Algeria

  1. Algeria bans Moroccan flights from its airspace

    Map of North Africa

    Algeria has closed its airspace to all Moroccan civil and military aircrafts, the Algerian presidency has said.

    The move was announced "in view of the continued provocations and hostile practices on the Moroccan side", according to the statement.

    This comes less than a month after Algeria cut diplomatic relations with Morocco.

    The decision was arrived at after a meeting of the High Security Council chaired by President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.

    The move will only affect 15 weekly flights, which link Morocco with Tunisia, Turkey and Egypt, a source at Royal Air Maroc (RAM) is quoted by Reuters news agency as saying.

    The source described the impact on RAM as "insignificant" and said the relevant flights could reroute over the Mediterranean.

  2. Algeria's ex-President Bouteflika buried

    BBC World Service

    People put roses at the burial site of former Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika at El Alia cemetery, in Algiers, Algeria September 19, 2021

    The funeral of Algeria's former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has taken place in Algiers, without the fanfare accorded to previous leaders.

    His body was carried by a tank for burial at El-Alia cemetery, where his predecessors and other independence fighters are also interred.

    A convoy transporting the coffin of former Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika heads towards El Alia cemetery in which he will be buried, in Algiers, Algeria September 19, 2021

    Mr Bouteflika died on Friday at the age of 84.

    He ruled Algeria for two decades but was forced from power two years ago by mass protests.

    His brother Said, who's serving a prison sentence for corruption, was allowed to attend.

    Read: From child prodigy to octogenarian leader

  3. Judoka gets 10-year ban for Israel boycott

    Alan Johnston

    BBC Middle East analyst

    The International Judo Federation (IJF) has imposed 10-year bans on an Algerian player and his coach because they pulled out of the Olympics in order to avoid a bout with an Israeli.

    The IJF said Fethi Nourine and Amar Benikhlef had used the Tokyo Games as a platform for protest and the promotion of propaganda.

    The Algerian player said his support for the Palestinian cause had made it impossible for him to compete.

    Algeria's Olympic team in Tokyo
    Image caption: Fethi Nourine pulled out of the Tokyo Olympics shortly before they began
  4. Algeria arrests dozens of separatists

    Algeria authorities have arrested 27 suspected members of a separatist group that has been declared a "terrorist" organisation.

    Police accuse them of being part of the Movement for the Autonomy of Kabylie (MAK) that is seeking independence for the Kabylie region.

    The group was declared a terrorist organisation after last month's wildfires that killed 65 people.

    The 27 were arrested on Monday, days after clashes between protesters and police in Kherrata town.

    Police say officers were injured during the incident.

    The suspects have been accused of attempting "to sow terror and strife among citizens by order of parties abroad".

  5. Tunisia’s ex-presidential candidate charged in Algeria

    Ahmed Rouaba

    BBC News

    Nabil Karoui
    Image caption: Nabil Karoui ran in Tunisia's presidential election in 2019

    Former Tunisian presidential candidate Nabil Karoui has been charged with entering Algeria illegally and sent to jail while awaiting trial.

    A court in the province of Constantine, in the east of Algeria, ordered that Mr Karoui and his brother, Ghazi, who is an MP, be imprisoned pending prosecution, local media reported.

    Mr Karoui, the leader of the second largest party in Tunisia, had been arrested last month together with four others, including his brother, in the border city of Tebessa, where they were hosted by a local.

    In 2019, Mr Karoui was jailed in Tunisia for six months while running his presidential campaign. He was released but is still under investigation for money laundering and tax evasion.

    The wealthy businessman who owns of Nesma TV channel denies any wrongdoing.

    The Tunisian authorities are believed to have requested his extradition from Algeria.

  6. Algeria to play in Morocco despite severed ties

    Ahmed Rouaba

    BBC News

    The Algerian national team will play the football World Cup qualifier against Burkina Faso in the Moroccan city of Marrakech as scheduled.

    There were speculations the fixture would be moved to a different venue after Algeria severed ties with Morocco following a diplomatic fallout, built up over years of strained relations.

    An Algerian football official confirmed in a video released on the football association website that the game would go ahead as scheduled.

