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Algerian Pilots Suspended For Allowing Ten Years Old Fly Passengers

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Two pilots of Air Algerie have been suspended for allowing a 10-year-old orphaned boy to control a domestic passenger flight in fulfilment of his dreams.

According to local media, the pilots were suspended because the act was a breach of civil aviation regulations.

The boy’s adventure was filmed by a TV crew as part of a charity initiative and aired on local television station El Bilad on July 26, reports say.

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The pilots were suspended on July 29 for investigation into the incident, it added.

The number of passengers in the flight is unknown.

The boy, dressed like a pilot, was filmed seated in the cockpit and pushing buttons under the supervision of the two pilots during a flight from the capital Algiers to Setif in the east.

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The video showed the boy being taken around the plane before take off.

Below is the video of the boy’s adventure aired by El Bilad TV.

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Algeria – 12 Years After In Terrorist Strongholds, Extremist Surrenders

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Algeria- An armed Algerian extremist left terrorist strongholds and surrendered to local military authorities after spending 12 years in the ranks of extremist groups.

Meanwhile, the Algerian army command announced dismantling thousands of anti-personnel mines, dating back to the French colonial period between 1830 and 1962.

On its official website, Algeria’s Ministry of National Defense described the terrorist who surrendered on Sunday in El Milia as “dangerous.”

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“D. Fares” aka “Abu Osama,” who had joined terrorist groups in 2005, had a Kalashnikov type machine gun, ammunition and a pair of binoculars, said a statement from the Defense Ministry.

The Ministry neither did mention the organization to which the terrorist belonged nor the crimes he may have committed while operating; however, the most famous extremist groups is known as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, formerly known as the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC).

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In this context, the Ministry launched again an appeal to remaining terrorists to seize the opportunity and benefit from the regulations in force, like those who surrendered to the security authorities.

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Egypt – Al-sisi Discusses Libyan Crisis With African Ministers

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President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi received on Wednesday Bichara Issa Djadallah, the Chadian defence minister.

The meeting discussed military cooperation in light of the common challenges of terrorism expansion and securing borders with Libya amid the ongoing turmoil.

Al-Sisi further spoke about the need to work on developing infrastructure and transportation among African countries to enhance development within the continent.

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In a separate meeting with the Algerian minister for foreign affairs, Al-Sisi underlined the importance of restoring stability in Libya through respecting its sovereignty over its territory and through promoting political solutions and unity among its institutions and people.

He further said he encouraged finding “Arab solutions to Arab problems” by developing the role of the Arab League by combining Arab efforts.

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Algerian Prime Minister Refutes Racist Comments By His Country Men Against Sub-Saharan African Migrants

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Rabat – Abdel Tebboune, the Prime Minister of Algeria has denied racism by his countrymen against Sub-Saharan African migrants. Abdelmajid said his people are not racist.

Tebboune addressed the issue during a discussion on Friday at the National Popular Assembly (lower house of Algerian Parliament).

“On social media there are some calls to expel Sub-Saharan refugees,as if we [Algerians] were racist,” he said. The Prime Minister countered this, saying “we are not racist. Algeria is committed to open its doors for African and Arab refugees in line with our traditions of hospitality.”

The  Twitter hashtag“#??_????????_??_???????“  (No to African immigrants in Algeria) that surfaced on a few days ago called for the expulsion of these refugees.

While these calls have been denounced by Tebboun and many Algerians online, Algerian authorities have recently acted seemingly in accordance with this hashtag.

In December 2016, the Algerian government was criticized after a massive wave of arrests and deportations of Sub-Saharan migrants. Human Rights Watch denounced the “summary” deportations, calling on the Algerian government to halt the operation.

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“A mass and summary deportation of migrants, including men and women who may have fled persecution or have worked for years in Algeria, would violate their rights,” said HRW’s Middle East and North Africa director Sarah Leah Whitson.

“The right of a country to control its borders is not a license for lawlessness.”

French language media both in Algeria and abroad described the “shameful” massive operation targeting the immigrants as “the chase of the black man”.

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1,400 immigrants were tracked down by forces and shoved into buses that took them to Tamenrasset in the Algerian desert before they were their deported.

