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Maghreb Media Roundup (February 1)

[Image of Nouakchott, Mauritania by night. Image by Tälib/Flickr] [Image of Nouakchott, Mauritania by night. Image by Tälib/Flickr]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Maghreb and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Maghreb Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to by Tuesday night of every week]


What does an amended constitution really change about Algeria? John P. Entelis writes for the Washington Post, considering the implications of Algeria’s recent constitutional amendments.

Algerian Restaurants Offer Discounted Meals To Syrian Refugees. Algerians are offering discounted or free meals to nearly 150,000 Syrian refugees.

Algeria: Trade deficit widens as oil earnings drop sharply “Algeria’s energy earnings dropped 40.8 percent in 2015 from the previous year, causing a trade deficit of 13.71 billion dollars after a 4.306 billion dollar surplus in 2014”

مرسوم رئاسي: بوتفليقة يحل رسميا دائرة الإستعلام والأمن (DRS) President Bouteflika has issued a decree to replace the country’s previous internal security apparatus with the “Directorate of Security Interests”

أعداء الأمازيغية Said Khatibi writes on Algeria’s multilingual history and the role of Tamazight and Arabic.

Algérie. Retour à une présidence régalienne, avec un président impotent Yassine Temlali critiques president Bouteflika and recent changes in Algeria’s politics.


Libya: The Chaos Continues Atlantic Council Libya specialist Karim Mezran explains the reasons pushing Libya’s internationally recognized parliament to reject the proposed unity plan.

Secret US mission in Libya revealed after air force posted pictures “A secret US commando mission to Libya has been revealed after photographs of a special forces unit were posted on the Facebook page of the country’s air force.”

برلين لا تستبعد نشر قوات ألمانية في ليبيا A report on potential further military involvement of Germany in Libya.


Anti-slavery activists in Mauritania face violent clampdown, rights groups warn Annie Kelly writes for The Guardian on the continued oppression of anti-slavery activists in Mauritania.

Mauritania deploys new armoured vehicles for peacekeeping mission “Mauritania has acquired Turkish-made Otokar Cobra armoured vehicles, it was revealed when President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz inspected a battalion before it joined the UN mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) on 12 January.”

Escaped Al-Qaeda death row prisoner deported back to Mauritania The escaped Muhammad Oueld Salek, who attempted to assassinate President Abdel Aziz in 2012, was captured and returned to Nouakchott.

KSCRHA sends team to distribute food in drought-hit Mauritania The King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Action is providing food and water to drought areas of Mauritania.

Mauritania: Islamist prisoners launch hunger strike Africa News covers the recent hunger strikes thirty Salafi prisoners started in protest of unfair treatment after Muhammad Oueld Salek’s escape from jail.


Leila Alaoui, Photographer Wounded in Burkina Faso Siege, Dies at 33 Dan Bilefsky pens a tribute to late photographer Leila Alaoui.

Talk to the hand: Prince Hassan of Morocco dodges meet 'n’ greet kisses A selection of videos showing Morocco’s crown prince Moulay Hassan III receiving the much controverted hand-kiss.

اعمال عنف في جامعة اكادير تقتل طالبا The killing of a university student in Agadir sparks further anger amid the large-scale protests in the education sector that spread throughout the country.

Strong 6.1 quake hits Mediterranean between Morocco and Spain A 6.1 magnitude earthquake followed by 5.3 magnitude tremor is felt between Morocco and Spain.

Thousands march to protest education cuts in Morocco “Thousands of demonstrators in Morocco have defied a government ban to march in a tense protest over planned cuts to Morocco's education system.”


Amnesty International Reports Torture of Detainees in Tunisia “New evidence of the torture and deaths of detainees in police custody has emerged in Tunisia, indicating a rise in repression as the government has sought to crack down on terrorism.”

En Tunisie, la contestation sociale s’étend New waves of protests related to the socio-economic stalemate and unemployment shake Tunisia and spread from Kasserine to the Tunis.

Tunisie : le blues des activistes Jeune Afrique reports on the despondency of Tunisian activists in light of the unachieved goals of the revolution.

THE ARAB SPRING: 5 YEARS ON Middle East Monitor reports on the state of affairs in Tunisia five years following the revolution.

انفلات أمني في تونس وانتشارأعمال النهب للبنوك والمحال‬ رغم فرض حظر التجوال فى جميع المدن  A video circulating on social media shows “chaos on the streets following the announcement of the curfew in #Tunisia … #تونس

Western Sahara

Western Sahara: Africa's last colony takes struggle for self-determination to European courts “Western Saharan human rights group CODESA said at least sixty-seven international observers have been blocked from visiting the occupied territory by Moroccan forces since the weekend.”

Sweden won't recognise Western Sahara Sweden’s foreign minister Margo Wallstrom announced that Sweden will not recognize the Western Sahara as an independent state.

Western Sahara-The War that Time Forgot Matthew Priest writes for Esquire on the conflict between the Western Sahara and Morocco.

Recent Jadaliyya Articles on the Maghreb

The Impeccable Narrative Around Tunisian Workers' Syndicate Massimo Di Ricco deconstructs the rosy narrative around Tunisia's major labor union, delving into its historical role into today's political landscape.

« Les organisations policières se trouvent en position de force » entretien avec Emmanuel Blanchard Thomas Serres interviews historian Emmanuel Blanchard on the heightened security in France and the ramifications.

La question du patrimoine en Algérie Sidi Mohammed el Habib Benkoula writes on the measures being taken to preserve Algerian patrimony.

'All in World Bank': Manipulation in the Name of Deregulation The Tunisian Observatory of Economy publishes a report critical of the World Bank's report on Tunisia. Read the French version here.

Remembering Fatema Mernissi Zakia Salime reflects on the life and legacy of the late Fatema Mernissi.

1 اللااستثناء المغربي: حزب وجيش وقصر An Arabic translation of Jadaliyya co-editor, Samia Errazzouki's, overview of the history of state formation in Morocco. Read the second part here. (English version: Part 1 and Part 2)

Morocco: A Bipolarization under Royal Control Stéphanie Wenger delves into the aftermath of the local and regional elections in Morocco, highlighting the role of the palace as parties shift their alliances. 

Women in the Men’s House: The Road to Equality in the Algerian Military A report from the Carnegie Middle East Center highlights the gendered dynamics in the Algerian military.

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