Arezki Daoud

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Egypt: The Road to Bankruptcy and Civil War

The arms wrestling match between an entrenched Mubarak and the Egyptian people has not eased. If nothing substantial changes at the top to bring moderate voices on the podium, Egypt will be soon headed into an extreme repression phase, followed with the potential for a civil war as the likely outcome. Such outcome would not benefit anyone, within Egypt, near or far.
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Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood Supports El-Baradei, Says Military Ordered to Protect Regime

[The North Africa Journal] The Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist opposition organization has apparently endorsed former IAEA chief and Nobel laureate Mohamed El Baradai. The aim of the endorsement is to provide El Baradai with enough popular support to negotiate the end of the crisis and manage a transition....
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State of Disarray in the Arab World, Divided Western Response

North Africa in 2011 is not that of 2010 and prior. Tunisia has made history and now the Arab world, starting with North Africa is in turmoil. All of a sudden, talk of economic growth takes the back seat. It's no longer about the economy but about what's coming next from the political front. After the unexpected and speedy collapse of the Ben Ali regime, governments in neighboring countries and beyond are facing full-blown rebellions. The Tunisian bug is spreading like a fast moving flu and the Arab regimes are running out of vaccines to deal with it. That is except to flex their muscles to repress their own people. Jordan, Sudan, Algeria, Yemen, and more drastically Egypt, to name the most visible stories of the day are facing unprecedented popular action to oust their aging and out-of-touch political leaders. ...
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A New Tunisian Cabinet that Promises Smooth Transition

A consensus has finally emerged that gives the Tunisians a historical opportunity to manage a smooth transition. After coming under intense criticism for having selected key ministers of the defunct regime, Prime Minister Ghannouchi announced a new cabinet formation that has only two junior ministers from the previous regime....
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The Irrelevance of Japan in Africa

Japan is one of the latest economic powers to make it loud and clear that it wants to compete for influence in the Middle East and Africa . But can its leaders build strong economic ties that would compete with those of China? Today’s situation suggests that the Japanese climb will be steep and difficult. Just in Africa alone, the Japanese economic presence is about one third of that of China and further dropping given the fast expansion of China there. ...
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Tunisia Unity Government not so United, Interim President and PM Resign from Ruling RCD Party

The interim government formed by Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi did not survive its first few hours. Under intense popular pressure four appointed Ministers decided to resign as protesters continue to demand the ousting of RCD cabinet members. Among the most vocal voices in this protest are the Islamists and far-left opposition figures who have been sidelined and essentially banned from participating. ...
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Anxiety Over New Tunisian Cabinet

The North Africa Journal: In a controversial and unpopular move, Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi decided to retain 6 ministers from the RCD party and outgoing cabinet. He also picked three opposition leaders. The move is source of anger and frustration and likely to lead to further tension. The RCD ministers that have retained are those of key and strategic departments of interior (security and police), defense, foreign affairs, and finance. ...
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Tunisian People Fixated on Sakhr El Materi, Imad Trabelsi and First Lady Leila Ben Ali

Among the figures that angry Tunisians are fixated on is Sakhr El Materi. His trajectory is becoming shockingly identical to that of Algeria’s disgraced businessman Abdelmoumen Khalifa. Both young, both inexperienced and both deeply corrupt, essentially ending in hiding, in the UK for Khalifa and probably in Dubai for Al Materi. ...
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Why the Tunisians Fired Ben Ali

The North Africa Journal: The violent demonstrations leading up to the departure of Ben Ali were not necessirily just about the rise of food prices or unemployment. Although these factors were no doubt critical in the Tunisian uprising, the rotten political system built on cronyism and corruption forced many middle and upper class Tunisians to endorse the revolt as well and to actively take part to it. The system was locked by Ben Ali and those around him, including his wife’s family, according to many Tunisians....
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The Tunisian Illusion