“If the reputation of Sub-Saharan Africa has long been built on its animal safaris where tourists from the North came to chase exotic animals, Algeria seems to have turned into a master in the game ofthe hunt of prey – also from Sub-Saharan Africa –  but of humans”, remarked Jeune Afrique.

The well-known French language magazine pointed out that the Sub-Saharan man-hunt was not the first in Algeria. In August 2016, around 400 immigrants from Mali were targeted.

Some Algerian media outlets started spreading conspiracy theories about a ”secret French and Zionist plot” to undermine Algeria’ security through pushing a large number of Sub-Saharan migrants into the country.

In another shocking accusation, Farid Ksentini, head of a state body in charge of promoting human rights, said Sub-Saharan migrants are responsible for the spread of HIV in Algeria.

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Sub Saharan are not the only group of migrants apparently facing a hard time in Algeria.

In April 2017, Morocco accused Algeria of expelling 55 Syrian refugees into Moroccan territories. Algeria denied the accusations, but was unable to provide another version of the incident. This echoes 2014 when Algerian authorities pushed Syrian refugees into Moroccan soil twice, in January and March.

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Is Algeria Tomorrow’s Battleground For Islamic State And Al-Qaeda?

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ALGIERS – In a new blow for the Islamic State (IS) group in Algeria, the Ministry of Defence last Sunday announced that it had killed “two dangerous terrorists,” one of whom led a local affiliate in the country.

Noureddine Laouira, aka Naoura aka Abu al-Hammam – not to be confused with Yahia Abou al-Hammam, the emir of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in the Sahel – was the leader of the el-Ghoraba (Constantine and its surroundings) militia, which affiliated itself to IS after splitting from AQIM in July 2015.

Originally centred in Faubourg Lamy, a working-class neighbourhood in Constantine, IS has benefited from the eradication of the area’s shanty town and the exodus of its population towards the new town of Ali Mendjeli, about 15 km out of Constantine, an inland city in northeast Algeria, where the group has now also began to extend its influence.

Noureddine Laouira, alias Abou al-Hammam (capture d’écran Ennahar TV)

According to information collected by Middle East Eye, both men killed at the weekend were previously identified and followed because of intelligence received by the Algerian security forces.

These forces preferred to wait until the militants were isolated in the Djebel El Ouahch district, which overlooks the town of Constantine, so as to minimise any collateral damage or risk of escape.

The authorities claim to have found on Abu al-Hammam the exact weapon, a Beretta 92, which was used to shoot Amar Boukaabour, a policeman killed by three gunshots in October in Constantine, a shooting later claimed by IS.

“The murder was attributed to Abu al-Hammam, who is suspected of also having plotted the aborted attack against the Constantine police station on 26 February, claimed by IS. Even if the suicide bomber came from Jijel [which is outside the IS base in Constantine], it is known that the el-Ghoraba militia organised the plot,” an Algerian security source told MEE.

Three groups, barely a hundred men

Despite its notorious beginnings – with the kidnapping and killing of French hiker Herve Gourdel in September 2014 and the defection of a number of leading figures from AQIM – IS has not managed to develop its Wilaya al-Djazair (or Algeria province) – the name given by IS to all of its dormant urban cells and active armed divisions in the Algerian hills.

Hervé Gourdel, the French hostage kidnapped and assassinated on 23 September 2014 by a group claiming to be Islamic State (Twitter)

According to security sources, its current manpower is estimated to be just 80 men, spread across three groups.

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“In the east, there is the el-Ghoraba militia [in the Constantine area], and the al-Itissam militia [in the Skikda area], also known under its new name of Ansar al-Khilafa. Alone, these two count around 50 or so men.” There are also “former soldiers from the GIA [an armed organisation from the 1990s], whose role is mostly linked to coordination and logistics,” a military source said.

The Ansar al-Khilafa group emerged from the Katiba of Shuhada (martyrs) of AQIM. The Katiba of Shuhada had settled in the difficult-to-reach and wooded region around Skikda, on the Gulf of Stora, northeast of Constantine, at the beginning of the 2000s. It followed the decision by many Skikda, Jijel and Berber groups to abandon militancy for the Peace and National Reconciliation Charter, which provided amnesty for all armed Islamist fighters who chose to give up fighting.

