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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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A Busy Fall Season

The North Africa Journal, by Arezki Daoud | Although less dramatic than in 2011, the year 2012 for North Africa remains a period of intense struggle. The countries of the region are dealing with multi-faceted crises, hitting their political systems and their economies, and therefore affecting the balance of their basic social fabrics....
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New Egyptian President Forces Old Military Guard to Retire

Egyptian media outlets are hailing as "revolutionary" a decision by President Mohamed Morsi to dismiss the once-powerful defense minister and curtail the military's authority. "It can be said that starting today, the country is no longer under military rule," said Cairo resident Badawi Sayed Mahmoud. "Military rule is now over and Egypt will become a civil state in which everyone will be entitled to their rights."...
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Egypt's Military Learning to Deal with New Kind of President

By Margaret Besheer [VOANews] Egypt's new president briefly reconvened parliament Tuesday in defiance of the military, which dissolved the legislature last month based on a high court order. About 200 people gathered outside Egypt's parliament on Tuesday as some lawmakers briefly returned to the lower house after President Mohamed Morsi called on them to do so....
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Egypt at the Crossroads

Cairo, Egypt | by Vivian Salama | In early January this year, a headline on Egypt’s political turmoil in state-run Al-Ahram read: “Saving Egypt from Itself.” So is the sentiment following the country’s presidential runoff, with news of the apparent victory by Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi and a preemptive decree by the country’s ruling military junta, further clamping down on power even after the new president assumes office. ...
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Tunisia and the Salafist Threat

The North Africa Journal | The general security climate in Tunisia has deteriorated and government response has been timid and inefficient. Given the Islamist offensive appears well organized, it is likely part of an effort to destabilize Tunisia and derail its efforts to recover from a disastrous 2011....
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Potential Pitfalls in the EU’s “More for More” Approach to Democratization in North Africa

The North Africa Journal | By Alec Simantov | Since June of last year, the European Union has been touting its new reform plan for its European Neighborhood Policy (ENP), which calls for a complete revamping of the Union’s political and economic relations with the ‘Southern Mediterranean’ countries, most notably North Africa....
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Libya and the ICC: In the Pursuit of Justice?

The North Africa Journal | By Leila Hanafi | The ongoing post-conflict reconstruction process in Libya is reigniting a crucial debate among transitional justice advocates as to the role the International Criminal Court (ICC) can play in delivering justice and redress to victims of grave crimes. In the midst of the February 2011 revolution, the ICC opened an investigation into crimes allegedly committed in Libya, based on United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1970....
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France’s New President: Foreign Policy and Where North Africa Stands

The North Africa Journal | President-elect François Hollande of France has his work cut out on the foreign policy front. His predecessor is leaving office with a sense of missed achievements and a series of policies blunders that need urgent fixing. In a five-year period, Sarkozy failed to leverage appropriately and responsibly his country’s global leadership position as a major economic and military power. That started with his failure to impose a more assertive France on the burning issues of the Euro-zone and the serious topic of the future of Europe....
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The Rise of North Africans in French Politics

The North Africa Journal | Seeking to discredit his opponent during the Presidential race in France, outgoing President Nicholas Sarkozy stated on April 27, 2012 that François Hollande has received support from 700 Muslim clerics operating in France. Blinded by a bad attitude vis-a-vis North Africans and Sub-Sahara Africans in general, bordering xenophobia, Sarkozy may have lost precisely because he alienated a substantial minority block that is becoming key to French politics, somewhat akin to the Hispanic vote in US elections. ...
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Mutiny in Mali

The State of Mali is the latest victim of a state of lawlessness affecting Sahel nations. Economic misery, an armed conflict against its Touareg ethnic population, relentless actions from terror groups allegedly affiliated to Al Qaeda, and an incompetent regime have pushed Mali into the abyss. Unable to fight on several fronts with insufficient resources, a group of Soldiers are turning against their leaders in what appears to be a coup attempt against the man that led a coup d'etat in 1990....
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Tunisia’s Islamists: Will the Honeymoon Period End in the Next Elections?

The Islamist Ennahda Party is in control in Tunisia. After being denied political rights under the Ben Ali dictatorship for almost a quarter century, and a severe crackdown of its members, the Ennahda Party won the majority of seats in the Tunisian interim parliament called the Constituent Assembly, or National Constituent Assembly (NCA), following elections that took place on October 23, 2011. ...
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Libya Year One: The Impassable Road to Stability

The North Africa Journal: Islamists in Libya were always staunched enemies of the Gaddafi regime. Muamar Gaddafi spent millions of dollars either fighting them or paying them to gain their loyalty. One of the very last acts he did as the rebellion started in Benghazi was to release from jail a group of Islamist militants and gave them money to buy their support. ...
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The Future of Libya: Forget About a Central Government, Only Autonomous but Unified States Would Work

By Arezki Daoud | The North Africa Journal | Libya is in chaos and the idea that a central government driven by the National Transitional Council (NTC), or whatever comes after it will save it is pure fiction. Everywhere you look, every angle you analyze, every event that is reported by the media tell one thing, and one thing only: the NTC is incapable of governing and utterly unable to control the chaos as too many pressure points are breaking the country further apart. ...
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Chaos in Northern Nigeria

The North Africa Journal | At least 120 people were killed in the troubled northern Nigerian city of Kano on Friday, the country’s second largest city. A series of bomb blasts were reportedly coordinated by the Islamist organization known as Boko Haram. ...
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Saleh Transfers Power to Yemeni VP

The North Africa Journal | When the news that the Yemeni President Saleh was about to sign a power transfer agreement broke out earlier this week, skeptics did not believe the battered ruler would go forward with the deal. He has made in the past several similar promises only to remain in power....
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Constituent Assembly Makes its Debut in Tunisia

Tunisia is speeding up its political recovery after several months of severe unrest. The ousting of dictator Ben Ali led to a chaotic period, followed by a solid performance of the moderate Islamists as the Tunisians went to vote for their representatives....
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Libya Has new Government Cabinet

After a brief delay, Interim Libyan Prime Minister has now a government cabinet tasked to secure the Libyan territory and get the economy going. The new cabinet will also work to pave the way for a permanent political landscape....
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Yemen Ruler's New Promise

The North Africa Journal: Yemeni ruler has made several pledges to transfer power only to rescind. A United Nations envoy to Yemen says negotiators have reached agreement on a plan that calls for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down in a bid to end the country's political crisis....
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Morocco’s Military Equipment Purchases from France Exceeded $750 million in 2013

Morocco spent more than $2.5 billion in acquiring French military hardware over the past five years. In the decade ending 2013, Morocco was been France’s 6th biggest buyer of French weapons, behind Saudi Arabia, India, Brazil, the UAE and the USA.
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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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With Another Bouteflika Term, Algeria Faces Uncertain Future

The North Africa Journal | President Bouteflika extracted his fourth term like a dentist extracting a tooth from a child. It was a painful and ugly scene, but also an embarrassing moment for a country that has so much to offer.
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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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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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