Archive for Algeria
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.
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.
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.
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.
The British, German, Dutch and French embassies in Yemen will be closed over ‘increased security concerns’, the European countries have announced. They blamed an ‘increased threat’ from al-Qaeda. France will close its embassy in Yemen for several days, while Germany and Britain will close theirs for two days on Sunday and Monday. Previously the French Foreign Ministry has said that the Embassy would only be shut on Sunday. Germany also warned its citizens from traveling to the country and that the situation there “is uncertain in the future”. The British embassy in Yemen will close temporarily after escalating violence and terrorist threats, the Foreign Office said Friday. While the Embassy will operate with an “essential staff,” all other British citizens were advised to leave Yemen. The British Foreign Office, which announced the Sana’a embassy would be closed from August 4 to 5, is in close contact with US officials. Meanwhile, US embassies will be closed in Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Mauritania, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. Canada meanwhile has announced that its embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh would be closed on Sunday for the “safety and security of our personnel.” The Dutch embassy will also be closed on Sunday, according to Al Jazeera.
President Abdelaziz Bouteflika decided to reopen the Algerian Embassy in Baghdad and assign Abdelkader Sha’a, former General Consul in Saudi Arabia, as new ambassador. The decision aims to bolster relations between the two countries which after eight years of tension on the background of the abduction and assassination of an Algerian diplomat in Baghdad. The decision came as an indication that Algerian and Iraqi officials were eager to further discuss several pending the files namely the one concerning the status of Algerian prisoners in Iraq.
Federal officials “summoned” the Algerian ambassador in Ottawa to a meeting this week to press for proof that Canadians were involved in the recent deadly attack on a natural gas plant in the north African country, a Canadian government official said. The official, who requested anonymity, said Canadian diplomats in Ottawa and Algiers are seeking access to whatever information the Algerians are using to identify any of the militants as Canadian. “Canada summoned the Algerian ambassador to Canada to make that point directly,” the official said. The official said the in-person meeting between the ambassador and Canadian officials took place Monday but declined to provide further details. As of Tuesday afternoon, the Canadian government had received “no information” regarding the identities of the militants involved, according to a statement from Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird’s office. Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal told reporters Monday that last week’s four-day siege at the sprawling complex, which left 37 hostages and 29 militants dead, was carried out by a group of attackers that included two Canadians. The others were from Egypt, Mali, Niger, Mauritania and Tunisia, Sellal said.