King Mohammed VI receives IMF managing director

Rabat – King Mohammed VI received, on Friday at the Rabat Royal Palace, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde.The meeting touched on the development of cooperation ties and the trust which has always existed between Morocco and the IMF, said a statement by the Royal Office.King Mohammd VI thanked Lagarde for the IMF’s unwavering support for Morocco to carry out economic and social reforms. The audience was attended by economy minister Mohamed Boussaid. read more

France: Uni’Sons to Hold the Ninth Annual Arabesque Festival

Casablanca – The Arabesques Festival is drawing near. The association Uni’Sons will hold the ninth edition of the festival from May 19th to the 25th at Domaine d’O in Montpellier, France.The festival seeks to bring into the spotlight the work of Arab artists and those influenced by Arab culture. The festival also fosters a cultural dialogue among artists and audiences.All bundled up in a “Travel through Arabesque” thematic package, this year’s  festival has a rich and diversified program in store for its large international audience. The 2014 festival is offering its audience a ticket to an exciting cultural journey into the heart of Arab culture as seen through the eyes of historic Moroccan explorer Ibn Battuta. The festival promises its fans a vibrant voyage replete with artistic marvels from various corners of the Arab region.The organizers have selected some of the best cinematic works for its audience this year. On the list are two Moroccan films: Ymma, produced by Rachid El Ouali, and Exit Maroc, produced by Sean Gullette. French documentary La Traversée, produced by Elisabeth Leuvrey, is also on the list.Arabesque has amassed a variety of Arab music, from Damascus, Beirut, Agadir, Marrakech, Granada, Casablanca and Nouakchott —enough to enchant an audience as motley as the festival’s program.Choreography, theater, workshops, exhibitions, and round tables are also ingredients in the festival’s cultural recipe for its ninth year.Initiated in 2006, Arabesques Festival “was born of international artistic initiatives carried out by Uni’Sons.” The festival aims to introduce the artistic and cultural heritage of the Arab region through music, theater, storytelling, projections, dance, calligraphy and many other contemporary aspects of cultural identity.Edited by Jessica Rohan© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed read more

U.S. Science Envoy Peter Hotez To Visit Morocco This Week

Washington – U.S. Science Envoy Dr. Peter Hotez will visit Morocco during this week to foster cooperation relations in the field of scientific research, said on Monday a statement by the Department of State.During his stay in Morocco (Feb. 8-14), Hotez will meet with representatives of the academic and scientific community on means to establish networks for scientific collaboration between the two countries’ scientists and engineers, said the statement issued to media outlets.The visit by the U.S. Science Envoy to Morocco comes in support of President Barack Obama’s initiative to foster American relations with other countries in the area of science and education, it added. read more

Sixth Maghreb Forum Kicks Off In Casablanca

Casablanca – The 6th Maghreb Forum opened, on Monday in Casablanca, under the theme: “The Maghreban Choice, Guarantee of The Future,” at the initiative of the Centre for studies and human research at the Hassan II university in Casablanca.Speaking at the opening session, the Forum’s director, Hayat Daraii, mentioned that the Forum aims to promote the concept of Maghreb unity through debates and research.The forum that runs till February 18, aims to shed light on various challenges facing Maghreban countries, particularly in terms of social and economic development and security. Regarding the new edition, participants will discuss and put forward recommendations relating to emerging democracy and extremism challenges, Daraii said.For his part, Abdelkader Jounjay, dean of the faculty of Humanities at the Hassan II University highlighted the role that his university can play in promoting Maghreban integration through organising such events that bring together pundits and researchers to discuss issues of common concern.The Maghreb Forum is an annual event that offers a venue for renewing debate on issues pertaining to the Maghreban unity. read more

Crans Montana Forum In Dakhla, Opportunity To Develop Renewable Energy In…

Dakhla  –  Crans Montana Forum, to be held in Dakhla on March 12-14, is an opportunity to develop Africa’s renewable energy, civil society stakeholders in the southern region of Oued Eddahab-Laguira said.In a statement to MAP, several associations operating in Dakhla highlighted the significance of the Forum which attests to the importance of the city and its development potential.In this respect, the civil society stakeholders recalled statements made by the Chairman and Founder of the Crans Montana Forum, Jean-Paul Carteron who described Dakhla as a city enjoying exceptional strategic location as a hub of a major African region offering an extraordinary model for economic and social development. The civil society stakeholders also said that the Forum will have positive impact on promoting tourism and investments in the region with a special focus on renewable energy.The forthcoming Crans Montana Forum on Africa and South-South Cooperation a high-level panel will be dedicated to energy access through renewables with a special focus on wind farms.The Forum will bring together government officials, financial stakeholders, regional and international organizations, NGO’s and Businessmen. read more