    Amin Abdi said: "the Algerian football delegation has visited the facilities dedicated to host the Algerian national team in Marrakech and have been well received by their Moroccan counterparts".

    Marrakech was designated to host the game between Burkina Faso and Algerian on 7 September because Ouagadougou Stadium was suspended by the African Football Confederation.

  7. Tunisia ex-presidential candidate seized in Algeria

    Ahmed Rouaba

    BBC News

    Tunisian presidential candidate, Media mogul Nabil Karoui during a presidential campaign rally on October 11, 2019
    Image caption: Mr Karoul is the leader of the second largest party in parliament

    Tunisian media mogul and ex-presidential candidate Nabil Karoui has been arrested in Algeria for illegally entering the country.

    Mr Karoui, who owns Nesma TV, was arrested in the city of Tebessa on the Tunisian border together with four others including his brother Ghazi who is a member of parliament.

    Mr Karoul is also leader of the second largest party in parliament Qalb Tounes (the heart of Tunisia).

    In 2019 he was arrested in Tunisia during his presidential campaign - which current president Kais Saied won in a runoff with a landslide - and put in custody for more than six months.

    He still is under investigation for money laundering and tax evasion after being released in June. He denies the allegations.

    He is expected to appear before an Algerian court on Monday.

  8. Paralympics: First medal for Algeria with judo gold

    Ahmed Rouaba

    BBC News

    Algeria's Cherine Abdellaoui has won gold in the women's 52kg judo event at the Paralympics in Tokyo.

    The 22-year-old beat her Canadian opponent Priscilla Gagne. A perfect present on the eve of her birthday.

    Judo at the Paralympics is only open to athletes with a visual impairment.

    The official Paralympics Twitter account said it was a tough fight for Abdellaoui - who won bronze at Rio in 2016 - to win Algeria's first gold of the Games:

    View more on twitter
  9. Algeria to cut gas supplies to Morocco

    Ahmed Rouaba

    BBC News

    Workers riding bikes leaving the In Amenas gas plant, 1,300km (800 miles) south-east of Algiers, Algeria -  January 2018
    Image caption: The oil and gas sector is the backbone of Algeria's economy

    Algeria has announced it will not renew a gas-supply agreement with Morocco days after severing diplomatic relations with its North African neighbour.

    Rabat is currently taking 900,000 cubic metres per year of Algerian natural gas from the Maghreb-Europe pipeline, which runs from Algeria to Spain and Portugal through Moroccan territories.

    The contract with Morocco expires in October.

    In a meeting with the Spanish ambassador, Energy Minister Mohamed Arkab said Spain's gas would be provided in future via an alternative pipeline called Medgaz, which connects from Beni Saf in Algeria to Almeria in Spain without going through Morocco.

    It has capacity of eight billion cubic metres a year, which can be increased, according to Mr Arkab.

    On Tuesday, Algeria cut ties with Morocco, accusing Rabat of "hostile actions" for backing Tizi Ouzou separatists.

    Morocco has dismissed the accusations as "absurd".

    The two countries have long had a fractious relationship - especially over the disputed territory of Western Sahara.

  10. Morocco rejects Algeria's reasons for severing ties

    Ahmed Rouaba

    BBC News

    Algeria fires
    Image caption: Algeria has accused members of the MAK separatist movement of starting forest fires

    Morocco has rejected reasons put forward by Algeria in its decision to sever diplomatic relations with its North African neighbour.

    Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra announced his country’s decision on Tuesday to cut all ties with Morocco for "hostile acts".

    Algiers accused its neighbour of providing support to members of the MAK separatist movement, which is fighting for self-determination in the Kabylie region of Algeria.

    MAK is believed to have started forest fires in Algeria, and is also accused of involvement in the killing of a man mistaken for an arsonist.

    In response, the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: "Morocco rejects this unjustified decision. The pretext is fallacious and absurd.

    "The Moroccan kingdom will however remain a credible and loyal to the Algerian people and will continue to act with wisdom."

    The Algerian foreign ministry had previously summoned the Moroccan ambassador over remarks the Moroccan envoy to the UN had made backing the separatist movement in Algeria.

    Rabat has not provided a response to Algiers questions. This is believed to have exacerbated the row between the two countries and led to Algeria severing all ties.

