Rabat – The Algerian Committee for the Opening of the Alerian-Moroccan Land Border has fulfilled its commitment to hold a peaceful sit-in to urge both the Moroccan and Algerian governments to reopen the border between the two countries.On August 13, a group of activists held a sit-in at the Colonel Lotfi Border, condemning the continuous closure of the border between Rabat and Algiers.One of the activists said that it is necessary for the two countries to reopen the border for the people. The activist said, “We arrived here at the Colonel Lotfi Border to say in one voice that it is a must to open the border between Morocco and Algeria.”“There is no political, moral or historical justification for closing the border for decades. Today there are two peoples who should be saved from gangs’ rule. Today, we are asking with a loud voice that these borders must be for our Moroccan brothers,” the activist added.The activist concluded his statement, saying “long Live Algeria, long live Morocco, long live the peoples of both countries.The border between the two countries has been closed since 1994 after Rabat imposed visa regulations on Algerian citizens. Rabat’s decision came following a terrorist attack on the Atlas Asni Hotel in Marrakech.Lawyer Fatima Ezzahra, one of the activists who attended the peaceful sit-in, said that the protest aims to remove the security barrier implemented at the border of the two countries to become one people “as what we have always been.”The Algerian committee’s call for a peaceful sit-in came after King Mohammed VI renewed his call for more dialogue with Algeria in his Throne Day speech on July 29.In the speech, the King said that Morocco will continue its commitment to the “policy of the outstretched hand towards our Algerian brothers, out of loyalty to the bonds of rooted in brotherhood, religion, language, and good-neighborliness that have always existed between the peoples of the two sister nations.”There is speculation that Algeria has started to study the possibility of reopening the border with Morocco. Earlier this month, Independent Arabia quoted a source, who said that Algerian sovereign authority” is consulting with academies on the reopening of closed land border with Morocco. The authority ordered a study to discuss the “most effective way to open land border.”
Caterpillar Inc has announced that the company’s Board of Directors has elected Denise Johnson, currently Vice President with responsibility for the Material Handling & Underground Division, is the new Group President of Resources Industries. The appointment follows the recently announced retirement of Group President Ed Rapp.“Denise leads one of the largest and most complex businesses in the company; her division makes products primarily for the mining, waste and construction industries and employs about 8,000 people in 14 locations spanning four continents. She has successfully managed costs during the mining downturn and been deeply involved in restructuring within Resource Industries, all while gaining market position for multiple products in her portfolio. Denise has accomplished these business results while also delivering outstanding safety and quality metrics,” said Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman. “Above all, Denise is a leader inside and outside of Caterpillar. Whether she’s engaging with employees, strengthening relationships with key mining customers or serving as a strong role model to recruit more female engineers, Denise consistently excels.”Johnson joined Caterpillar in 2011 as the General Manager of Caterpillar’s Specialty Products business unit where she had responsibility for nearly 20 facilities around the world. She came to Caterpillar after a 22-year career with General Motors, where she built deep expertise in operations and product management in a series of positions in the United States, Canada and Brazil. A year later, she was elected Vice President of the Diversified Products Division with responsibility for industries including forestry, paving and on-highway trucks. In 2013, she became Vice President of the Integrated Manufacturing Operations Division overseeing major operations in Caterpillar’s largest division at the time. She was named to her current role in 2014.Johnson graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. She earned dual Master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Johnson is a member of numerous outside boards including The Mosaic Company. Her move is effective April 1, 2016. Johnson’s successor will be named at a later date.