16 Dead, Three Injured In Algerian Car Crash

The Algerian flag.

 

Sixteen passengers died and another three were injured, mostly sub-Saharan Africans, on Monday when two pickup trucks collided in southern Algeria, rescue services and local media reported.

The accident took place on a highway in the country’s desert south, the civil protection agency said on Facebook.

Out of the 16 victims, 14 were from African countries further south and two were Algerians, according to local media, which said the accident took place between Reggane and Bordj Badji Mokhtar in the vast country’s southwest.

READ ALSO: At Least 19 Killed In Egyptian Minibus Accident

The government’s road safety agency blames speeding, both by private drivers and public transport, for Algeria’s high rate of accidents.

In 2021, Algeria recorded more than 7,000 traffic accidents which killed at least 2,643 people and left in excess of 11,000 injured.

Algerian roads are among the most dangerous in the region but other North African countries also see thousands of road deaths annually.

AFP

Adidas, Morocco Resolve Row Over Algeria Football Jerseys

Morocco’s culture ministry has accused Adidas of appropriating Moroccan culture in its new jerseys for Algeria’s football team.

 

 

German sportswear giant Adidas said Friday a row with Morocco over a design on a football top for arch-rivals Algeria had been resolved, and that it regretted the controversy.

Last month, Rabat asked Adidas to axe the new tops, accusing it of appropriating “Moroccan cultural heritage” due to the use of a pattern known as “zellige”, common in Moroccan ceramic mosaics.

A lawyer acting for the culture ministry demanded the withdrawal within two weeks of the jerseys which he claimed was “inspired” by the colourful Moroccan designs.

Adidas reported Friday a “positive resolution” to the dispute following talks with the ministry, and the tops, worn by the Algerian team for pre-match warm-ups, will not be withdrawn.

“The design was inspired indeed by the zellige mosaics pattern, and was at no time intended to offend anyone,” said the company in a statement.

“We would like to express our deep respect to the people and craftsmen of Morocco and regret the controversy surrounding this case.”

Mourad Elajouti, the lawyer acting for the culture ministry, welcomed the news, saying the case highlighted “the importance of defending our cultural heritage and the ancestral know-how of Moroccan craftmanship”.

But there were signs of fresh problems for Adidas — local media in Algeria reported the country’s football federation is not satisfied with the sports giant, and is thinking of terminating its contract with them.

An Adidas spokesman said he would not comment on press speculation.

On September 23, Adidas released on Twitter a photo of the new 2022-2023 season kit for the Algerian national team it said was “inspired by culture and history”.

The design, according to Adidas, drew its inspiration from the Mechouar Palace in Tlemcen, in northwestern Algeria.

Ties between Morocco, which has qualified for the World Cup finals that kick off in Qatar next month, and Algeria, which has not, have long been shaky.

The neighbours are at odds over the disputed territory of Western Sahara, where the Algiers-backed Polisario Front is seeking independence from Rabat’s rule.

Algeria severed ties in August 2021, accusing Rabat of “hostile acts”, a move which Morocco said was “completely unjustified”.

Algeria Beat Depleted Super Eagles Side

Super Eagles. [email protected]

 

Algeria defeated a depleted Super Eagles side 2-1 in a friendly game on Tuesday in Oran. 

Nigeria were without key players including Napoli forward Victor Osimhen; defender William Troost-Ekong among others for the clash in the North African nation.

But Jose Peseiro’s men took the lead just eight minutes into the game when Terem Moffi struck for Nigeria. That was his first goal for the country in five games.

Manchester City star Riyad Mahrez levelled things for the Fennecs in the 40th minute when he converted from the spot.

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A Youcef Atal cracker, 21 minutes later, condemned the Peseiro to his first defeat to an African side since taking over the team earlier in the year.

While Tuesday’s game is just the second friendly between the nations, Nigeria and Algeria have played 21 times.

They were nine wins for each of the teams while three ended in draws.

Just last week, Nigeria had battled to a 2-2 draw with the Algerian home-based side. Both sides did not qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar but the games were expected to get the Nigerian gaffer better acquainted with the players.

Super Eagles’ Goal Is To Win Next AFCON, Says Peseiro

Super Eagles head coach Jose Peseiro. [email protected]

 

Super Eagles Head Coach Jose Peseiro has set his sights on winning next year’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). 

Nigeria last won the competition in 2013 and were one of the favourites heading into the 2021 tournament but surprisingly capitulated to Tunisia in the round of 16. The three-time continental champions also lost the 2022 World Cup ticket to rivals Ghana.

But Peseiro, who took over after the twin disappointments, is optimistic about Nigeria clinching the next edition of the championship.

“Algeria is a good team. Of course, our goal is to win the next AFCON, but for that, we need to create the habit to win, it’s the main point,” the coach said ahead of the friendly tie with the 2019 champions.

