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Legislative Elections: Algeria Takes Three Steps Backward

The North Africa Journal | The expression “the People Have Chosen” does not apply to Algeria’s legislative elections held last week. And judging by the winners, it’s going to be business as usual for the incoming rubber-stamping assembly.
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Algeria vs. Morocco: And the Tit-for-Tat Goes On

The North Africa Journal | Moroccans and Algerians love to hate each other. I am not talking about the people, who are exactly the same in identity, ethnicity, religion and customs and have only respect for one another, but about their governments and leaders, who continue to feud and refuse to face up to the geo-strategic realities of the region today. ...
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Libya: Not out of the Woods Yet

The North Africa Journal | Libya is not out of the woods yet. And for those who think solutions to its multi-faceted crises are near, they should reconsider their views very carefully. It is certain that for a few multinational companies, the time is right to re-engage. With a country that has so much oil and gas, the time is always right to engage. ...
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North Africa: A Fast Evolving Landscape

We felt rather guilty for releasing to you an 80+ page issue. For a moment we thought we should split it into two installments, but here’s the problem: North Africa is a never ending source of critical matters at this very important junction of its history. The news and fast developing stories keep on pouring at such a speed that they inevitably require large amounts of reporting. ...
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Algeria: The Difficult Birth of a Moderate Islamist Political Coalition

While Islamists in Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt have made inroads in the area of governance, and are currently being tested, their Algerian counterparts still remain largely in the opposition. Energized by the outcome of the various elections in the region, Algeria’s various legal Islamist parties seem to be working to coordinate a common approach. But a closer look at their position reveals that they are in competition against one another for leadership as Algerians get closer to their May 2012 election season....
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Algerians and Moroccans Use Cyber Attacks to Settle their Political Feuds

The North Africa Journal | In the evening of November 8, 2011, nearly 200 Moroccan companies and other institutions were the targets of cyber attacks. The exact figure was not confirmed but the event led to the defacing of corporate and institutional websites, making them virtually useless for a short while. What was interesting in this wave of websites defacing was the widespread sentiment that the authors of the attacks were from Algeria. What’s also interesting was the fact that Algerian sites were also the targets of attacks earlier, in the morning of Tuesday and so the cyber attacks against Morocco were of a retaliatory nature. Among the Algerian institutions that faced a cyber attack early Tuesday was the Algerian Tax Department (Direction Générale des Impôts or DGI)....
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Morocco Spends More on Subsidies to Ease Public Opinion on the Political Front

The North Africa Journal | The Moroccans have had their quiet revolution. No drama like Tunisia or Libya, but the regime and the monarchy have taken notice. With public anger boiling at some point over the issue of democracy, Morocco had its near-miss moment. With a clever announcement of changes in the constitution, largely of cosmetic nature, King Mohammed VI swiftly aborted a potential catastrophe, avoiding the sort of fate that the former leaders of Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen and now Syria have met....
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French-Algerian Relations: The Weight of History

By Dr. Yahia H. Zoubir | In 1974, Algeria’s President Houari Boumediene declared that, “Relations between France and Algeria may be good or bad, but in no way can they be trivial.” Twenty-six years later, in 2000, his long-time foreign minister and now Algeria’s President, Abdelaziz Bouteflika (1999-present) declared that, “Algeria seeks to have extraordinary, non trivial, not normal, [but] exemplary and exceptional relations with France.” Yet, despite this willingness to turn the page, which, as Boumediene suggested, “cannot be torn up,” relations have often been marred with misunderstandings, conflicts, mutual suspicions and mistrust. ...
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With an Islamist Electoral Victory, Morocco Forced to Adopt Political Cohabitation

The North Africa Journal | With less than half the eligible voters going into the voting booths on Friday, the Moroccans woke up on Saturday with the news that the Islamists of the Justice and Development Party (PJD) were bracing to form a coaltion government. ...
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Is Egypt's Military Kneeling Under Public Pressure?