Morocco Says Five Moroccans Died in Mina Stampede, 34 Are Missing

Rabat – Morocco said in a press release on Monday that five Moroccans pilgrims died as a result of the fatal stampede that occurred in Mina last Thursday.According to a press release issued this Monday by the Moroccan foreign ministry, five Moroccan pilgrims were killed while eight others were injured and are receiving the necessary medical care in several Saudi hospitals.The Moroccan government has been working closely with Saudi authorities to identify the number of victims and inform their families. Meanwhile, these figures remain temporary and could rise in the few coming hours, as the release specified that 34 Moroccan pilgrims (15 women and 19 men) are still missing.The search operation of other missing Moroccan pilgrims continues in coordination with Saudi authorities.  Moroccan authorities stressed that this operation remains very complicated given the scale of the tragedy and the conditions surrounding the search operations of the victims and the confirmation of their identities. read more

Speculations About the First Day of Ramadan

Rabat – The holy month of Ramadan is approaching day by day and people in Morocco have already started making provisions to greet it. Despite the scorching heat during the days of the last few Ramadans, which coincided with summer time, Moroccans still excitedly await the holy month each year.However, the controversy over the exact dates of Ramadan start a month before. Speculations and astronomical calculations usually contradict, making it especially confusing for Muslims living abroad. Sometimes the difference between Muslim countries, though being geographically close, varies by a full day.The Grand Mosque of Paris announced in a press release, revealed by Saphire News, that “The night of doubt” to determine the start of Ramadan is going to be June 5.  The Grand Mosque also stated in the same press release that a commission will set the exact date of the start of Ramadan during the night of June 5. Accordingly, the first day of Ramadan is likely to be on June 6 or 7. The Islamic Theological Council has already fixed the date of Ramadan in France on June 7 based on astronomical calculations.The month of Shaaban began Sunday, May 8, 2016 in countries such as Morocco, Saudi Arabia, the US and even South Africa. The 29th day of Shaaban coincides with Sunday June 5. Thus, Ramadan in Morocco, like in many countries, should begin June 6 if the moon appears in the evening of June 5, or June 7 if it is not visible on June 5.Following the Islamic tradition, the determination of the date of Ramadan should depend on the observation of the new moon with the naked eye.The Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs has many observatories across the country to observe the moon and report to the Ministry, which finally announces the beginning of the new month. Hence, Morocco is hailed as the most accurate country in the Arab World when it comes to Islamic calendar dates. read more

Minister Boast Morocco’s Commitment to Restricting Illegal Immigration

By Christopher ThomasRabat – Morocco looks back over a decade of policies restricting illegal immigration. During a parliamentary session on Tuesday, Minister of Moroccan Expatriates and Migration Affairs Anis Birou cited security forces as stopping as many as 30,000 attempts to illegally cross Moroccan borders since 2002.He reportedly stated that “Our policy is to make a great effort to prevent illegal immigration.” Birou clarified that a full third of these failed attempts were made by Moroccan citizens. He noted that there has been a 90% decline in illegal immigrants arriving in Spain from Morocco since 2002. Spain is the primary destination of illegal immigrants traveling from Morocco due to the Iberian Peninsula’s close proximity to the Kingdom.Even closer than the far side of the Straits of Gibraltar are Spanish enclaves Ceuta and Melilla, small cities on the Mediterranean coast in northern Morocco. These locations have been the sites of many attempts to cross the border, including using forged documents, smuggling, or breaching the border fence.A successful crossing would allow migrants respect under European law and the ability to apply for asylum. Coordinated Spanish and Moroccan security efforts have limited unlawful border crossings, although many humanitarian groups including Human Rights Watch have expressed concerns with the treatment of the migrants, some of whom have died during the crossing attempts.Minister Birou also cited over 3000 illegal immigration-related criminal networks disabled since 2002, presenting Morocco’s strict immigration policy as a national success. An overall decrease in undocumented immigration to Europe since 2002 is particularly noteworthy since the Syrian Refugee Crisis has escalated in recent years. Combined with sub-Saharan migrants attempting to reach Europe, and Moroccans themselves, reducing illegal immigration requires vast government resources and attentiveness to the border.Recent spikes in unlawful border crossings still do not match pre-2002 levels under a looser border. Morocco’s strict stance on illegal immigration drives many refugees and migrants to seek passage through Europe by other means, including through Tunisia and Libya. The Kingdom remains committed to its policy of accepting only legal immigration, and using force to prevent unlawful border crossings. read more