“You introduce some younger players, introduce the tactical works, introduce the situation and dynamics, but at the same time, you want to win; you must create the habit to win. Every time, we want to win, to become the best national team in Africa, we must create that habit, and we want to win.”

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Precautionary Move

The Portuguese also spoke about the injury to Leicester City star Wilfred Ndidi who left the team’s camp on Thursday.

He said: “I think I have a better relationship with our older players and Ndidi, when he came, the fitness coach from Leicester City sent for our fitness coach because we have that connection with them saying that he (Ndid) complained in the last match.

“He (Ndidi) did training, small training because of the condition of the hamstring. I was around yesterday and I said I think it’s better we don’t use them because I don’t want to use an injured player in a friendly match because he can get more injured.”

Ndidi last featured for Nigeria in the AFCON tie against Tunisia. He missed out on the double-legged World Cup playoff with the Black Stars of Ghana.

Nigeria’s game against Algeria will hold on Tuesday, September 27th, 2022 in Oran, Algeria. The time for the match is 8:00 pm (WAT).

Algeria 2023: Super Eagles Team B Depart Cape Coast On Friday

Home-based Super Eagles players. [email protected] NGSuperEagles

 

Nigeria’s contingent to Sunday’s 7th African Nations Championship qualifying match against Ghana will storm the city of Cape Coast on Friday.

Head Coach Salisu Yusuf and his assistants have been working on 34 invited players for the past few weeks, and a final list of 22 players for the trip and for the return leg in Abuja on Saturday next week will be released just before the squad jets out on Friday morning.

Sunday’s clash will take place at the Cape Coast Stadium, starting from 4 pm Ghana time (5 pm Nigeria time).

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The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has picked Beninoise officials to take charge of the encounter, with Issa Mouhamed as the referee. His compatriots Eric Ulrich Ayimavo will be assistant referee 1, with Koudogbo Kougbemede as assistant referee 2 and Tanisla Ahomlanto as the fourth official.

Prince Kai Saquee from Sierra Leone will be the match commissioner while Sanusie Rashid, another Sierra Leonean, will be the referee assessor.

The return leg will hold at the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja on Saturday, 3rd September.

Death Toll From Algeria Wildfires Rises To Over 40

File photo of an Algerian flag.

 

The death toll has climbed to at least 43 from wildfires that have raged for days in northern Algeria, with numbers expected to rise further, the gendarmerie said Monday.

Thirteen people have been arrested over suspicion of involvement in starting the fires, it added.

“The latest toll of victims from the fires increased to 43,” from 38 recorded two days earlier, the gendarmerie command said on state radio.

Fires had swept through 14 wilayas, or administrative councils, in the north of the country, with most concentrated in the northeastern El Tarf region near the border with Tunisia.

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The gendarmerie, which operates under the defence ministry, added that they are still working on identifying the bodies of the victims.

The death toll is expected to increase, it said, despite earlier reports that the fires had mostly been contained.

Civil protection services said some 31 fires were put out in various parts of the North African country between Saturday and Sunday.

More than 1,000 families were evacuated from various districts over the past few days, the civil defence’s Colonel Boualem Boughlef said on Saturday.

The fires, which have become a yearly fixture due to climate change, have devastated thousands of hectares (acres) of woodland in the mostly-desert country.

Fires last year killed at least 90 people and seared 100,000 hectares (247,000 acres) of forest and farmland in the north.

AFP

26 Dead As Forest Fires Spread In Algeria

File photo of an Algerian flag.

 

At least 26 people died and dozens of others were injured in forest fires that ravaged 14 districts of northern Algeria on Wednesday, the interior minister said.

Kamel Beldjoud told state television that 24 people lost their lives in fires in El Tarf, near the border with Tunisia, in addition to two others who died earlier in Setif.

The civil protection agency in Setif had said that two women, “a 58-year-old mother and her 31-year-old daughter”, were killed in the town.

In Souk Ahras, farther to the east near Algeria’s border with Tunisia, people were seen fleeing their homes as fires spread before firefighting helicopters were deployed.

An earlier toll said four people in Souk Ahras suffered burns and 41 others had breathing difficulties, the authorities said. Media reports said 350 residents had been evacuated.

No updated toll was given on the number of people injured in the fires in other areas.

The gendarmerie has closed several roads as a result of the fires.

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“Thirty-nine fires are underway in 14 wilayas (administrative councils),” the civil protection agency said, noting that El Tarf was the worst hit, with 16 fires in progress.

Helicopters used bambi buckets to drop water on fires in three wilayas, including Souk Ahras.

Since the start of August, 106 fires have broken out in Algeria, destroying more than 2,500 hectares of woodland.

Beldjoud said some of the fires were started by people.