The North Africa Journal | After the bloody crackdown of the past days leading to dozens of deaths on the civilian side, the Egyptian military rulers say they will seek a political exit to the crisis. Although the military's public statements are still considered by protesters as insufficient, the Egyptian second uprising is clearly putting enormous pressure on the Junta....
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Libya: Time for Something Radically New

The North Africa Journal | By Arezki Daoud | The sacking of Prime Minister Ali Zeidan may be long overdue, but Libya’s problems remain the same with a dysfunctional and divided Congress, and regions and ethnic groups feeling neglected. The country wants to run as a normal nation but there is nothing normal in its current situation.
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Mayhem in Ghardaia: Ethnic Conflict Tearing Apart Central Algeria

The North Africa Journal | A 22-year old Mozabite man of Berber decent was assassinated by a gang in early February 2014, making him the fourth victim since the start of the year.
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European Investors Steer Clear from Moroccan Solar Projects in Disputed Western Sahara Territory

The North Africa Journal | Morocco has managed to raise so far about $1 billion to fund its mega solar project. Half of that money is a donation from Saudi Arabia, largely to enable Saudi companies to win contracts in Morocco.
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Troubled Times for North Africa’s Oil Sector

The North Africa Journal | By Arezki Daoud | Foreign companies are expressing their frustration with the security and political events affecting their business in North Africa. Many decided to postpone work for some future time, a decision often justified by a reduction in global demand, lower global prices and higher inventories expected in the future. That leaves, however, greater uncertainty in the region and many questions are being asked by the global investor community as to what come next.
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North Africa and Sahel: Major Military Buildup Underway

The North Africa Journal | By Arezki Daoud | Even as northern Mali continues to deal with the aftermath of its Jihadist invasion and the French offensive to remove them, the biggest concern for the region and international military organizations remains southern Libya and in particular the Libya-Algeria shared borders. A military buildup is underway, involving tens of thousands of troops, and upcoming acquisition of Russian military equipment and Chinese drones.
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Algeria Receives 'B-' Neutral Negative Stability Rating, Graded 50.7, According to MEA Risk

The North Africa Journal: MEA Risk rating and assessment service announced the release of its Stability Rating for Algeria. As of November 5, 2013, Algeria receives rating “B-”, with a numerical grade of 50.7 on a scale of 1-to-100, with 100 representing the highest level of stability and anything below 16 representing a failed state.
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Egyptian Military Degrades Muslim Brotherhood Organization

Two people were killed in skirmishes as supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi thronged Egypt's cities and towns on Friday for the third time in eight days, trying to rattle an army-backed government bent on crushing his Muslim Brotherhood.
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Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood Strikes Back, Egyptian Crisis Deepens

Supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi are launching new protests, some setting fire to a government building in Cairo.
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Morocco: The High Cost of Running Government

The North Africa Journal | With an economy struggling to grow, the Moroccan government has enacted a series of measures aimed at curbing spending related to the functioning of the administration. But these measures, which included a promised reduction in the state automobile fleet, a curbing of cost of travel and other items have failed to generate the savings anticipated early on, causing concerns about the rate of spending within the administration.
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Persistent Insecurity in North Africa, Wherever You Look

The North Africa Journal | By Arezki Daoud | As warned, the ongoing, and easily predictable political evolution of North Africa and the Sahel was inevitably leading to a substantial security erosion. Chaos is dangerously settling in and it will take decades, billions of dollars, and substantial efforts to fix the multi-faceted problems the region is facing.
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Colin Kilkelly

Colin Kilkelly specialises in the Maghreb and is based in Marrakech, Morocco. He has worked in Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco and Mauritania. Previously he has lived and worked in Pakistan where he was Regional Director for South Magazine, and has visited frequently since then. He interviewed President Musharraf on 3 occasions for Pakistan Special Reports in FIRST Magazine, and has written for Blue Chip Magazine based in Islamabad. He recently wrote the UKTI (UK Government Department for Trade and Investment) folders for commercial investment into Morocco, Pakistan and Libya. He is editor of the Marrakech based on-line English language magazine Yacout Info, which has been publishing since July 2008. He is also a correspondent for the North Africa Journal. He is a member of the Middle East Association(MEA) London.
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