EMPACT Program Empowers Green Businesses in Morocco

Casablanca – The EMPACT acceleration program creates a number of green projects in Morocco with tremendous socio-economic impact. The acceleration program, dubbed EMPACT, was launched by Enactus Morocco, in partnership with the OCP Entrepreneurship Network.  Since its inception it has contributed to a rising interest in environmentally-friendly businesses in Morocco. The program caters to young entrepreneurs with innovative projects aimed at creating solutions to face today’s tough environmental challenges.Hydrobarley and Amendy Foods are just two of the 22 socially conscious businesses launched by the program to encourage self-employment among students and boost job creation. Both of these businesses provide practical solutions to address environmental challenges in the agricultural sector. Amendy Food, founded by three college graduates, focuses on the production, processing and marketing of agricultural products with a high nutritional value. This socially responsible business focuses specifically on the quinoa plant, seeing it as an opportunity to “address nutritional challenges and poverty in Morocco,” as well as a viable economic opportunity to generate considerable revenue.Speaking with French language newspaper, Le Matin, Amendy’s co-founder, Manal Mhada, outlines his company’s philosophy; ” At Amendy, we are committed to working with small farmers in Chichawa area, where we are based, to help them live better through a sustainable agriculture that respects the people, animals and the environment, while allowing them to make considerable gains in terms of productivity and income.”Hydrobarley, another environmentally and socially responsible business that sprang from the EMPACT program, has selected to focus on the production of animal feed. The company encourages farmers to diversify their agricultural activity through the production of so-called green feeds. Hydrobarley makes use of hydroponics, which economizes 1500 times more water and 4,000 times the land for fodder crops and makes the fresh forage it produces accessible to farmers around the village of Moulay Driss Aghbal, 60 km from Rabat.Hydrobarley’s CEO, Hanane Rifaii, is quoted in the same source as saying;“This project has succeeded in changing the lives of farmers in this village by allowing them to develop new activities in their fields and have a new source of income to improve their living standards.”Edited by Constance Guindon read more

King Mohammed VI Flies to Ethiopia to Take Part in the…

Rabat – King Mohammed VI left on Friday afternoon the Casablanca Mohammed V International Airport heading to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.King Mohammed VI is expected to attend the African Union (AU) summit, scheduled to take place on January 30 and 31, in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.Morocco’s appointed Head of Government, Abdelilah Benkirane, said earlier this month that  the King will travel to Addis Ababa, for the AU summit to stand up for Morocco’s return to the Pan-African organization. King Mohammed VI is accompanied by Prince Moulay Ismail and an official delegation consisted of his advisor, Fouad Ali El Himma, Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Minister Salaheddine Mezouar, Delegate to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nasser Bourita, and a number of dignitaries.Earlier this week, Morocco officially notified the countries constituting the Commission of the AU of this development.During the 30th regular session of the AU Executive council, held Thursday in Addis Ababa, four countries reaffirmed their support for the return of Morocco to the AU. Morocco World News reported on Wednesday that Morocco had officially notified the countries constituting the Commission of the AU of this development.Earlier this month, during a meeting of the House of Representatives’ committee, Morocco’s Foreign Affairs and Cooperation minister, Salaheddine Mezouar, said that, “40 countries are supporting Morocco’s return to the AU.” read more

