious rights abuses which take place daily on its territory.” Algeria’s Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra then responded back calling on Morocco to show restraint, saying “this incident, as well as the outrageously expansionist statement by the leader of a Moroccan political party, are totally unacceptable and irresponsible.” He said Bouteflika’s comments were “a reminder of Algeria’s well-known position.” The Algerian president’s call for a mechanism to protect Sahrawi rights follows a U.S. proposal in April, angrily rejected by Morocco and later dropped, to task the U.N. peacekeeping force in the Western Sahara with a human rights monitoring mandate. Morocco annexed the former Spanish colony in 1975 in a move never recognized by the international community, and has proposed broad autonomy for the territory under its sovereignty. This notion is rejected by the Polisario guerrillas, who are based in the western Algerian city of Tindouf and fought Moroccan troops for a decade and half until the United Nations negotiated a ceasefire in 1991.