Algeria: Bouteflika again

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The Algerian Prime Minister announced on 22 February that Abd al-Aziz Bouteflika will be a candidate for a fourth term as president in the April election. He had a stroke last year followed by four months convalescence in Paris. Since then he has appeared on TV only rarely and always in a wheelchair appearing to have limited movement …

Algeria: April election a turning point?

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Presidential elections are due on 17 April. It is not yet clear whether President Abd al-Aziz Bouteflika will stand for re-election, or even whether he will be fit to stand; he is 76 and had a stroke last year. The ruling FLN party have declared that he is their candidate, and he is backed by …

Insecurity in the Sahara

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As we have commented in the past, insecurity in the Sahara is nothing new. Since the In Amenas raid in Algeria a year ago nothing has caught the world headlines, but kidnapping, smuggling, tribal and ethnic violence and jihadist extremism continue to threaten all the Sahara states. Three Libyan factors have tended to make things worse: availability …

Morocco: not a problem country?

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News from Morocco tends to be dominated on the one hand by the decades-old feud with Algeria over the Western Sahara (see for example the headlines listed on the allAfrica website), and on the other by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) (see for example the headlines listed on the US-backed Magharebia

Mauritania

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With a population of nearly three and a half million, one of the poorest countries in Africa (despite having some oil and abundant mineral resources), is a member of the Arab league and has recently had a slightly raised profile because of concern about security in the Sahara and Sahel countries. President Muhammad Ould Abd al-Aziz came to power …

Algeria: Bouteflika to stand?

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The FLN (National Liberation Front) party is reported to have announced on 26 October that President Abdal-Aziz Bouteflika, 79, will stand for a fourth term in the presidential elections due in April 2014. Amar Saidani, recently appointed chairman of the FLN (National Liberation Front) and considered a Bouteflika loyalist, told Reuters Bouteflika was determined to create …

Security in the Sahara

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Since the French intervention Operation Serval in Mali in January and the In Amenas raid in the Algerian Sahara in which 39 foreign hostages were killed also in January there have been no security incidents in the Sahara which have caught the world's headlines. But there are regular reports of minor clashes and Sahara security remains a …

Algeria: the outlook

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Note: in our posting yesterday 17 July we referred to a report in Ha'aretz that the European Union has issued a directive banning financial support to the occupied territories; this report has now been confirmed though details have not yet been published – see for example Reuters at http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/07/16/us-israel-settlements-eu-idUKBRE96F0OM20130716 .
Algeria
As foreshadowed in our posting of 8 July the Algerian …

Algeria: changing the pilot

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Reuters reports today 8 July that the Algerian President Abd al-Aziz Bouteflika, who was rushed to hospital in France after a stroke in April, is expected to return to Algeria "in the coming hours". Bouteflika is 76 and first held high office as Foreign Minister in 1963. According to a Twitter message from al-Qa’ida in the …