The North Africa Journal: This article written by Arezki Daoud was released in May 2009 and published in the Global Journalist magazine. Its re-release is meant to showcase the working of the Ben Ali regime in the areas of freedom of speeach and broad civil liberties | For economic observers, Tunisia has been a model to follow. Its economic performance generally surpasses its neighbors and gains constant praise from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as it is “making impressive progress in its reform agenda, and its prospects are favorable.”...
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Tunisia: Latest developments as of January 16, 2011

The North Africa Journal: As we release this issue in the late night in Tunis, on Sunday, January 16, 2011, emotions are running high in Tunisia with the population feeling optimistic while the security situation remains tense. Information here in Tunisia seem to indicate that the abrupt departure of Ben Ali was triggered by the refusal of the military to intervene. The decision apparently came from the top military chief General Rachid Ammar, an indication that even the military hierarchy was fed up with the irrational Ben Ali regime. ...
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Tunisian Regime Collapses: Popular Pressure or Fight at the Top?

It took less than a month to bring the Tunisian regime down to its knees and yet a massive political vacuum is casting a serious cloud on what’s next for Tunisia. President Ben Ali of Tunisia has apparently fled his country in the middle of his presidential term. There are no clear indications as to his whereabouts but sources say his flight was spotted above the Maltese airspace, headed north. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi moved into the Presidential offices in the Carthage Palace to replace Ben Ali. The military has also taken a more proactive and severe stance, perhaps challenging Ben Ali’s promises to restore civility. ...
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Government Scrambles to End the Crisis in Tunisia

The North Africa Journal : The people of Tunisia are angry as the death toll from government repression continues to rise. Stress is now being felt by the government like never before as a full-blow popular rebellion is underway. The first substantial political victim of these events is Rafik Belhaj Kacem, the Interior Minister who was sacked, according to Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi. The Premier also announced the pending release of all those jailed during the demonstrations. ...
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A Season of Discontent: Algiers and Tunis Remain Under Stress

After ending the year in agitation, Tunis and Algiers are not out of woods yet. As 2011 starts, new crises continue to trouble authorities. For example Tunisia has been the target of Internet attacks, essentially bringing government websites out of commission. The Anonymous Group has been busy since January 2, 2011 staging distributed denial of service attacks and 3 days later government sites remain unreachable. These attacks are motivated by the Group's support of both Wikileaks, blocked in Tunisia and in support to Tunisian protesters in broad terms. Meanwhile, authorities in Tunisia have been on the edge as tension mounted during the Wednesday, January 5, 2011 burial of Mohamed Bouazzizi, the young unemployed man who burned himself to death on December 17. His death triggered a popular chain reaction of anger not seen in years....
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Competing for Africa: Turkey Rising

The North Africa Journal | In a briefing we held with a former Turkish Ambassador to the U.N., he noted that global corporations generally like to point to the strong economic growth of markets like Brazil, China, India and Russia. But he added that they often neglect to mention the stellar performance of the Turkish economy. ...
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Hackers Launch Attack against Internet Sites of Tunisian Government

The North Africa Journal : Hackers have brought down the servers of several government entities in Tunisia. As of 6:12 PM US Eastern time on Tuesday January 4, 2011, websites like tunisia.gov.tn, tunisianindustry.nat.tn and carthage.tn were down allegedly under the effect of a distributed denial of service attack organized by Wikileaks defenders. A random check of a variety of .TN domain names leads us to believe that the attack is broad and not just focused on specific websites. Note that sources within Tunisia proper say they are able to access those sites, but our own attempts from various foreign locations did not succeed. ...
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Author info
image Arezki Daoud Arezki Daoud is a leading analyst on North African affairs. He has been editor of The North Africa Journal since 1996. The publication reaches over 50,000 decision makers worldwide. Having lived and worked in North Africa, Mr. Daoud's analytical expertise on the region spans from the energy and industrial sectors to security and political affairs. Arezki is familiar with the speech circuit and briefing the business and government communities on the countries of the Maghreb region and is widely quoted in the press.
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