Algeria: No Justice, No Peace

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February 26, 2009:  President Abdelaziz Bouteflika will seek a third five year term.  The 71 year old Bouteflika heads what amounts to a military dictatorship, which is led by men who participated in the rebellion against the French colonial government half a century ago. The old revolutionaries maintain power, even with elections, by using government power to cripple opposition parties. When that didn't work in 1992, and Islamic parties won control of the government, the military staged a coup, which triggered fifteen years of Islamic terrorism in response. Although the Islamic terrorists were defeated, they were not destroyed, and a few hundred terrorists and supporters keep the killing going, if just barely. Security forces have killed 40 Islamic terrorists in the last seven months, most of them along the coast, east of the capital, but there are still at least a hundred Islamic terrorists active and carrying out attacks. While the government has the edge, as long as the nation is run by an unpopular dictatorship, there will continue to be unrest.

February 23, 2009: Islamic terrorists attacked and killed nine security guards (who provided security for factories).

February 18, 2009:  Al Qaeda announced that they had six Europeans who had been kidnapped in the Sahara desert over the past two months. At first, it was suspected that bandits, eager for a large ransom, had done the deed. It may well have been bandits, who often sell their captives to other groups, including terrorists, rather than risk negotiating for ransom (and getting caught or killed by security forces.). Al Qaeda has not said what they want, but it's usually the release of jailed terrorists.

February 17, 2009:  In Mali, 578 Tuareg tribal rebels surrendered their weapons in a government ceremony. These tribesmen belonged to a faction that refused to accept the 2007 peace deal between the government and the Tuareg tribes.

February 15, 2009: Police tracked down and killed Mourad Bouzid, a 65 year old al Qaeda leader, in a town 53 kilometers east of the capital. Meanwhile, in two attacks, Islamic terrorists killed seven soldiers.

February 12, 2009: Two bombs went off in the east, killing eight people. The second bomb was set up near the first, and timed to go off once rescue workers came to help the victims of the first. All the dead and wounded were civilians.

February 11, 2009: Across the southern border in Mali, the government has completed a campaign against Tuareg rebels, arresting 22 and seizing large quantities of weapons. The rebel leadership has agreed to make peace, and cease dealing with criminal gangs and Islamic terrorists.

 

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