09 Apr 2018 - NPWJ News Digest on Middle East and North Africa Democracy


EXCLUSIVE: Morocco threatens Algeria with intervention in Western Sahara
by Middle East Eye, 08 Apr 2018

ALGIERS - Morocco has informed Algeria through diplomatic channels that it will intervene militarily in Western Sahara if Sahrawi forces do not withdraw from the area east of the defensive wall, an Algerian diplomatic source told Middle East Eye. According to the source, Rabat used the ambassador of a European country as an intermediary in Algiers to deliver the message.

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Fall of Saddam reshaped the Middle East
by The National, 08 Apr 2018

When Saddam Hussein warned in January 2003 that a modern day version of Hulagu — the grandson of Genghis Khan who sacked Baghdad in 1258 — was approaching, the comment was taken as the last howl of a flailing despot.

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Dozens Suffocate in Syria as Government Is Accused of Chemical Attack
by The New York Times, 08 Apr 2018

Dozens of Syrians choked to death after a suspected chemical attack struck the rebel-held suburb of Douma, east of Damascus, with aid groups on Sunday blaming President Bashar al-Assad’s government for the assault and Western governments expressing outrage. Rescue workers in Syria reported finding at least 42 people dead in their homes from apparent suffocation, and antigovernment activists circulated videos of lifeless men, women and children sprawled out on floors and in stairwells, many with white foam coming from their mouths and nostrils. A stream of patients with burning eyes and breathing problems were rushed to clinics after the attack at dusk on Saturday, medical and rescue groups said.

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Death toll mounts as Palestinians protest at Gaza border
By The Guardian, 07 Apr 2018

At least nine Palestinian men have been killed and scores more injured by Israeli gunfire on the Gaza border, a week after 18 Palestinians were killed at similar demonstrations. The renewed violence came despite a call by the UN secretary general, António Guterres for Israel to exercise “extreme caution”. His appeal was echoed by the UN human rights spokeswoman Elizabeth Throssell who said unjustified recourse to live fire could amount to wilful killing of civilians – a breach of the fourth Geneva convention. Figures for the dead and injured were supplied by the Hamas-controlled health ministry in Gaza and a website associated with the group. The most seriously injured had reportedly been shot in the head or upper body. Another Palestinian who had been injured in last week’s protests also died on Friday from his wounds. On Saturday morning, the health ministry in Gaza said a Palestinian journalist shot by Israeli forces had died. Yasser Murtaja, a photographer with the Gaza-based Ain Media agency, was hit during clashes Friday. Another man, 20-year-old Hamza Abdel Aal, has also died after being shot, the ministry said, taking the death toll in Friday’s clashes to nine.



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