Wednesday’s toll brings the total number of people killed in wildfires this summer up to 30.

Algeria is Africa’s largest country but it only has 4.1 million hectares (10.1 million acres) of forest.

Each year the north of the country is affected by forest fires, a problem that has worsened due to climate change.

Last year, at least 90 people died in forest fires that ravaged northern Algeria, destroying more than 100,000 hectares of woodland.

AFP

Nigeria, Algeria, Niger Discuss Gas Pipeline To Europe

In this file photo taken on November 08, 2011 the Nordstream gas pipeline terminal is pictured prior to an inaugural ceremony for the first of Nord Stream's twin 1,224 kilometre gas pipeline through the baltic sea, in Lubmin November 8, 2011. John MACDOUGALL / AFP
PHOTO USED TO ILLUSTRATE STORY: In this file photo taken on November 08, 2011 the Nordstream gas pipeline terminal is pictured prior to an inaugural ceremony for the first of Nord Stream’s twin 1,224 kilometre gas pipeline through the baltic sea, in Lubmin November 8, 2011. John MACDOUGALL / AFP

 

African energy giants Algeria, Nigeria and Niger signed a memorandum of understanding Thursday on a vast gas pipeline project offering Europe potential future alternatives to Russian supplies, state media reported.

The Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline (TSGP) would transport billions of cubic metres of gas some 4,128 kilometres (2,565 miles) from Nigeria in West Africa, north through Niger and on to Algeria.

From there it could be pumped through the Mediterranean undersea Transmed pipeline to Italy, or loaded onto liquefied natural gas tankers for export.

On Thursday, Algerian Energy Minister Mohamed Arkab hosted his counterparts from Nigeria and Niger, Timipre Sylva and Mahamane Sani, for talks on the project, state news agency APS reported.

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The contents of the memorandum of understanding were not disclosed, but the long-dormant project has seen an uptick in interest in recent months as gas prices have surged following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

When the TSGP was first proposed in 2009, the cost of building it was estimated at $10 billion.

As well as serving European markets, gas could be diverted to serve markets along the route of the pipeline or elsewhere in the Sahel region.

Algeria, Africa’s largest natural gas exporter, has already seen increased demand following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, with Western nations scouring the globe to find supplies to replace oil and gas from Russia.

Algiers is seeking further ways to capitalise on high global energy prices.

But the TSGP would face formidable logistical and security challenges, passing through thousands of kilometres of desert where jihadist groups have waged a long insurgency.

“A pipeline like this would be hugely vulnerable, not just to attacks by jihadists but also by local communities if they feel they’re getting exploited by a project from which they derive no benefit,” said Geoff D. Porter, an energy expert with North Africa Risk Consulting.

“And then, who’s going to finance it?”

AFP

Ex-Algeria Footballer Madjer Jailed For Fraud


Algerian football legend Rabah Madjer, new national coach of Soccer, attends host a conference at the Sidi-Moussa National Technical Center in Algiers, Algeria on 19 October 2017. (Photo by Billal Bensalem/NurPhoto) Billal Bensalem / NurPhoto / NurPhoto via AFP

 

An Algerian court sentenced Algerian football star and ex-Porto striker Rabah Madjer to six months in jail on Thursday for making “false declarations”, local media reported.

Madjer, who owned two newspapers, was found to have continued to bank cheques from a public advertising agency for a year after the papers were closed.

He told AFP he had solicitor’s documents proving he had nothing to do with the case and added that he would appeal.

“All I want to say is that I have nothing whatsoever to do with this business. I’m innocent,” he said by phone.

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Charges of forgery and fraud were dropped.

But the 63-year-old and a co-defendant named as Brahim M. were jailed and ordered to pay 500,000 dinars ($3,435 or 3,200 euros) to the national publishing and advertising agency (ANEP).

The Algerian famously scored for Porto against Bayern Munich in the 1987 European Cup final with an audacious back-heel — a move later named after him.

He also scored a crucial goal in a 2-1 victory against West Germany in the 1982 World Cup.

He later went on to coach Algeria’s national football team, but after eight months in the job, he was sacked in June 2018 after a string of defeats.

AFP

FIFA Rejects Algeria’s Call To Replay World Cup Play-Off With Cameroon

File photo: The World Cup winner’s trophy is seen during the 68th FIFA Congress at the Expocentre in Moscow on June 13, 2018. Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP

 

Algeria’s desperate bid to have their World Cup play-off with Cameroon replayed has been rejected by the competition organisers FIFA, the Algerian Football Federation said Saturday.

Algeria won the first leg of the play-off 1-0 in March but were beaten 2-1 in the return leg to miss out on one of the five berths at the finals for African nations.

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The Algerian federation claimed the refereeing of the second tie by Gambian Bakary Gassama was “scandalous” while the FIFA referees committee rejected this view.