This group, which is still active, is reportedly led by Amar Lemloum, aka Zakaria al-Djidjeli. Since the summer of 2015, the army has put pressure on the region by deploying over 4,000 men, in operations which have seen many killed.

“At the centre, in the triangle of Bouira-Boumerdes-Bejaia [Kabylie], was the group named Jund al-Khilafa [Caliphate Soldiers]. Since its presumed leader, Othmane al-Acimi, was killed in May 2015, the identity of its emir is unknown,” the military source said.

“We do not know who the emir is who leads all of the groups. The name of Abu al-Hammam has been put forward, but we know this is not the case.”

Losses which are not compensated for by recruitment

It is considered unlikely Abu al-Hammam had been the overall IS leader in Algeria, firstly because he only became a militant in 2008 and had previously been only a junior member of AQIM.

“He is therefore considered as ‘new’ and cannot, in this capacity, claim such a responsibility,” said the military source.

“A further clue lies in the fact that he was killed when travelling with his deputy. However, if he was emir, there would be at least four or five militants around him,” the source said.

The emir of the Wilaya al-Djazair also does not, according to him, personally take part in any direct action in the city, such as that of the assassination of the policeman in Constantine.

“Finally, the most influential group affiliated to IS is that of Jund al-Khilafa, as shown by the most significant operations led by the Algerian army since 2014 in the Bibans mountain range. In an operation in February, to the northeast of Boura, 14 terrorists and nine soldiers were killed. It is therefore impossible that, whilst the largest force of IS is in this area, the emir would be located in Constantine” – around 300km to the east.

‘It should not be forgotten that for a terrorist, the greatest victory is that of staying alive’

Anti-terror expert

With an average of 200 men across all groups killed each year by the army, armed groups in Algeria are today facing major difficulties, suffering losses for which new recruitment cannot compensate.

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This is to such an extent that, according to an Algerian security source contacted by MEE, local IS leaders had asked for men from cells in Tunisia and Libya to join.

“If we look closely at the profile of terrorists eliminated in recent years, we can note that they joined the militancy before 2010,” a leading figure in the fight against militancy told MEE.

“This shows that they are struggling to recruit. Algerians are either eliminated during military operations, or they want to benefit from the Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation. This is why newcomers are primarily foreigners from Mali, Morocco, Niger, Tunisia and Libya.”

Abou Walid al-Sahraoui, a dissident from the Belmokhtar group, may be at the head of the largest group in North Africa claiming to be IS (Al-Jazeera screen shot)

However, this optimism is not shared in the intelligence services.

“It is true that they have been weakened and, for some, extremely isolated. However, it should not be forgotten that for a terrorist, the greatest victory is to remain alive,” one anti-terror expert said.

“They know that they have everything to gain in staying hidden whilst awaiting a more favourable situation, such as for instance political instability. In this instance, overnight, they can once more recruit and become operational. Complete eradication is impossible and this is where the risk lies.”

AQIM have the advantage over IS

Meanwhile, the emir of AQIM seems to have had a lot more success than his IS counterparts.

Abdelmalek Droukdel, who is almost 50 years old, had become very isolated over the years. From the mountains of Kabylie in the north of the country, where he is presumed to be hiding, he has seen his organisation develop over the years, and steadily gained influence in the Sahel region, although his original central ground has weakened.

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He remained a spectator of the most recent significant last movement when the merger was announced in a video by the group led by Mokhtar Belmokhtar (al-Mourabitoune) with the group led by the Malian Touareg Iyad Ag-Ghali (Ansar Dine) and that of Djamel Okacha, aka Yahia Abou al-Hammam (Emirate of Sahara, a branch of AQIM).

Abdelmalek Droukdel, the Emir of AQIM, isolated but alive (screen shot)

The new movement, called “Islam and Muslim Support Group,” has sworn allegiance to Ayman al-Zawahiri, the present leader of al-Qaeda. “Emails have been intercepted by the Western security services in November and December 2016 between Ayman al-Zawahiri, Iyad ag-Ghali and Djamel Okacha,” said an Algerian security source.

