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Algeria sacks Air Algerie Marketing Director over Morocco-linked advert campaign

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The Algerian government has sacked the Marketing Director of Air Algerie, Bekhouch Elach, following a marketing campaign based on the country’s checkered history with neighbours Morocco.

The ministry cited mismanagement of resources days after the airline shared a post showcasing Tlemcen’s Moroccan heritage in the marketing campaign which Algeria sees as promoting the Moroccan heritage.

Also terminated were the contracts of two senior officials working at its flag carrier Air Algerie, following the scandal brought about by the advert campaign.

The First Ministry on Monday, announced the news of the sacking of the Air Algerie’s president and general director and another official whose name was not disclosed in the report.

Days before the decision, Air Algerie had come under fire for posting a Facebook advertisement explaining Tlemcen’s Spanish and Moroccan heritage, but the airline retracted the post hours later after a lot of backlash from the public.

As part of its marketing campaign, Air Algerie had shared an initial Facebook that read:

“Proud of its prosperous, glorious history, its Spanish-Moroccan runes, and its Andalusi style, Tlemcen is a city of art and history earning her the nickname of the ‘Pearl of the Maghreb.’”

But following public outrage, the airline put up another post hours later taking out all parts mentioning Morocco or Spain, were scrapped hours later, with a new post reading:

“Proud of its prosperous history, Tlemcen is a city of art and history earning her the nickname of the ‘Pearl of the Maghreb.’”

The adverts was seen as being offensive as it was not the first time Algeria has appeared to be attempting to rewrite history with the country notoriously claiming parts of Morocco’s heritage as its own, including Moroccan cuisine and traditional outfits, acts that have brought about tensions between the two countries.

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Burkina Faso expels 3 French diplomats over ‘subversive activities’

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According to a letter quoted by Reuters on Thursday, three French diplomats have been sent back to France by Burkina Faso’s military government for allegedly being involved in actions that are against the government.

The letter sent April 16 to the French embassy said that the three diplomats, two of whom were named as political advisers, were told they were not welcome in the country and had 48 hours to leave.

A request for comment was sent to the French foreign ministry, but they did not reply right away.

The West African country which is one of five countries in the subregion now run by a military has had a diplomatic rift with France, which used to colonize it. Since then, Ouagadougou has kicked out French troops, forced France to recall its minister, and shut down some French media.

In the last three years, there have been five coups in the area, with most serving relations with France. Recently, the World Bank warned that the most recent coup in Niger could make things more difficult for food markets in Nigeria and other West African countries.

According to someone who was there and knew what was going on but asked not to be named, the officials were kicked out because they met with people from civil society.

Rights groups around the world have said that Burkina Faso’s junta is violating people’s right to free speech and intimidating critics while it tries to handle a security crisis caused by rebels with ties to Iran and Al-Qaeda.

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Nigeria: Senate President wants police rid of bad officers 

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Nigeria’s Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, has asked the police to get rid of bad officers. He also promised that the National Assembly would work with and back the police to make Nigeria safer.

Akpabio said this at the first Nigeria Police Awards and Commendations Ceremony, which took place in Abuja on Monday night. The Senate President commended the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, and the rest of the Nigeria Police leadership for putting together the event. He also told them to use it to celebrate the force’s accomplishments and reaffirm their promise to work together to make Nigeria safer.

He stated,  “I commend the Police for this maiden effort in organising this awards ceremony. It is a testament to IGP Egbetokun’s commitment to giving honour to whom it is due.

“By recognising the gallant, selfless and patriotic contributions of individual officers, we not only motivate them for higher performance but also reinforce the new policing agenda of the Force.

“This agenda focuses on internal ethical regeneration, restoration of professional standards and the enhancement of the anti-corruption drive.

“However, let us not ignore the challenges faced by the police in Nigeria. The ever-evolving landscape of crime and the increasing sophistication of criminal gangs pose significant obstacles. “

“Moreso, as we honour the good officers, let us weed out the bad ones because a chain is as strong as its weakest link. We must address these issues and work together to find solutions, he emphasised.

In front of Vice President Kashim Shettima and other important people, Akpabio said, “As the leader of the National Assembly, I pledge our full cooperation and support for better cops in Nigeria.”

“We recognise the importance of a well-equipped and motivated police force in ensuring the security and well-being of our citizens.

“We will continue to work tirelessly to provide the necessary legislative framework and resources to enable the police to carry out their duties effectively.”

Statista data shows that most Nigerians did not trust the cops at all in 2020. In cities, where six out of ten people who answered the survey said they didn’t believe the police, this lack of trust was higher. Also, 19% of the people interviewed in Nigeria’s cities and 26.8% of those interviewed in the country’s rural areas said they merely trusted the police.

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