The North Africa Journal
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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.
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.
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.
Yemen Ruler's New Promise
The North Africa Journal
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.
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.
Inside Al Qaeda’s New Offensive in North Africa
The North Africa Journal
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.
Libya: Militias Terrorizing Residents of ‘Loyalist’ Town, HRW
The North Africa Journal
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.
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.
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.
Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi: Game over, now to the Next Battle
Arezki Daoud and Alessandro Bruno
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.
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.
Morocco's Draft Constitution: Much Ado about Nothing
[By Arezki daoud | The North Africa Journal | email@example.com | US+508-981-6937] The Moroccan people are holding their breath on what's coming on the political front. Insiders involved in the political reform with front seat view of a proposed draft of the new constitution promised by the King say this one is a "game changer." Many even go as far as calling it "revolutionary." But how revolutionary is this draft document? For those seeking smooth transition to democracy, they are going to be hugely disappointed. In many critical areas, it seems as if the reform commission used a thesaurus to change words to make it sound like a real change is happening. But the reality is otherwise. The King will continue to rule, may be not so directly now yet certainly via proxy.
Arab Revolts: Painful Transitions, Hopeful Future
North Africans are going through unusual times. Most nations there are attempting to plan the reformation of their political systems in an environment full of risks. One of them, Libya, precipitated into a civil war and the embattled Muamar Gaddafi is still entrenched in his bunkers directing the terminal destruction of his nation. Libya’s recovery when the conflict ends will not be smooth either. A new Libya will have to reinvent a new constitution, new institutions, new leaders and tribes willing to respect each others.
The other dimension of the virtual space in the revolution of freedom in Tunisia: from Facebook to Streetbook
Dr. Samir Garbaya
By Dr. Samir Garbaya*: The Revolution that started in Tunisia on December 18, 2010 is having major geostrategic implications. A paradigm shift is now forcing the West to reconsider where it stood prior and during the revolution. The West was overwhelmed by the issue of stability and unquestionably supported repressive regimes in the Arab world.
Can Bouteflika Deliver Democracy to his People?
[By Arezki Daoud | The North Africa Journal] At the end of a 20 minute-televised speech, the Algerian President, Abdelaziz Bouteflika pledged that he will be personally the guarantor of his new reform agenda. Under mounting pressure, Bouteflika went on television on Friday, April 15, 2011 as his country has been facing unprecedented levels of protests from a broad swath of the active and unemployed populations, while evolving in a deeply disrupted region.
The Tunisian Military: An Honorable Institution with Revenge in Mind
[By Arezki Daoud | firstname.lastname@example.org | 508-981-6937 | Twitter: @northafrica] The Tunisian defense forces acted honorably as their country faced a major political crisis. By deciding not to intervene, General Rachid Ammar and his men and women in uniform showed unparallel professionalism that most Arab countries’ military lack. By doing so, they accelerated the demise of the dictator, responding to the wishes of the Tunisian people. But were the armed forces simply and squarely abiding by their constitutional duties or were they motivated by a sense of payback and revenge against Ben Ali? Information from Tunis suggests that military role was motivated by a little bit of both.
The King's Speech: Good Start but Incomplete!
[By Arezki Daoud | email@example.com | 508-981-6937 | Twitter: @northafrica] Under pressure from the street, the King of Morocco Mohamed VI recently gave a highly anticipated speech on his political reform agenda. Although no doubt the speech provided some positive news, deflating popular pressure, and moving Morocco one step forward, many more steps are needed to fulfill and comply with the legitimate demands of Morocco’s youth and the pro-democracy movement.
Civil War in Libya: From the Euphoria of a Revolution to a Protracted Conflict
[By Arezki Daoud | firstname.lastname@example.org | US+508-981-6937] The plot is set. Muamar Gaddafi cannot leave his country without risking an immediate arrest. He cannot give up Tripoli easily or else he will find himself without hostages and risk being killed by the Libyan people. Cornered as a mad beast, he has nowhere to go and will fight until the last bullet as his son promised. With that in mind, unless a miracle happens, like a foreign military intervention, the Libyan civil war could go on for a long while.
Defection of Moussa Koussa Means the Gaddafi Regime is Crumbling
[By Arezki Daoud | email@example.com | US+508-981-6937] The defection of Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa (hear podcast at bottom of story) is indicative of a regime that is steadily and surely collapsing. Koussa is not a man who gives up easily, and if and when he does it simply means there is nothing else to gain by staying with his boss. Indeed Moussa Koussa defected on Wednesday when he decided to leave for London. Koussa is one of Gaddafi’s closest aids. He is as close as one can get to the mad man of North Africa. With him and others surrounding Gaddafi leaving, it confirms our earlier prediction of a regime that is bound to slowly extinguish itself like a fire dying without oxygen.
With Ben Ali on the Run and Gaddafi Fighting for his Life is a Unified Maghreb a Fading Dream?
[By Nasima Alli and Arezki Daoud] All eyes are currently focused on the revolutions taking place in the Middle East and North Africa. It started with mini rumblings in Algeria over the price of foods and a housing distribution program gone bad during the month of December 2010. The wave of discontent quickly progressed to Tunisia, then Egypt, now Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, Jordan, and even the sheltered Saudi Arabia. No Arab ruler and beyond feel so vulnerable.