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Participatory Governance in Morocco: Towards Enhanced Engagement of the Diaspora

By Leila Hanafi: As part of Minister Abdellatif Mazouz, Minister Delegate to the Head of Government in charge of Moroccans living abroad, official visit to the United States in June 2013, the George Washington University Law School, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco and ARPA International organized an interactive discussion at George Washington University Law School in Washington DC, under the theme: Morocco’s Rule of Law Reforms: Towards an Evolved Perspective on Diaspora Engagement.
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Back from the Dead: Belmokhtar Launches Daring Attacks in the Sahel, Warns of More to Come

The North Africa Journal | The Chadian government has once again shown that it has no credibility. Its President, Idriss Deby, and its military leadship have made so much noise about the death of the infamous Sahel's terror chief Mokhtar Belmokhtar that major global media outlets simply went along and reported it without checking the validity of the information. But Belmokhtar is back with more noise of his own. It turned out he is alive and busy plotting more attacks....
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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....
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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....
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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....
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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....
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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. ...
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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. ...
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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?...
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Killing of Belaïd in Tunisia Accelerates Confrontation Between Secularists and Islamists, and Among Islamists Themselves

The North Africa Journal | Tunisia is in the third phase of its “Jasmine” Revolution. The first phase was the ousting of dictator Ben Ali, which brought euphoria, optimism, and a great sense of democracy in a country long controlled by a rogue regime. ...
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Crises in Mali and Algeria: Disastrous Outcome for the Jihadists in North Africa/Sahel

The North Africa Journal | Arezki Daoud | The Jihadist movement in the Greater North Africa is in bad shape and the ongoing crises are pushing it toward extinction. Poor strategic decisions and bad executions are driving these extremist militants toward complete destruction. ...
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Terror Attack on Gas Site: Algeria Faces Greatest Crisis in Decades

The North Africa Journal | Arezki Daoud | The terrorist attack perpetrated against an Algerian natural gas complex in the southeast of the country carries enormous implications for Algeria. The takeover of the In-Amenas gas complex could not only hurt Algeria’s hydrocarbons industry, but it also challenges that country’s multi-billion dollar security infrastructure built in and around the nation’s critical oil infrastructure. It is not an exaggeration to conclude that Algeria could face its biggest economic challenge in decades....
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Hundreds of Rebels Killed in Mali, Dangerous Implications Ahead

The North Africa Journal | Unconfirmed reports say the Franco-African offensive in Mali has claimed the lives of hundreds of Touareg rebels and militant Islamists. Observers in Mali put the number of dead militants to 800. Among those killed are some senior commanders including Mohamed Ag Aghaly Ag Wambadja, Moulaye Ag Ahmed, and Hassane Habré allegedly killed on January 10, 2013 in Kona....
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Franco-African Military Offensive Begins in Mali

The North Africa Journal | Aided by West African and French troops, Mali’s government soldiers have began a long-awaited offensive against Islamist rebels in Northern Mali. ...
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U.S. Endorses Algeria’s Lead Role in Mali Crisis, But Skeptics Abound

The North Africa Journal | By Arezki Daoud | Algeria’s diplomacy has scored a victory of sort following the statement made by US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns describing Algeria as the "leader" in the Mali crisis. The move provides Algeria with additional breathing room to get some factions in Northern Mali who have been pushing for independence to revert their position without resorting to force. It may also frustrate those who have been seeking to sideline Algeria fearing that in the eyes of the US, the UN and other global players Algeria could be seen as a regional power broker with growing responsibilities and oversight on economic and security issues....
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Bracing for a Military Offensive Against Islamists in Mali, Algeria Remains Unconvinced but “Willing”

The North Africa Journal | Algiers has long been reluctant to participate in a military offensive in neighboring Mali to root out Islamist militants. Some of these militants are either seeking to create a separate state, and/or intend on imposing Sharia law. Already the northern part of Mali has fallen in the hands of a trio of organizations, namely the Mujao, Ansar Eddine and Al-Qaeda North Africa....
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How to Rule by Proxy: the King’s Eyes and Ears in the Moroccan Provinces