“The referees decisions had no negative influence,” FIFA said.

Italy Chases African Gas To End Dependence On Russia

This picture shows installations at the Tunisian Sergaz company, that controls the Tunisian segment of the Trans-Mediterranean (Transmed) pipeline, through which natural gas flows from Algeria to Italy, in El-Haouaria, some 100km east of the capital Tunis, on April 14, 2022.
FETHI BELAID / AFP

 

Italian ministers headed to central Africa Wednesday in an urgent quest for new energy deals as Italy scrambles to break away from Russian gas over the Ukraine war.

Prime Minister Mario Draghi is looking to add Angola and the Congo Republic to a portfolio of suppliers to substitute Russia, which provides about 45 percent of Italian gas.

“We do not want to depend on Russian gas any longer, because economic dependence must not become political subjection,” he said in an interview with the Corriere della Sera daily published on Sunday.

“Diversification is possible and can be implemented in a relatively short amount of time — quicker than we imagined just a month ago,” he said.

Draghi was due to go himself but after testing positive for Covid-19, sent Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio and Ecological Transition Minister Roberto Cingolani in his place.

They were due to arrive in Luanda on Wednesday evening, before heading to Brazzaville on Thursday, accompanied by Claudio Descalzi, chief executive of Italian energy giant ENI.

“This is a race against time to make sure we stock gas and oil for the next winter season,” said Francesco Galietti, head of Rome-based consultancy Policy Sonar.

In Angola, the ministers were due to meet with President Joao Lourenco — who also spoke by telephone Wednesday with Draghi — before signing a “declaration of intent” on energy cooperation, officials on both sides said.

A similar declaration will be signed in the Republic of Congo following talks with President Denis Sassou Nguesso, Italy’s foreign ministry said.

The foray follows the signing of agreements with Algeria and Egypt in recent weeks.

Algeria is currently Italy’s second-largest supplier, providing around 30 percent of its consumption.

ENI said the deal with Algeria’s Sonatrach would boost deliveries of gas through the Transmed undersea pipeline by “up to nine billion cubic meters per year” by 2023-24.

Transmed only had a spare pipeline capacity of 7.8 billion cubic metres per year in 2021 — though it has said it is ready to expand.

Italy has also been in talks with Azerbaijan over the expansion of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).

 ‘Fanciful’

The Egypt accord could result in up to three billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas (LNG) bound to Europe and Italy, in particular, this year, ENI said.

Italy is looking into buying or renting two floating storage and regasification units (FSRU) to allow it to import more LNG.

Diversification will not be cheap, warn experts, who foresee extra taxes passed on to businesses and families.

Davide Tabarelli, head of energy think tank Nomisma Energia, said Rome was rightly exploiting the “excellent relationships” that ENI has built up over 69 years in Africa, where it is the sector leader in terms of production and reserves.

But the idea of replacing Russian gas “in the short term” was “fanciful”, he told AFP. “It will take at least two or three years.”

The government said it expects to get the floating regasification units into place within 18 months.

It has also talked of kick-starting stalled projects for two onshore regasification plants, which would take some four years to build.

 ‘Operation thermostat’

Italy is one of Europe’s biggest guzzlers of gas, which currently represents 42 percent of its energy consumption, and it imports 95 percent of the gas it uses.

The government hopes to reduce that by accelerating the investment in renewables and has vowed to cut red tape on wind and solar farms.

Draghi has called for a collective sacrifice, asking Italians this month: “Do we want to have peace or do we want to have the air conditioning on?”

His rallying cry was met with some grumbling in a country feeling the effects of global heating, which science shows is driven by the human burning of fossil fuels.

Undeterred, the government is readying the so-called “operation thermostat”, which could see the public sector turn down heating in schools and offices by one degree, and the equivalent for air conditioning in the summer.

The rule would apply to private households and companies too, though it would be difficult to police.

It could save some four billion metric cubes of natural gas a year — or around 14 percent of the total gas imported from Russia, according to La Stampa newspaper.

AFP

Nine Killed In Gas Explosion In East Algeria

The Algerian national flag flies at half-mast in the capital Algiers on September 18, 2021, following the death of former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika. (Photo by RYAD KRAMDI / AFP)

 

Nine people were killed and 16 others injured in a gas explosion in eastern Algeria which caused a three-storey building to collapse on Thursday, national television said.

Rescue workers were searching the rubble in the town of Bordj Bou Arreridj for possible victims or survivors, local authorities said, adding that neighbouring houses had been damaged.

The explosion, which occurred in the morning, “was caused by a gas leak”, a local official said.

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune sent a message of condolence to the bereaved families.

In February eight people, including three children, were killed by a gas explosion at a home in the neighbouring town of Setif.