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Growing human rights violations in Algeria a great concern – UN

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The United Nations has raised serious concern about the human rights violations and growing restrictions imposed by the Algerian Government.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, said she is concerned about the growing restrictions on fundamental freedoms, including the increasing number of arrests and detentions of human rights defenders, members of civil society and political opponents in Algeria.

The UN high commissioner said, “In Algeria, I am concerned about the growing restrictions on fundamental freedoms, including the increasing number of arrests and detentions of human rights defenders, members of civil society and political opponents”.

This came out in Ms. Bachelet’s latest annual report on the situation of Human rights in the world, according to North Africa Post.

In this report submitted Tuesday to the 49th session of the Human Rights Council, Ms. Bachelet has called on the Algerian government to change course and take all necessary steps to end its repression and guarantee its people’s rights to freedom of speech, association and peaceful assembly.

The systematic violations of human rights and the repression of Hirak activists in Algeria had been denounced by several regional and international organizations, including the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and UN special rapporteurs.

For its part, the European Parliament had adopted, in less than a year, two successive resolutions on the alarming human rights situation in Algeria, while several MEPs have condemned the continuing oppression, prosecution and harassment of the Hirak militants by the Algerian military regime.

Musings From Abroad

Italian firm, Eni signs $8 billion Libya gas deal as PM Meloni visits Tripoli

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With the aim of boosting energy supplies and other markets, Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) signed an $8 billion gas production deal with Italian energy company Eni.

The deal, which comes despite the insecurity and political chaos in the North African country was signed during a visit to Tripoli by Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, aims to increase gas output for the Libyan domestic market as well as exports, through the development of two offshore gas fields.

Meloni met Libya’s Prime Minister Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah, head of the internationally recognised Government of National Unity (GNU) in Tripoli for talks that also focused on migration across the Mediterranean.

At a joint news conference with Descalzi, the NOC chief, Farhat Bengdara, said the gas deal had a duration of 25 years and called it the most important new investment in Libya’s energy sector for a quarter of a century.

According to a statement by Eni’s chief executive, Claudio Descalzi, the output will begin in 2026 and reach a plateau of 750 million cubic feet per day.

“This agreement will enable important investments in Libya’s energy sector, contributing to local development and job creation while strengthening Eni’s role as a leading operator in the country.”

Since the beginning of the current Russia/Ukraine war, European countries have sought alternate gas sources outside Russia. Italy on its part has already taken a lead in sourcing gas from Algeria, building a new strategic partnership there that includes investment to help state energy company Sonatrach reverse years of declining output.

Libya is the fourth natural gas producer on the African continent, and oil and gas resources largely contribute to Libya’s export trade. The country developed a strong oil sector after major oil discoveries in the late 1950s.

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Musings From Abroad

EU chief, Josep Borrell, wants South Africa to influence ceasefire with Ukraine

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The regional bloc,  European Union wants South Africa to influence Russia to stop its ongoing war with Ukraine.

The EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Friday raised expectations that the African country will use its good relations with Russia to convince it to stop the war in Ukraine.

Borrell, while speaking alongside South Africa’s foreign minister Naledi Pandor in the capital Pretoria, said “The EU isn’t asking South Africa to choose sides, just asking countries across the world to stand with the UN Charter.”

The EU considers South Africa an important partner in the rules-based international order, he added.

Pandor said: “It is not just South Africa and other African countries that must play a role in seeking peace.”

Full diplomatic relations between South Africa and Russia were established in 1942 as the Soviet Union. Russia has an embassy in Pretoria and a consulate-general in Cape Town. South Africa has an embassy in Moscow.

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