the north africa journal

January/February/March 2011
Download PDF here


Part 1

The Ben Ali Regime: Post Mortem Analysis

Feb. 24, 2011
Tunisia PM Ghannouchi Quits, Veteran Politician Essebsi is Replacement

By Arezki Daoud |
US+508-981-6937 | Skype: arezki.daoud

Mohammed Ghannouchi, Tunisia’s long time Prime Minister under the infamous Ben Ali, and then interim Premier in the current government, announced his resignation today, Sunday February 27, 2011. His assignment as interim PM has been rocked with controversies, as millions of Tunisians were not comfortable with a former regime operative leading the transition, despite his status of a technocrat. His resignation was largely prompted by the death of three demonstrators yesterday as clashes with police erupted near the Prime Ministry building. The demonstrators have been calling for his removal, however, many Tunisians do not rule out the involvement of and manipulations from the still active but shadowy supporters of dictator Ben Ali. Continue here.

February 5, 2011

To Stabilize Tunisia, Former Ruling RCD Party Must be Banned and Sent to the Museum

By Redouane Benmehdi|
US+508-981-6937 | Skype: arezki.daoud

Flash back to October 5, 1988: Tens of thousands of young Algerian men took to streets to demand a new political landscape, reforms and the rule of law. In power since the country’s independence in 1962, the FLN party ruled without competition, preventing any opposition to form. As an outcome of the 1988 Algerian youth uprising, the then President Bendjedid promised political openness and a swift move to a multi-party system. Fast forward in 2011 and the Algerian political system is dominated by the iron fist of the FLN, somewhat competing a tiny bit is a baby-FLN, the RND which was created by former FLN members essentially to hijack the democratization process. There are a few opposition parties that are largely irrelevant, not because their members are not skilled, but because the FLN-RND duo, essentially the ruling regime of today, prevents them from operating normally. Continue here.

Saturday, Feb 5, 2011

With Egypt in Turmoil, Algeria and Morocco Put Forward Insufficient Measures to Quell Decent

The Jasmine Revolution of Tunisia and the mayhem that followed in Egypt are catching Arab governments by surprise and decisions have to come soon. Yet Algeria and Morocco’s popular grievances, generally about all aspects of life, from economic opportunity, to civil liberties and the endemic corruption, are not new and have been a permanent factor in the domestic political landscape. Continue here.

Update: January 27, 2011
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. Continue here.


A Unity Government not so United, Interim President and PM Resign from Ruling RCD Party
Jan. 18, 2011: 8:36 PM GMT : 3:36 PM East USA

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, and perhaps more importantly is the UGTT labor union which decided to not endorse the Ghannouchi government. Continue here.

Anxiety Over New Tunisian Cabinet
Jan. 17, 2011: 6:41 PM GMT : 1:41 PM East USA

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. Continue here.

Latest Developments as of January 16, 2011

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. Continue here.

Why the Tunisians Fired Ben Ali

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 most Tunisians. Continue here.

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." Continue here.

Tunisian People Fixated on Sakhr El Materi, Imad Trabelsi and First Lady Leila Ben Ali

Among the figures that angry Tunisians are fixated on are Sakhr El Materi, Imad Trabelsi, and disgraced first lady Leila Ben Ali. Sakhr Materi's trajectory is becoming shockingly identical to that of Algeria’s disgrace 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.
Continue here.

Click here to subcribe

Part 2: Egypt

Part 3: Libya

Click here to subcribe

searchcontact informationabout the north africa journal

A Nation in Transition

Audio-Video Files

Alessandro Bruno on the spreading of discontent in the Arab world

Arezki Daoud speaks to Jennifer Ward of CTV on the situation in Tunisia

Tunisian People Chase Out Ben Ali: Fall of a Corrupt Regime

Events in Tunisia continue to escalate with the collapse of the Ben Ali presidency. After 23 years in power, Ben Ali left Tunisia unexpectedly and secretly toward an unknown destination. Prime Minister Ghannouchi took over the Carthage Palace as interim head of state. The street of Tunisia remain under curfew and a security sweep is underway with the police and the military working to restore order. Sources in Tunisia say shadowy organizations have been active creating trouble and are currently being chased by the military and the police. Joining us from Tunis is a correspondent and observer who we would like to keep anonymous and who graciously accepted to share her views live about these events that are moving rapidly by the minute.

Arezki Daoud on the BBC

A brief interview of Arezki Daoud by the BBC's Jullian Keane on the unrest in Tunisia.

In French: Nouveau Regard sur la Tunisie

La Tunisie continue a etre le centre d'une protestation populaire sans precedent. Dans ce fichier audio, Arezki Daoud du magazine North Africa Journal discute de la Tunisie avec un expert. Un nouveau regard sur la Tunisie.

All About the Unrest in Algeria & Tunisia

Unrest in Algeria and Tunisia, anticipation and troubles ahead in Sudan, click on this image below to hear our latest discussions on those issues. In this series of podcasts, Arezki Daoud and Alessandro Bruno discuss the events in broad terms.

Related Analyses

Hackers Launch Attack against Internet Sites of Tunisian Government

Not a Happy New Year for All

The Good and the Bad

log analysis