The North Africa Journal | The latest revision of the Moroccan constitution was supposed to usher in a new era of democracy by providing more power to the representatives of the people and reducing the Monarchy's prerogatives. Still, the monarchy remains unchallenged, having created a system that essentially controls virtually everything, directly and through the so-called Makhzen system. ...
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Rise and Struggles of the Islamist Movements in North Africa

The North Africa Journal | By Arezki Daoud | The popular movements that have toppled dictatorial regimes in North Africa have unwillingly paved the way for Islamists and conservative factions to take over governance. With the Islamists front and center, divisions and differences in ideas have emerged among them, dominated by four distinct factions....
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With the Rise of Ansar al-Sharia in Libya and Tunisia, Al Qaeda Starts New Offensive in North Africa

The North Africa Journal | The assassination of American diplomats in Libya has brought to the forefront a new Salafist group with Jihadist tendencies called Ansar al-Sharia. Although the attack against the American consular office was seemingly carried out as a retaliation for an amateur movie insulting to Islam and its Prophet Mohamed, all fingers point to Ansar al-Sharia as being behind the killings for reasons that are not necessarily related to the film in question. ...
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The War Within: Salafists vs. Moderates

The North Africa Journal | By Arezki Daoud | Political Islam in Search for Way Forward | In the aftermath of the toppling of many Arab dictators, Islamist politicians have come into the forefront of governance and are now seemingly in control. But as they move into halls of power in Tunis, Cairo, Rabat and elsewhere, we discover that Political Islam is not as homogenous as many thought. Philosophical differences and ideological gaps exist between the various stakeholders that are likely to make the transition to a stable region a difficult and bumpy road....
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Trapped Between Delusion And Denial

The Israelis and Palestinians have been trapped for decades between delusions and denial and both have resorted to ideological and religious dogmas that dismiss with conviction any factual evidence to the contrary.
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Maghreb & Sahel Face Deadliest Period on the Security Front

The North Africa Journal - MEA-Risk released its latest assessment on the state of security and stability in the Maghreb and Sahel region. Findings from MEA-Risk's Critical Incidents Tracker shows that the region continues to face unprecedented violence. All data measuring negative factors tracked by MEA-Risk’s Critical Incidents Tracker have been on the rise, some at alarming rates.
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Intensity of Crises in Maghreb and Sahel Regions Remains Dangerously High, Says MEA-Risk

The North Africa Journal: For the week ending June 8, 14, the combined disruptive events recorded by sister company MEA-Risk’s Critical Incidents Tracker showed an intensity that remained within the “High-Risk Zone” level, just as in the previous week.
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Severity of Crisis in Maghreb/Sahel Region Intensifies, Says MEA-Risk

The North Africa Journal: Sister company MEA-Risk issued its weekly analysis on the multi-faceted crisis affecting the whole Maghreb and Sahel region. The findings show while the number of incidents for the week ending June 1, 2014 dropped by about 10% from the previous cycle, the intensity of the crises rose at an alarming 22.4%. Casualties in the Maghreb/Sahel region rose 11% to 83 deaths, mostly concentrated in the Mali/MLNA conflict and in Libya.
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Morocco: Growing Social Tension amid Rising Costs of Living

The North Africa Journal | With the government focused on reducing the weight of subsidies on the national economy, Moroccan households continue to struggle with the rising costs of living. So much so that an unusual consensus has emerged among three competing labor unions as they now form a common front against the government and Morocco’s corporate bosses.
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US Military Capture Tanker Carrying Libyan Oil

The American military have seized an oil tanker carrying crude illicitly obtained from a rebel-held port in Libya.
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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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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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More Violence in Libya: Dozens Killed, Incontrollable Militias

The North Africa Journal | Deadly clashes erupted in the outskirts of Tripoli on Saturday resulting in dozens of deaths, estimated at almost 40. These events are similar to those that occurred last summer in Benghazi, when 30 people died after confronting an unruly armed militia. In Tripoli this weekend, local populations battled a militia from Misrata (some 200 km east of Tripoli), who came to the capital to avenge the death of some of their members following the burning of their south Tripoli headquarters on Wednesday.
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Sihem Hajji

Ms. Sihem Hejji [1ère année mastère GRH à l' ISG Tunis] is a Tunis-based human resources and education columnist. She focuses on employment and link to schools while pursuing a graduate degree in the field. Sihem worked for Citibank Tunis.
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