Algeria: good work in Sahel and Sahara, nothing on Morocco Summary: a government shakeup. Close relations with France. Useful contribution to reconciliation in Mali and security in the Sahara, but a blind spot on Morocco.
Israel: perfect storm? Summary: three sources of pressure, separate but reinforcing each other – violence in the occupied territories, reactions to Netanyahu’s proposed nationality law, international opinion critical of Israel. Elections in Israel and Palestinian action at the UN likely.
Algeria – new theatre for IS? Summary: video of beheading of a French captive by an Algerian group aligned with IS – a game changer, or old Saharan brigandage in new colours?
FGM The UK House of Commons home affairs committee has published a report on female genital mutilation (FGM), sometimes known as female circumcision.
Libya: holding together Following the removal Ali Zaidan, the interim Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni is likely to remain at least for a few weeks, and possibly until the election of a National Assembly to replace the General National Congress. That could be in July.
Libya: holding on The Libyan government remains weak, and security is poor particularly in Cyrenaica and the south. On 2 March protesters broke up the General National Congress, which has been obliged to move to a hotel. A Reuters report of 6 March is headed “Western countries alarmed as Libya slides towards chaos”.
Insecurity in the Sahara As we have commented in the past, insecurity in the Sahara is nothing new.
Mauritania 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), Mauritania 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.
Security in the Sahara 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.