Thousands of Moroccans protest against US Jerusalem embassy move

Demonstrators wave flags as they stage a protest to condemn the Israeli fire along the Gaza Strip at United Nation plaza in Casablanca, Morocco, Wednesday, May 16, 2018. (AP)
Updated 20 May 2018
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Thousands of Moroccans protest against US Jerusalem embassy move

  • More than 10,000 Moroccans chanting “Death to Israel” took to the streets of Casablanca on Sunday
  • The US opened its embassy in Jerusalem on May 14, moving it from Tel Aviv

CASABLANCA: More than 10,000 Moroccans chanting “Death to Israel” took to the streets of Casablanca on Sunday to protest against the US decision to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
The marchers carried Palestinian flags and placards that read “Al Quds (Jerusalem) Palestine’s eternal capital.” Most appeared to be Islamists, with women wearing headscarves and marching separately from men.
The US opened its embassy in Jerusalem on May 14, moving it from Tel Aviv, a move that reversed decades of US policy and delighted Israel and infuriated Palestinians.
The status of Jerusalem is one of the thorniest obstacles to forging a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, who with broad international backing want East Jerusalem, captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war, as their capital.
Israel regards all of the city, including the eastern sector it annexed after the 1967 conflict, as its capital. The administration of US President Donald Trump has said the city’s final borders should be decided by the parties.
On the day the United States opened its new embassy, Israeli troops killed 60 Palestinian demonstrators near the border in Gaza. Israel says the violence was incited by Hamas, the Islamist group that runs Gaza. Hamas denies blame.
The Casablanca protest had been called by a coalition of four parties including the Islamist opposition group Al-Adl Wal Ihsan which is seen as Morocco’s most powerful opposition group in terms of rallying supporters on the street.


UN calls on Libya to crack down on violent militias

Khalifa Haftar. (Supplied)
Updated 21 August 2018
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UN calls on Libya to crack down on violent militias

  • Libya remains divided between the UN-backed GNA in Tripoli and a rival administration in the east supported by military strongman Khalifa Haftar
  • Tripoli office to a more “secure” location after threats from militiamen against its employees

TRIPOLI: The UN has called on Libya’s internationally recognized government to crack down on armed groups obstructing the work of state institutions in the chaos-wracked country.
The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) late on Sunday night expressed its “strong condemnation of the violence, intimidation and obstruction to the work of Libya’s sovereign institutions by militiamen.”
It called on the UN-backed Government of National Accord to “prosecute those responsible for these criminal actions.”
The GNA’s military and security institutions have failed to place limits on the powerful militias that sprung up in the turmoil that followed the 2011 ouster of dictator Muammar Qaddafi.
Several state institutions, including those in Tripoli, have been regular targets of harassment and intimidation by armed groups technically operating under the GNA’s Interior Ministry.
Members of militias “nominally acting under the Ministry of Interior of the Government of National Accord are attacking sovereign institutions and preventing them from being able to operate effectively,” UNSMIL said.
Last week, the GNA’s National Oil Corp. said men from the Interior Ministry had forced their way into the headquarters of Brega Petroleum Marketing Company — a distribution outfit — to “arrest” its chief.
The Libyan Investment Authority, the GNA-managed sovereign wealth fund, recently moved from its downtown Tripoli office to a more “secure” location after threats from militiamen against its employees.
UNSMIL said it would work with the international community and the GNA to “investigate the possibility of bringing sanctions against those interfering with or threatening the operations of any sovereign institution.”
Libya remains divided between the UN-backed GNA in Tripoli and a rival administration in the east supported by military strongman Khalifa Haftar.
A myriad of militias,terrorist groups and people traffickers have taken advantage of the chaos to gain a foothold in the North African country.