“The Emir of al-Qaeda asked the jihadist chiefs in northern Mali to unite under the same commander in order to present the activities in northern Mali as a legitimate resistance against the French occupation,” he said.

In a statement on Saturday, the group claimed responsibility for an attack on 29 March that killed three members of Mali’s security forces near the border with Burkina Faso.

The attack was the second operation claimed by the group after it said it had been responsible for killing 11 soldiers in the same area on 5 March.

While AQIM has also lost a lot of men, according to the intelligence services, the organisation still has around 500 members. Above all, it has shown, over time, a remarkable ability to adapt.

‘AQIM has rectified its fighting and communication tactics so as to minimise its losses’

An Algerian military source

“It has faced the desertion of a large portion of its directors to IS” but “it has rectified its fighting and communication tactics so as to minimise its losses,” a military source said.

“AQIM’s advantage over IS, beyond the number of people, is that it has vast knowledge of the field and expertise related to its number of years in terrorism. And, above all, it has the best casemates [shelters] to hide.”

Confronted with this, Islamic State is seeking to survive while awaiting a possible return of IS fighters from Syria or Libya.

“The expression ‘residual terrorism’ used by the authorities is realistic. However, in the case of IS as in that of AQIM, it is important not to underestimate the threat,” the expert said. “Overnight, in a favourable context, they could regenerate.”

This article was originally published on Middle East Eye’s French page.

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Faces of Algerian female election candidates to be displayed after order

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The run-up to Algeria’s legislative election has taken a new turn after the national election body ordered political parties to display photos of female candidates on their posters instead of a blank image.

This age-old practice in the conservative Bordj Bou Arréridj Province in eastern Algeria will end after the political parties assented to the directive and 48-hour ultimatum to reprint posters or risk being disqualified, state news agency APS reported Tuesday.

FILE – In this Sunday, April 9, 2017 file photo, a passerby looks at electoral campaign posters for the upcoming legislative election in Algiers, Algeria. Algerian politicians have kicked off their campaign for parliamentary elections next month – but the biggest campaign issue is voter apathy in a country where young people see no job prospects and authorities have struggled for decades to keep Islamic extremism at bay. (AP Photo/Anis Belghoul, File)

The High Authority for Election Monitoring (HIISE) in the province took the decision after social media campaigns against the practice.

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The decision not to display photos are largely made by the candidates as other women have theirs displayed.

This kind of exclusion is dangerous, illegal and unconstitutional, especially as these women are candidates going to represent the people. The citizen has the right to know the person to vote for.
“This kind of exclusion is dangerous, illegal and unconstitutional, especially as these women are candidates going to represent the people. The citizen has the right to know the person to vote for,” local portal Algerie-Focus quoted Hassan Noui, an HIISE official.

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The election body also called on the local authorities and Ministry of Interior to take appropriate legal measures at the local and national level to put an end to the practice.

However, the head of the civil society group Movement of Society for Peace (MSP) Abderezak Mokri condemned the order describing it as illegal.

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He told local newspaper Ennahar that the candidates will file a court action if they are disqualified.

Political parties cited as culprits include the Socialist Front Forces (FFS), the Ennahda-Adala-Bina alliance, the Algerian National Front (FNA), the Algerian Front for Development, Freedom and Justice (FADLJ) and the National Militants Front (FMN).

23, 251,503 voters are set to elect 462 members of the People’s National Assembly (APN-Lower House) in Algeria’s legislative elections on May 4, 2017.

Campaigning started early April.

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Afro Basketball – Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia set to battle for two FIBA AfroBasket 2017 places

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ALGIERS (FIBA AfroBasket 2017) – Three North African national teams on Thursday will begin a battle for two places for the FIBA AfroBasket 2017 Final Round in Congo-Brazzaville in August.

Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia – the three FIBA Africa Zone 1 national teams available for the qualifier – will play the first leg in Algeria from March 16-18 with the second leg to follow in Tunisia from March 24-26.

The teams that finish first and second will qualify for the Final Round (19-30 August).

