Egypt: Pentathlon World Cup victory and prison swap for Yemen
Egypt came out on top in the 2023 Pentathlon World Cup when Mohanad Shaban claimed the gold medal, while Ahmed El Gendy secured the bronze. The tournament was held in Prague, Czech Republic, from April 13-17 with athletes from more than 50 countries competing. Meanwhile, Egypt has praised the prisoner swap that took place between the Yemeni government and Houthi militias. The swap, which was facilitated by the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross, has been seen as a significant move towards peace and stability in Yemen.
Morocco: Tougher sentences handed down in child rape case
An appeals court in Morocco has increased the sentences given to three men who raped an 11-year-old girl. Originally sentenced to between five and 10 years in prison, the men will now serve between 10 and 20 years behind bars. The decision followed a wave of public outrage over the initial sentences handed out to the men last year. In other news, the ninth edition of the Mohammed VI Prize for Moroccan decorative art is now open for submissions until June 30. The prize is aimed at promoting traditional Moroccan crafts and is open to all Moroccan artists and craftspersons.
Tunisia: New film festival and meeting on water stress
Tunisia is to host the second edition of the Master International Film Festival (MIFF) from May 6-13 in Yasmine Hammamet. The festival, which was first held in 2019, aims to promote emerging talents in the film industry. Meanwhile, President Kais Saied and Minister of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries Akissa Belati met recently to discuss the issue of water stress in Tunisia. The meeting took place against a backdrop of increasing climate change concerns in North Africa and seeks to highlight ways that Tunisia can manage its water resources more efficiently.
Western Sahara: Polisario Front renews commitment to United Nations
The President of the Polisario Front, Brahim Ghali, has reaffirmed his party’s full commitment to working with the United Nations to resolve the conflict over Western Sahara. The disputed territory has been the subject of a long-running conflict between the Polisario Front and the Moroccan government. Ghali’s comments come after he returned to Western Sahara following a visit to Spain, where he underwent medical treatment. The Polisario Front is seeking to secure its independence from Morocco and establish Western Sahara as a sovereign state.
Morocco: Brits learn about development in Dakhla-Oued Eddahab
A delegation of British parliamentarians visiting Morocco have been learning about the country’s development initiatives in the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab region. The delegation, which visited the area on April 13 and 14, met with a variety of community leaders and stakeholders to learn more about the region’s economic, social, and cultural development. Meanwhile, an appeals court in Morocco has handed down tougher sentences in a case involving the repeated rape of an 11-year-old girl. Three defendants who had originally been sentenced to between five and 10 years in jail will now serve between 10 and 20 years.
Tunisia: Calls for new laws amid political crisis
Members of Tunisia’s parliament have stressed the need for new laws to address the country’s ongoing political, economic, and social crisis. Speaking at a plenary on April 12, politicians highlighted the need for a new set of parliamentary rules of procedure, as well as additional laws to tackle areas such as corruption and bureaucracy. The country has been undergoing a period of turmoil since the 2019 presidential and legislative elections, with various groups jostling for power and influence. The situation has been worsened by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Tunisia: Film and fishing on the agenda
Tunisia is set to host the Tarifa-Tangier African Film Festival, which will feature Tunisian director Erige Sehiri’s new film, “Under the Fig Trees.” The event will take place from June 10-18 in Tarifa, Spain, and Tangier, Morocco. Meanwhile, the Tunisian Observatory of Economy has held a meeting to discuss ways to develop the country’s fishing industry, and to promote the use of sustainable and ecologically-friendly harvesting practices. The event focused on initiatives to valorize sea products, with a focus on the island of Jerba Ajim.