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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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Look beyond Lungu, Hichilema, former minister Siamunene urges Zambians

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Former Defense Minister, Richwell Siamunene, suggests Zambians should see beyond President Hakainde Hichilema and Edgar Lungu if recent reconciliation efforts failed.

Siamunene made the position known while guesting on Saturday’s Prime Television Governance and Leadership Talk. “They needed to reconcile like yesterday. But if they fail to reconcile, Zambians should forget about them and choose other leaders among the 20 million citizens. Life shouldn’t be about the two,” he said.

Siamunene said the appeal for Presidents Lungu and Hichilema to reconcile was long overdue and that Zambians should turn elsewhere if they don’t while also urging the public to refrain from ‘joking when voting’ to enhance governance

“I think Zambian voters joke a lot when voting. We need to be as serious as Zambians; that is why the country is in this situation,” Siamunene said.

He stressed that ethnically motivated leadership was harmful.

Siamunene believed that leaders should be chosen based on their ability to advance development, not their wealth or education.

“Once you become a leader of the country, you cease to be family property and become part of the Zambian family. No friends or family considerations should influence decisions,” he said.

He underlined the necessity for exceptional leadership to fight corruption, saying that waiting for the President to authorize probes makes it academic.

Hichilema at his sixth attempt at winning the presidency in 2021 defeated the incumbent, President Edgar Lungu, by a landslide – more than a million votes. Hichilema capitalized on the failings of Mr. Lungu’s six-year tenure which was criticized for human rights abuses, corruption, a faltering economy, and high unemployment. The two politicians have remained political enemies despite recent talks of reconciliation.

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Tunisia’s Kais Saied eyes reelection despite human rights concerns

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In one of over twenty presidential elections scheduled to be held across Africa in 2024, Tunisian President, Kais Saied, declared his intention to seek reelection on October 6.

According to Saied, the goal of the campaign is “to continue the national liberation struggle,” as stated in a Facebook video posted by the presidency.

The government of Saied has been accused by opposition parties, many of whose leaders are incarcerated, of pressuring the courts to punish his opponents in the 2024 elections so that he may be elected to a second term.

On the same day that opposition leader Lotfi Mraihi, a possible presidential contender, was sentenced to eight months in prison for allegedly purchasing votes, the bid to run for reelection was made public.

Additionally, the court permanently barred Mraihi, the head of the Republican Union Party and a vocal opponent of President Kais Saied, from standing for office.

The opposition claims that unless imprisoned politicians are released and the media is free to operate without interference from the government, no fair or credible elections can be place.

The opposition has referred to Saied’s 2021 dissolution of the parliament and transition to executive order as a coup. Saied was elected in 2019.

According to the president, putting a stop to years of widespread corruption within the political class required judicial action.

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