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Thursday will see Algeria take on Morocco, before Morocco go up against Tunisia on Friday and Saturday’s final action will see Algeria and Tunisia square off.

Morrocco needed overtime to beat Algeria 86-81 at FIBA AfroBasket 2013

While Morocco and Tunisia have become regulars at recent editions of FIBA AfroBasket, Algeria are trying to mix among the top-16 African teams.

Two years ago, the Algerians needed a wild card invitation for FIBA AfroBasket 2015 while Morocco successfully finished top of the regional qualifier ahead of Libya and Algeria.

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At first glance, Morocco and Tunisia emerge as the strongest contenders, but Algeria head coach Ahmed Loubachria is not backing down and they look a lot more confident for the qualifiers.

“The best teams will win,” he said. “Those two teams have dominated the region over the last decade but anything is possible in basketball. We are going to play against teams with 12 players like us.”

Meanwhile, Tunisia will enter the qualifier with a new head coach – Mario Palma replacing Adel Tlatli who was with the team over the last decade – and without two key players: Salah Mejri and Michael Roll, who are expected to join the team if the former African champions advance to Congo-Brazzaville.

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Dating back to FIBA AfroBasket 2013, Tunisia currently hold a 2-0 head-to-head advantage over Morocco.

Players to watch at the FIBA Africa Zone 1 Qualifiers: Mehdi Cheriet (Algeria), Abdlehakim Zouita, Soufiane Kourodu and John Williams (Morocco) and Makrem Ben Romdhame (Tunisia).

Via FIBA!

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Algerian Foreign minister declares support for Syria’s Assad

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The Algerian foreign minister has announced his country’s support for Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in the face of what he said was “terrorism”. Ramtane Lamamra praised Assad’s “victory in “restoring his sovereignty and the city Aleppo.”

Lamamra made his comments when answering a question about a report issued by a Belgian study centre which warned Europe of a possible social explosion in Algeria due to the political and economic crisis, and compared the situation in the country with Aleppo.

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“The people who issued the report have bet on the victory of terrorism in Aleppo and other places,” he suggested. “Before terrorism was defeated in Aleppo, they believed that they can drop their ideas on Algeria.”

This is the first time that Algeria has announced its clear support for Assad since the outbreak of the Syrian war in 2011.

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Importation Of Food Products: Prices Declining

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The import prices by the Algeria of food and food products, for the vast majority, dropped in the first seven months compared to the same period in 2015 2016, learns the APS to the Ministry of trade. In the category of raw materials for the food industry, prices fell to 322 dollars per ton (usd/t) for hard wheat (-31,63% compared to the same period in 2015), to 192 usd/t for soft wheat (-25%) and 183 usd/t for corn (-10,3%). For its part, the purchase price of the milk powder was 2.319 usd/t (-21,34%).
 
The decline in import prices has also affected the brown sugar to 371 usd/t (-1.6%) and raw oils (declines ranging from 1.6% a14, 43%) except for raw coconut oil (+ 6.52%) and other raw food oils (+ 46.4%). For the grocery category, the import prices have increased for coffees roasted to 15.408 usd/t (+ 50.01%), infant milk to 6.861 usd/t (+ 4.5%) and tea to 2.287 usd/t (+ 2.5%).
 
On the other hand, a drop hit triple tomato concentrate in 864 usd/t (-26,8%), double concentrated tomato to 1,327 usd/t (-9,5%), tomato paste to 1.169 usd/t (-19,4%), pasta to 1.714 usd/t (12,5%), not roasted to 2,074 cafes usd/t (-11,67%), rice with 527 usd/t (-8,8%) and white sugar at 519 usd/t (-0.2%). For dried vegetables, declines were observed for dried beans to 917 usd/t (-34%) and dry peas to 531 usd/t (-28,63%). On the other hand, the import prices increased for the lenses to 1,079 usd/t (+ 15.15%) and chickpeas to 1.190 usd/t (+ 10.3%). As for garlic, it was imported to nearly 1,670 usd/t (+ 55.35%).
 
