The North Africa Journal
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The Jihadists in Africa's Sahel Zone: Expect More of the Same Despite Cleanup in Mali
The North Africa Journal | By Arezki Daoud | Many observers of the military intervention in Mali are praising the Franco-African troops for what they already consider a guaranteed victory. Although a military win is assured given the superiority of the French army, it may be more difficult to ascertain, that as a result, the Jihadists are defeated. Indeed, as we look at the months ahead and beyond, the possibility of a conflict spillover is the most likely scenario. If such scenario does not happen, then we can salute this intervention in Mali as a victorious one.
Qatar's Dangerous and Murky Game in West Africa
The North Africa Journal | Qatar is not a stranger in nations where strange things are happening. Like Saudi Arabia, it is almost everywhere where civil wars, internal conflicts and crises are destroying whole nations. Qatari dollars can be traced in places like Libya, Pakistan, Indonesia, Syria, and the list goes on. It also seems to be wherever the Islamist Jihadist elements operate. In short: Qatar’s international meddling is just bad news.
ArcelorMittal Site in Algeria Headed Toward Nationalization
The North Africa Journal | Steel giant ArcelorMittal may be given a lifeline and a gift of sort by the Algerian government. The company is reported to be wanting the Algerian government to acquire an additional 21% stake in its Annaba unit, northeast Algeria for $200 million.
The Political Angle of a Stalled Moroccan Economy
The North Africa Journal | Skeptics of the Islamist PJD party’s role and position in government and its political enemies are rejoicing to the news that a little more than a year after taking the Prime Minister’s office no progress was delivered to the Moroccan people. As we pointed out in the early stages of the PJD’s control of the Primiership, PM Abdelilah Benkirane has inherited a disastrous economy to begin with and was likely to fail, risking to erode the image and credibility of his party, in particular among the working class and the disenchanted.
Algerian Government Ministers Implicated in Corruption Cases: All Eyes on Chakib Khelil and Others
The murky nature of Algerian politics and lack of transparency mean that the country is suffering from a major credibility and accountability deficit that is allowing many of its top leaders to abuse their power. As we approach the Presidential elections, more political and financial scandals are making it to the public, dragging with them names of politicians who used to be seen internationally as credible. Foreign justice systems in countries like Italy, Switzerland, Canada and elsewhere are probing cases of illegal payments made by companies to Algerian officials, investigations that are turning out to be a PR nightmare for the Algerian government.
ENI-Saipem Hit by Corruption Scandal on Algeria Business
The North Africa Journal | Italian oil and gas industry contractor Saipem is embroiled in a corruption scandal in its Algeria operation that forced the resignation of its veteran CEO Pietro Franco Tali. The company’s engineering and construction Chief, Pietro Varone was suspended pending the ongoing investigation. Energy giant ENI, which owns 40% of Saipem announced the resignation of its own CFO Alessandro Bernini.
North Africa’s Troubles: The Gift that Keeps on Giving
The North Africa Journal | By Arezki Daoud | North Africa is in an accelerated downward spiral, and the bottom is nowhere near. All indicators, whether they are economic, political, and social point clearly to the the fact that the entire region has sunk to a new low. While it would be easy to equate today’s North Africa to yesterday’s American wild west, there is a massive difference and that is there is no “Sheriff in town” in North Africa. The region and its populations are left to fend for themselves, abandoned by their politicians, abused by their business leaders.
What’s in a Name?
The North Africa Journal | By Arezki Daoud | I chuckle, often in admiration, when I hear some interesting names that defy mainstream. Former World Cup alpine ski racer Picabo Street comes to mind, but also Ms. Krystal Ball, the American politician who is often called on US TV channels precisely to make predictions. Some names are just funny. Take actor Jason Lee who is reported to have named his kid “Pilot.” Or the names of the children of many celebrities like Fifi, Apple, Kal-El, Coco and Kyd.
JCP Islamist Party Seeks Way out of Coalition Government in Libya
The North Africa Journal | While their peers are accused of having too much power in Tunisia, the Islamists in Libya think they don’t have enough of it. The religious-leaning Justice and Construction Party (Hizb Al-Adala Wal-Bina), affiliated to the broad Muslim Brotherhood's political tendency, is seriously considering leaving the coalition government that was formed to manage the country.
Tunisian PM Jebali Resigns: a Case of "Should I Stay or Should I Go."
The North Africa Journal | By Arezki Daoud | Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali is calling it quit. Having failed to form a neutral technocratic cabinet as he promised following the assassination of secular opposition leader Chokri Belaid, Jebali decide to resign on Tuesday this week. Is he really completely out of the picture or repositioning himself to put pressure on his Islamist party Ennahda?