Former Polisario Member Ould Souilem Be Potentially Morocco’s Ambassador to AU

Rabat – Morocco’s former ambassador to Spain, and one of the founders of the self-proclaimed Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) in 1976, Ahmedou Ould Souilem, could be appointed as theHead of the Permanent Mission of Morocco to the African Union (AU), reported Akhbar AlYaoum on Saturday.Following its re-admission to the pan-African organization as a full-fledged member, after a 33 year-long absence, Morocco will have to send a permanent delegation consisting of experts and diplomats to Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa.Based on a well-informed source, Akhbar AlYaoum reported that Ould Souilem could be appointed to be Morocco’s ambassador to the AU. The source added that there are also African experts and professors nominated for the position. The Choice of Ould SouilemAkhbar AlYaoum reported that the potential appointment of Ould Souilem is justified for multiple reasons.Born in 1951 in Dakhla, Ould Souilem from the Oulad Delim tribe. Before returning from Tindouf to settle in Morocco in 2009, the Sahrawi-born leader held several of SADR’s diplomatic positions. Ould Souilem was the representative  of the Polisario Front in several African countries, such as Angola and Guinea-Bissau. He was also Polisario’ Ambassador to Panama.Upon his return to his homeland, which coincided with Morocco’s celebration of the 10thanniversary of the accession of King Mohammed VI to the throne of his ancestors, Ould Souilem was received by King Mohammed VI. One year later, the King appointed Ould Souilem Rabat‘s ambassador to Madrid. read more

Backlash Against Donald Trump Takes a Toll on Ivanka Brand

Toronto – Ivanka Trump’s brand is taking a hit, because of  the visceral backlash her father’s Presidency is causing, especially among women. Demonstrations against Trump have spawned the creation of the #GrabYourWallet campaign and it’s creeping north into Canada,according to the CBC.Controversy has dogged Donald Trump, after his inauguration as President of the United States. Protest after protest has followed revelation upon revelation of sexual harassment and boasts of groping women with impunity. The Ivanka Trump brand is definitely suffering serious collateral damage as a result.According to the CBC report, one San Francisco woman decided she’d seen enough and had to act. Shannon Coulter, a marketing expert, founded the #GrabYourWallet boycott last October, as a way to bite back. The name, of course, is a defiant reference to the infamous quote made by Trump some months ago, about grabbing a particular part of a woman’s anatomy. Coulter found herself amazed at the deeply felt reactions shared by women who shared their experiences upon Ivanka Trump merchandise in their favorite department stores. “The responses are visceral. I’ve actually been keeping a collection of the physical responses people are describing to encountering her products… and a lot of them are physical: the word recoil is used quite a bit. Flinching. Running in the other direction. Feeling as though they’d just touched fire in fact, or spiders.”Like the protests that followed Trump’s inauguration, the #GrabYourWallet campaign has also gravitated north, crossing the US-Canada border. Canadian companies such as Hudson’s Bay are getting enormous pressure from savvy consumers to drop the Ivanka Trump product line. It makes sense to John Pylypczak, president of Concrete Design Communications, who says consumers are more knowledgeable now than ever. They know where their products are produced and how they’re made.“This plays into all the brands, but especially in Ivanka Trump’s brand,” he said. (when we have a quote we put period and we start a new sentence.) “So much of her brand is tied into her name and her name is so much tied into the personality of her father. That is a challenge, especially with what he is becoming known to stand for. Her [brand identity of] ‘women who work’- that seems at odds with how her father perceives women” he added.Last week Nordstrom made a formal move to terminate their business dealings with the Ivanka brand, prompting a very personal reaction from the President. Senior advisor, Kellyanne Conway, found herself in hot water and possible legal territory for openly encouraging the public to buy Ivanka products during a live interview on national television.As for Canadian reaction to the whirlwind, Susie Erjavec Parker, Canadian consumer and marketing strategist, saw the #GrabYourWallet campaign and felt inspired. “As Canadians, we can’t vote in the election, but I can vote with my wallet and I can decide not to purchase products that have the Trump name or brand on them, ” she said.The three major Canadian stores carrying the Ivanka Trump line are Hudson’s Bay, Nordstrom and Winners. Out of the  three only Nordstrom, responded to the CBC’s request for comment. “We have heard feedback from some customers. Right now, we don’t have plans to stop carrying the brand,” said Emily Sterken, Nordstrom spokesperson.Protestors and the #GrabYourWallet campaign aren’t going away any time soon. According to founder Shannon Coulter, “It’s heartening to see women flexing their consumer power.” read more

Vicaima Eyes Morocco: ‘a Market of Business Opportunities’

