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Morocco urges UN to end Polisario ‘provocation’

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Morocco’s King Mohammed VI on Friday asked the United Nations to take urgent measures to end “provocation” by the Algeria-backed Polisario Front threatening the ceasefire in the disputed Western Sahara.

Morocco insists that the former Spanish colony is an integral part of its kingdom, but the Polisario is demanding a referendum on self-determination.

The two sides fought for control of the Western Sahara from 1974 to 1991, with Rabat gaining control of the territory before a UN-brokered ceasefire took effect.

Mohammed VI spoke on Friday with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to deplore “repeated incursion by armed Polisario men” in the Guerguerat district, a royal court statement said.

The king said that Polisario “provocation” and “premeditated” action in the region took place a month before Morocco rejoined the African Union in January.

Morocco had quit the then Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1984 after the bloc admitted the former Western Sahara as a separate member.

Mohammed VI urged Guterres to “take urgent and necessary measures to put an end to this inadmissable situation which is seriously threatening the (1991) ceasefire and placing regional stability at risk,” the statement said.

Tensions flared last year after the Polisario set up a new military post in Guerguerat district near the Mauritanian border, within a stone’s throw of Moroccan soldiers.

The move came after Morocco last summer started building a tarmac road in the area south of the buffer zone separating the two sides.

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Motherland News

Ghana: video of police assault on nursing mother goes viral

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Ghana’s social media space – Facebook and Twitter – has been buzzing with a call for the arrest of a police officer for assaulting a nursing mother.

A viral video shows the said officer in what starts like a tussle with the woman in a banking hall. Subsequently, he is seen hitting the woman with an umbrella, punching and slapping her on the face.

Reports indicated that the woman, a client of the savings and loans company, where the incident occured had arrived when the company had closed.

She ostensibly got in despite the close of business and refused to leave till she could withdraw a sum of 250 cedis ($50). Social media users are calling for the immediate arrest of the police officer. 

Local media portals also report that the police heirachy has confirmed that a probe had been opened into the alleged incident and that due process was going to be pursued.

The video continues to be widely shared on Facebook with some prominent media personalities joining the calls for justice for the woman.

 

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Trump extends Somali immigrants’ stay in US

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Somalis living in the United States under protected status have been given permission by the Trump administration to remain in the country for at least another 18 months, because of ongoing violence in the North African nation.

At least 500 Somalis in the United States with Temporary Protected Status will be able to re-register for an extension of their status through March 17, 2020, according to a Thursday statement from the Department of Homeland Security. The status grants beneficiaries the ability to legally work while they are in the United States.

 

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