Algeria: We're Not Going To Take It Any More

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April 13, 2010: Most Islamic terrorists have fled to the far south, deep into the Sahara desert. It's not just the security forces that are responsible for this, but the loss of popular support as well. This is particularly true out in the countryside, where the police rarely show up and the government presence is very light. For decades, these rural Algerians lived in fear of the Islamic radicals, who demanded silence (to the police) and material support (food, shelter, cash) for themselves. The terrorists would beat, kidnap or kill villagers that resisted. That has backfired, and now the rural villagers are increasingly hostile to, and active against, the Islamic radicals. The terror tactics don't work anymore, not because the people are now armed, but mainly because the people have had enough and won't put up with it anymore.

Most Algerians live in urban areas, and they have plenty of contact with the government. These Algerians are not happy with the continuing corruption and domination of the government by a few hundred families (descendents of the men who led the rebellion against France 60 years ago). The ruling families face a problem with their supporters (whom they share the oil wealth with), who want more than the little that is available (mainly from oil and natural gas sales). As a result, the government and military are splitting into factions. This growing lack of unity could be fatal if popular unrest grew.

The government is still working out the details on a huge (over $7 billion) arms deal with Russia. This will be paid for using revenue from Algeria's natural gas sales, and Russia will also sell technology and technical assistance for that industry as well. Russia is the major supplier of natural gas to Europe.

April 12, 2010: The government signed 25 economic agreements with Syria. Both nations are military dictatorships, and have similar problems trying to run a market economy and keep the ruling groups in power despite popular opposition and Islamic radicals.

April 7, 2010: The government has signed a treaty with the United States, where both nations will share information on criminal activity. The main purpose of this is to make it difficult for criminals from either country to travel to the other one to hide. The treaty sets up communications between law enforcements agencies in both nations, and rules for exchanging information.

Some 50 kilometers east of the capital, a roadside bomb went off, killing one and wounding two. The target was a military convoy.

April 4, 2010: Police have arrested several people in the far south, who were providing supplies for Islamic terrorists living out in the desert. The group bought supplies and then left them in hidden caches where the terrorists could find them. The leader of the group was from Mali, and had enough money to hire helpers, and purchase the goods.

April 3, 2010: Islamic terrorists ambushed men guarding a work crew (building an electrical transmission line) 250 kilometers east of the capital and killed seven of the security guards. Far to the south, just across the border in Mali, an anti-vehicle mine went off and injured five soldiers (who were sent to the nearest hospital, which was in Algeria.) The mine was believed to belong to Mali tribal rebels, who have made peace, but not retrieved all the mines they planted.

 

 

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