Rabat – Casablance is gearing up to host the 2017 edition of The Big 5 Construct North Africa 2017. Like all participants, building supplier Vicaima, is looking forward to the first-ever Moroccan edition of the annual event.Scheduled to take place on April 25-27 at the Parc des exposition de l’Office des Changes, in Casablanca, the event will host more than 120 exhibitors from 20 countries. More than 4,000 visitors are expected to attend.What’s in it for Businesses? For Vicaima, the Big 5 Construct is an opportunity to consolidate its already solid branding in Morocco. Operating under the name VAF, the company has officially been part of the Moroccan business landscape since 2014, with offices in Casablanca offering sales and installation support services.In an interview with Morocco World News (MWN), the company describes its Big 5 outlook. “Our participation in Big 5 Morocco will be very important, considering the dimension of Vicaima’s stand and also the diversified solutions that we will present for hotel, housing and health segments.”Vicaima’s list of products includes interior and security doors, acoustic doors, fire doors, hoops and wardrobes and panel designs for commercial builders such as hotels, restaurants as well as commercial housing clientele.Morocco is an “Example to Follow”As a market for their products, Morocco presents some unique challenges, represented in the diversity of the products Moroccan businesses request. These include custom designs that run the gauntlet from the culturally traditional to more contemporary designs based on European influences.When they were looking to expand their brand and create a foothold in the region, Vicaima was attracted to Morocco’s economic growth model, which it calls “an example to follow.” The company describes its relationship with Morocco as a true partnership which has helped them in their brand-building process with the region’s key industry stakeholders.The company also credits Morocco’s welcoming approach to courting foreign investment as a critical part of that growth model, saying that it shows the Kingdom to be “a market of business opportunities, therefore ideal for holding an event such as the Big 5.”See You April 25-27Founded 37 years ago in Dubai, the Big 5 takes its name from the 5 sectors of construction namely; mechanics, electricity and plumbing, interior constructions and finishes, tools and building materials, building envelope and special constructions and machinery and vehicles.In addition to showcasing innovative products for the construction industry, this year’s event will also offer ten free Certified Development (DPC) workshops. read more

King Mohammed VI Congratulates Award Recipient Adnane Remmal

Casablanca – Moroccan Monarch, King Mohammed VI, has sent a telegram of congratulations to Adnane Remmal, the Moroccan biologist who won the European Inventor of the Year Award. King Mohammed VI has sent a congratulatory telegram to the Moroccan biologist who received the European Inventor of the Year Award, Adnane Remmal. The Moroccan Monarch expressed his sincere congratulations to Remmal and stated that this international award would represent a strong incentive for him to continue his efforts in the fields of biology.The telegram also pointed out that the award would incentivize “the emerging generations of Moroccan researchers to make every effort to represent their country and to promote scientific research, and to contribute to the promotion of the comprehensible and sustainable development that we are leading.” The award was presented to Remmal by the European Patent Office (EPO) on June 15 during an official ceremony in Venice, for his achievement in developing new methods to improve the effectiveness of antibiotics using herbal oils and medicinal plants. read more

Financial watchdog proposes rollback of payday lending rules

NEW YORK — The nation’s federal financial watchdog has announced its plans to roll back most of its consumer protections governing the payday lending industry.It’s the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s first rollback of regulations under its new Director, Kathy Kraninger, who took over the bureau late last year.The cornerstone of the regulations focused on making sure borrowers could afford to repay a payday loan without being stuck in a cycle of debt. The industry was against the new regulations, arguing they were too complex and could kill business. This standard would be repealed under the new rules.The CFPB proposed keeping in place consumer protections that would ban the industry from making multiple debits on a borrowers’ bank accounts, which consumer advocates argued caused borrowers hardship through overdraft fees.The Associated Press read more

British Tourist Dies of Rabies after Cat Bite in Morocco

Rabat – British news outlet the Telegraph confirmed the news Monday morning. Public Health England (PHE) released a statement warning travellers to avoid contact with animals when travelling to rabies-affected countries.The statement from PHE said that “there is no risk to the wider public in relation to this case but, as a precautionary measure, health workers and close contacts are being assessed and offered vaccination when necessary.” Read Also: 12 Moroccan Fishermen Missing off Morocco’s Atlantic CoastPHE also included information about how rabies is spread, emphasizing that people can be affected through injuries such as bites and scratches from an animal with rabies.“This is an important reminder of the precautions people should take when travelling to countries where rabies is present. If you are bitten, scratched or licked by an animal you must wash the wound or site of exposure with plenty of soap and water and seek medical advice without delay, the statement quoted the head of Immunisations at PHE Mary Ramsay as saying.The statement added rabies is common in several parts of the world, especially in Asia and Africa. The infectious disease can be found in dogs, cats, and other mammals. In Morocco, the number of people who contracted rabies moved from 43 in 1985 to 15 in 2017. If there is a suspicion of rabies, the patient should get a rabies vaccination as soon as possible after an animal bite to prevent infection.  The injury should be also washed for at least five minutes with soap, water and detergent. read more

