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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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Crisis Escalates in Egypt, Military Junta is Behind Lack of Political Progress

The North Africa Journal | The political crisis in Egypt is once again escalating and the military junta has a direct responsible for scores of deaths and the public disenchantment. Without a central figure in charge that would be accountable for progress, the military junta is seen by Egyptians as a stumbling block to political progress. It is time that the military return to their barracks....
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Inside Al Qaeda’s New Offensive in North Africa

The North Africa Journal: As we warned in an earlier assessment, Al Qaeda’s North Africa franchise, AQIM (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) appears to be on the move with what may be a fresh offensive in the region. Having been sidelined by the popular revolts that have swept the Greater Mid-East North Africa zone, the death of Osama Bin Laden, the fragile state of Tunisia’s transition, the state of nervousness in Algeria and Morocco amid calls for democracy, and the chaos in Libya are providing an opening for AQIM to both position itself in light of a new geopolitical environment and to strike again to regain global opinion’s mind share. ...
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Libya: Militias Terrorizing Residents of ‘Loyalist’ Town, HRW

The North Africa Journal | Beatings, Shootings, Deaths in Detention of Tawerghans: Militias from the city of Misrata are terrorizing the displaced residents of the nearby town of Tawergha, accusing them of having committed atrocities with Gaddafi forces in Misrata, Human Rights Watch said today. The entire town of 30,000 people is abandoned – some of it ransacked and burned – and Misrata brigade commanders say the residents of Tawergha should never return....
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Islamist Ennahda Party Wins Big in Tunisia's First Free Elections | Update2

[By Arezki Daoud | US+508-981-6937] The Islamists of the Ennahda Party have won a major victory. Preliminary results of the votes of Tunisian expatriates abroad set the stage for what to expect within Tunisia proper when the results are announced. Ennahda has won 9 of the 18 seats allocated to the Tunisians living abroad, according to election authority "Instance Supérieure Indépendante pour les Eléctions" of ISIE. ...
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The Second Arab Revolution Coming: Arab Rulers, You Have Been Warned!

[By Arezki Daoud | US+508-981-6937] Muamar Gaddafi would not go down without creating collateral damage, not just in his country but also among his fellow dictators. Bashar Al Assad of Syria, Ali Abdallah Saleh of Yemen and so many other Arab rulers have been warned: Find a political solution very soon or risk a bad ending. Arab dictators will now witness an acceleration of public action against them, strengthened by the outcome of the Libyan crisis, call it Arab Revolution Version 2.0. ...
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Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi: Game over, now to the Next Battle

Game over for the Jamahiriya - at least for now. The battle for Tripoli has ended with the rebels taking over the Libyan capital, removing the green flags, replacing them with those of the old Senoussi monarchy. While Muamar Gaddafi remains missing, Green Square and most of the neighborhoods have been the scenes of jubilation as a surprising number of people have come out to celebrate the rebels. ...
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South Sudanese Independence and its Regional Implications

The prospect of renewed tensions, and possibly war, between North and South Sudan remains high. Even while the split between South and North has been generally peaceful, the emergence of a new state in east-central Africa will carry important implications and risks for the region and beyond, as well as the Sudanese government will manage the persisting tensions in the Darfur region. ...
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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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Morocco-Algeria: Diplomatic Tension Escalates

The North Africa Journal: Tension has been rising between Morocco and Algeria, over, yet again the disputed Western Sahara territory. This escalation seemed to have started following statements made by Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika during a speech made on his behalf by his Justice Minister, where he insisted on “the establishment of an international mechanism to monitor human rights in the Western Sahara.” This particular statement led the Moroccan government to recall its ambassador for consultation, and in Casablanca, the Algerian consulate was attacked by an angry mob.
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Libya PM Zeidan Kidnapped by a Government “Anti-Corruption Unit” [update]

The North Africa Journal | By Arezki Daoud | Making a public statement on Thursday, the Libyan Deputy Prime Minister Abdulkarim Sadikk clearly missed the mark when he stated that Libya was safe and security was under control. The problem with Mr. Saddikk statement is that nothing could be further from the truth. Early Thursday, Mr. Saddikk’s boss, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan was simply kidnapped from his room at the Corinthia Hotel. Yes, only in failed state do we see these kinds of events and to speak of security when the Prime Minister is abducted simply defies logic.
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Morocco: the King’s Men Return to Power, Islamists Take a Much Needed Break

The North Africa Journal | by Arezki Daoud | The coalition that formed the Moroccan cabinet since the electoral victory of the Islamist PJD party has been facing a crisis when in July 2013 the conservative-monarchist Istiqlal party withdrew from it. The exit of Istiqlal, the second biggest party in parliament, appears to have dealt a blow to the PJD, which has been leading a nation that faces a series of difficult social and economic issues, and opponents that could not wait for it to fail. At the end, however, the Islamists minimalist position in the new cabinet may actually be their saving grace.
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US Raids in Somalia and Libya | Audiocast

The North Africa Journal's Deputy Editor Alessandro Bruno shares his views on the latest US raids on Al Shabab locations in Somalia and on a location in Tripoli to capture Anas Al Liby. The discussion took place on a TV news program.
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Anas Al-Liby Captured by US Special Forces

The North Africa Journal | US Special Forces have captured Libya-born Al Qaeda leader Anas Al-Liby. Al Liby was seized in a commando-style operation undertaken on Saturday, October 05, 2013. Al-Liby is wanted by the US authorities for his alleged role in the 1998 US Embassy bombings in Dar-es-Salam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya. He is also believed to be a key coordinator of North African terrorist organizations on behalf of Al Qaeda.
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Featured author
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Alessandro Bruno

Deputy Editor of The North Africa Journal Alessandro Bruno is a leading analyst of North African, Arab and international affairs. He specializes in strategic political and economic developments relating to the North African oil industry and Middle East politics. Mr. Bruno is also an analyst in the global investment banking sector for a leading international advisory group. Quoted in the press such as The Financial Times, Mr. Bruno holds a Master of Arts in Middle East Studies and Bachelor of Arts in Near Eastern Studies. He has completed course work for a PhD in Middle East Politics at the University of Toronto. Mr. Bruno brings a wealth of international experience, having lived and worked abroad in a variety of different countries. Most recently, he lived in Libya working as a Program Officer (JPO) with the United Nations Development Program. Mr. Bruno is fluent in English, Italian, Spanish and French and has a working knowledge of Portuguese, Arabic and German.
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