    Morocco has also been accused of using Israeli technology to spy on journalists and foreign officials, including Algerian military and political leaders. The Moroccan government denies this.

    The already fractious relations between Algeria and Morocco over Western Sahara has worsened recently with Rabat re-establishing diplomatic relations with Israel.

  11. Algeria cuts ties with Morocco over 'hostile acts'

    Ahmed Rouaba

    BBC News

    A wildfire in Algeria - August 2021
    Image caption: Morocco has been accused of backing a separatist movement that officials believe started fires in Algeria

    Algeria has severed all ties with Morocco, accusing its North African neighbour of “hostile acts”.

    The move comes a week after Algeria accused Morocco of complicity in starting recent forest fires that ravaged coastal regions.

    “We have decided to sever diplomatic relations with Morocco staring from today,” Algeria’s Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra said at a press conference.

    "The Moroccan kingdom has never stopped its hostile actions against Algeria."

    Algeria has also been upset by recent accusations that Morocco used Israeli technology to spy on journalists and political leaders, including high-ranking Algerian political and military officials. These allegations have been denied by Rabat.

    The two countries have long had a fractious relationship - especially over the disputed territory of Western Sahara.

    Morocco has annexed the region, however Algeria backs the Polisario Front, which has been fighting for independence of the former Spanish colony for the Saharawi people since the 1970s.

    The border between Algeria and Morocco has been closed since 1994.

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  12. Algeria cracks down on TV satellite stations

    Ahmed Rouaba

    BBC News

    The Algerian government has shut down two private TV channels for breaching broadcast regulations.

    El Djazairia One channel has been closed permanently and with immediate effect - though the communications ministry did not specify exactly what broadcast rules had been broken.

    But the ministry said the owners of the channel had been charged with the illegal transfer of money and money laundering.

    El Bilad TV has had its licence revoked for a week for failing to protect children by repeatedly showing pictures showing the killing of artist Djamel Ben Ismail in the recent wild fires.

    He was lynched by a crowd after being wrongly suspected of starting some forest fires, when he had come to help put them out.

    The authorities exercise broad control over the media in the North Africa nation.

    Until 2014, a state monopoly forced private satellite TVs to operate from outside Algeria.

    Less than 10 are now authorised to operate within the country.

  13. Algeria declares Morocco a 'hostile’ country

    Ahmed Rouaba

    BBC News

    A house burns during a wildfire in Tizi Ouzou, one of the most populous cities in Algeria's Kabylie region, on August 10, 20
    Image caption: The decision was made in a meeting of the High Security Council assessing the damage caused by huge wildfires

    Algeria has decided to review its relations with Morocco, accusing its neighbour of hostile acts.

    It follows an investigation into the killing of man falsely accused of starting wildfires.

    "The repeated hostile acts committed by Morocco against Algeria require a review of our relations and the intensification of border controls," the Algerian president’s office said in a statement.

    The decision was made in a meeting of the High Security Council assessing the damage caused by huge wildfires that hit the country.

    The authorities have concluded the majority were "criminal acts".

    They accuse Morocco of "backing" a separatist group suspected of being involved in criminal activity in the Kabylie region, including the killing of a man falsely accused of starting forest fires.

    The Algerian police investigating the killing of Djamel Bensmail by a mob in the province of Tizi Ouzou have released a video of suspects confessing to the crime and to being members of the MAK separatist group.

  14. Algeria accuses separatists of wildfire lynching

    Ahmed Rouaba

    BBC News

    Algeria wildfire
    Image caption: More than 90 people including 33 soldiers have perished in wildfires

    Algerian authorities say they have established with "scientific and technical" evidence that separatists were involved in the killing of a man falsely accused of starting forest fires in the province of Tizi Ouzou.

    Videos released by the police show suspects confessing to beating up and burning to death Djamel Bensmail, who had travelled 123 miles (197km) from his province of Ain Defla to help battle wildfires.

    Some suspects also confessed to being members of the Movement for the Autonomy of Kabylie (MAK) which seeks to split the Berber-speaking region from the rest of Algeria.

    More than 90 people including 33 soldiers have perished in wildfires that have hit northern Algeria - mainly the provinces of Tizi Ouzou and Bejaia.