Latest Issue Available for Download
The North Africa Journal is pleased to announce the release of its 235th issue in which Editors discuss a series of topics of economic, political and security interest related to North Africa’s Maghreb region.
Regionally, the security issues remain front and center, and while the situation improved by one step forward, it quickly took a two-step setback. The stabilization of the Tunisian government is arguably the most positive news for the region, while the resignation of Zeidan as Prime Minister of Libya threw that country into further chaos. As of today, the Libyans could not manage to find a Senior Executive for the top government post, and emotions there are running high. Today (April 29th) in Tripoli supporters of a candidate to Prime Minister have attacked the Congress with guns to make the point that they wanted their man at the top. In Libya, guns happen to rule.
In neighboring Algeria, the elections for President were largely peaceful. But the reality is that most voters did not bother to show up to endorse an election no one believes it to be fair and neutral. At the end, the old President Bouteflika won again, throwing the country into another cycle of uncertainty.
While the Algerians grapple with a completely broken political system, they awaken to the reality that their police are as brutal as what South Africa’s apartheid police used to be. Videos on YouTube show the extent of the brutality of the police against the Kabyles. Adding to that the already bad police performance in Ghardaia, the insensitive comments of Prime Minister Sellal on the Chaouias, the escalating tension between Black and Arab Touaregs, etc and one realizes that they are as many grievances as there are ethnic groups in Algeria. It is time to acknowledge that the Algerian people are diverse and have rich cultures. They should all be respected for being different. As an old and ill Bouteflika remains in power, it remains questionable whether he has full mental capacity to deal with the massive problems of a country he governs without oversight.
On the economic front, the situation has not progressed. Libya may have cut a deal with Ibrahim Jadhran and the Federalists to resume oil exports, yet it will take much more than an agreement to bring Libya back to where it should be. Algeria too is facing reduced exports and reluctant foreign oil companies. Tunisia may have its new Prime Minister, but it needs $3 billion to fill the hole of its budget deficit and that’s not an easy task for the new PM. As for Morocco, labor unions that represent the middle and lower classes are up in arms following many unilateral decisions made by the government of Prime Minister Benkirane, including an increase of gasoline prices and other issues that are making the lives of many Moroccans miserable.
What’s coming for the region over the next months will be just about the same. More political trouble, weakening economies and populations struggling with mediocre governments.
In addition to the latest issue, we are releasing two presentations we conducted in December and January on issues of security and energy. We are offering these presentations to our members. To view and hear the presentations please visit these links:
-The Geopolitics of Energy in Maghreb Economic Policies: http://bit.ly/QXiG3f
-North Africa Oil & Gas Infrastructure Security Conference: Security Assessment: http://bit.ly/1pLYOQe
For our sponsors and paying subscribers, please also visit this page to download the latest: http://www.north-africa.com/premium/issues/235.htm