Stock market turmoil pushes Norway’s oil fund to loss

COPENHAGEN — Volatility in stock markets last year pushed Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest of its kind, to report a loss of 485 billion kroner ($56.4 billion) for 2018.Fund manager Norges Bank Investment Management says the fund’s worst-performing investments in 2018 were in the German pharmaceuticals maker Bayer AG, Facebook Inc. and brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev. The fund’s return was a negative 6.1 per cent.Chairman and Norwegian Central Bank Governor Oeystein Olsen says the results were “weak” and blamed fragile stock markets in the first and fourth quarters of 2018.Norway first deposited oil and gas profits into the fund in 1996. The fund invests oil and gas proceeds mainly into stocks but also bonds and property worldwide to secure wealth for the Nordic nation’s 5.3 million people.The Associated Press read more

‘Game of Thrones’ season debut breaks HBO rating records

LOS ANGELES — The first episode of the final season of “Game of Thrones” is a record-breaker for the series and HBO.The pay channel said the 17.4 million viewers who watched Sunday’s episode either on TV or online represent a season-opening high for the fantasy saga.HBO Now also posted its biggest streaming night ever, the channel said Monday.The episode topped the 16.1 million who saw the seventh-season premiere and the 16.9 million who watched that season’s finale.Reflecting increasing audience fondness for streaming, HBO saw about a 50 per cent increase in online viewing compared to last season’s finale. In comparison to the season-seven premiere, the streaming audience nearly doubled.“Game of Thrones” ultimately averaged 32.8 million viewers per episode last season in cumulative TV and online viewership, HBO said.The Associated Press read more

Grain mostly lower, livestock mixed

CHICAGO — Grain futures were mostly lower Wednesday in early trading on the Chicago Board of Trade.Wheat for July delivery advanced 12 cents at $4.3620 a bushel; May corn was off 1.40 cents at $3.5360 a bushel; July oats fell 12.40 cents at $2.79 a bushel; while May soybeans lost .80 cent at 8.1260 a bushel.Beef was mixed and pork was higher on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.Jun. live cattle was off 0.18 cent at $1.1262 a pound; May. feeder cattle was up .25 cent at $1.3795 a pound; May lean hogs rose 1.04 cents at .8302 a pound.The Associated Press read more

UN agency repatriates Liberian refugees in Guinea in face of growing instability

23 February 2007Despite rapidly increasing instability in Guinea due to a general strike and the resulting declaration of a state of emergency, the United Nations refugee agency is pressing forward in its efforts to assist those who have fled to the country and today repatriated 200 Liberians to their homeland. The latest group brings to 600 the total number refugees returning to Liberia this week. At present, there are no others volunteering go home, Ron Redmond, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told a press briefing in Geneva today.UNHCR, without incident, was able to distribute food to two camps, one hosting 7,000 Liberian refugees and another housing 3,000 from Côte d’Ivoire, this week, he said.Of the more than 31,000 refugees residing in Guinea, nearly 22,000 are Liberian. There area also 5,000 Sierra Leonean refugees and 4,500 from Côte d’Ivoire. Most refugee camps are situated along Guinea’s border with Sierra Leone, Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire.The agency also reports that there have been no unusual population movements into Guinea from its neighbouring countries of late.More than 100 people, mostly civilians, have been killed since 10 January, when a general strike began, and the majority of those deaths have occurred amid popular protests over President Lansana Conté’s choice of Eugene Camara as Prime Minister.UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour condemned the reported killing of civilians and called on the Government to adhere strictly to its human rights obligations.UNHCR has helped 90,000 Liberian refugees, more than half of whom were in exile in Guinea, return home since starting a voluntary refugee programme in October 2004. read more