With respect to fresh fruits, apples were imported to 826 usd/t (+ 18.2%) and bananas to 721 usd/t (-2.2%). For meat and fish, prices declined for the beef chilled to 3.552 usd/t (-12,02%), for those frozen at 3.028 usd/t (-10,4%) and for fish frozen at 1,518 usd/t (-5.8%). The main countries supplying the Algeria in milk powder are among 18 which the first 5 are the New Zealand (37.6% of overall imports), the France (16.2%), the Argentina (14.3%), the Poland (10.1%) and Uruguay (9.1%). For raw food oils, almost all of the quantities imported was conducted by 6 leading operators including a private company which remains in first place with 58% of the total quantity imported.
 
Importation of sugar, this same private company remained dominant in providing 85% of the total imported. As white sugar, it is found that a proportion of 63.85% was imported by 6 private companies. About the coffee, not roasted, the major importers are 7 with nearly 70% of the total imports, while for coffee roasted, two importers have achieved over 30% of global imports. With regard to the cement, its average import prices declined to 64 usd/t against 84 usd/t (-23,3%)

 

Bananas and apples: more than 162 million dollars of imports

 

With respect to fresh fruits, it was imported to 112.7 million usd of bananas during the first 7 months of 2016 ($ 107 million usd over the same period to 2015) and 49.4 million usd of apples ($ 78.6 million usd).
The Bill was $ 25.1 million for the almonds ($ 22.4 million usd), $ 16.7 million of raisins ($ 20.5 million usd) and 4.7 million usd of dried apricots (against us $ 5.8 million), while imports of dry prunes totalled 9,59 million usd ($ 9.68 million usd). It is, moreover, found that costs of the imported garlic is passed on to 12.7 million usd ($ 9.2 million usd).

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Level Leaders And Local Governments: President Bouteflika Operates A Vast Movement

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The President of the Republic Abdelaziz Bouteflika, conducted Thursday in a movement in the body daïras chiefs, directors of regulatory and corporate affairs, directors of local administration and inspectors general of wilayas, in accordance with Article 92 of the Constitution.

This movement includes the transfer decisions executives totaling more than five years seniority in their current positions and promotion of cadres in vacancies, says the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government in a statement. “Promotions in this movement enshrine the principle of integration of young professionals and the advancement of women in occupying positions of responsibility in local communities,” said the source.

The movement regards the transfer of 177 heads of daïras and promotion of 100 frames as Head of Daira. This is also the mutation of 9 directors regulatory and corporate affairs (DRAG) and the appointment of 8 frames as DRAG. As directors of local government (DAL), was taken to the transfer of 11 DAL and promotion of 9 frames as DAL.

Regarding the inspectors general of wilayas (IGW), the motion concerns the mutation of 3 IGW and promotion of 4 frames as IGW.“This movement is in addition to that carried in the body of Secretaries General of wilayas (SGW) which involved the transfer of 6 SGW and promotion of 7 frames as SGW,” says the source.

Via EL MOUDJAHID!

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Algeria And The 2017 African Cup Of Nations

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The 2017 African cup of Nations edition will take place in January 2017 in Libreville, Gabon. 

The tournament is held once in every two years.

 

Sixteen countries managed to make it including the hosts Gabon after they qualified successfully.

Our focus for today will be on Algeria alias “The Desert Lions” and their chances of winning the forthcoming African cup of Nations. 

 

Algeria is ranked among the top African teams by the world Football Governing body; FIFA.  Globally it is ranked position 35, and position one in Africa. It has won the cup once in 1990.    

In their last twelve matches, Algeria managed to win eight, drawn three and lost one thus classifying it as a strong team with a good display. 

 

The country has high profile players who play in top world clubs:-

Riyad Mahrez  (Leicester), Yacine  Brahine (Porto),  Islam slimani  (Leicester), El Arabi Soudani (Dinamo Zagreb).

 

The following are the countries that are going to participate as grouped:

– 

Group A:

Gabon – Burkina Faso – Cameroon – Guinea-Bissau. 

Group B:

Algeria – Tunisia – Senegal – Zimbabwe 

Group C:

Ivory Coast – DR Congo – Morocco – Togo

Group D:

Ghana – Mali – Egypt – Uganda 

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