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CrisisWatch Database

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Mauritania

  |  30 Apr 2015

Unchanged

Court 21 April sentenced suspected al-Qaeda leader Younis al-Mauritani to twenty years’ prison for terrorist activities.

Libya

  |  30 Apr 2015

Unchanged

Fourth round of political dialogue held mid-April in Algeria and Morocco; agreement to end current institutional crisis remains distant. UNSMIL chief Bernardino León 27 April unveiled proposed draft agreement but supporters of both Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR) and Tripoli-based General National Congress (GNC) expressed criticism. HoR supporters do not accept proposal that HoR be reduced to purely legislative body with new unity govt taking over executive powers, including appointment of army chief of staff; also question creation of new presidential council composed of some former GNC members. Pro-GNC faction resent proposed deal’s full recognition of HoR authority and extension of its timeline. Military confrontations continued: over twenty killed in Tripoli 17-18 April in clashes between armed groups affiliated with opposing military factions Tripoli-Misratan Libyan Dawn Coalition and Tobruk-affiliated Libyan National Army (LNA). Heavy fighting resumed in Benghazi mid-month. Islamic State video 19 April showed alleged killing of some 28 Coptic Christians in Sirt and east Libya. Same day some 900 migrants died at sea leaving Libya for Europe; EU said will launch military operations against smuggling networks in Libya; both pro-GNC and pro-HoR representatives said they would not cooperate with any unilateral EU action against trafficking sites; UNSG Ban criticised EU proposal to destroy traffickers’ boats.

Tunisia

  |  30 Apr 2015

Unchanged

Attention on counter-terrorism continued in wake of 18 March Bardo Museum bombing. Religious affairs ministry increased efforts to bring mosques under its control, dismissed imams seen as overly political, reappointed imams from former President Ben Ali era. Civil society, Tunisian journalists’ trade union and Human Rights Watch warned anti-terrorism bill approved by cabinet late-March and bill on repression of aggression against armed forces, aimed at improving efficiency of security forces in fighting terrorism, could provide impunity for security forces, endanger human rights and freedom of speech. Four soldiers killed in militant attack on patrol in Sbeitia, NW; authorities 24 April said ten militants and two soldiers killed in clashes in central Kasserine region.

Egypt

  |  30 Apr 2015

Unchanged

Crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood (MB) continued: court 11 April confirmed death sentences for MB leader Mohammed Badie and thirteen others accused of plotting unrest. Ousted President Morsi sentenced to twenty years’ prison for ordering arrest and torture of protesters; fourteen other MB figures also sentenced, most to twenty-years. Court 20 April sentenced 22 MB supporters to death for Aug 2013 attack on police station; 19 April sentenced eleven football fans to death for role in 2012 Port Said stadium riot that left 74 dead. MB in exile head Ahmed Abdul-Rahman 23 April announced MB undergoing review, admitted past mistakes. Committee established to review new electoral laws in light of March Supreme Court ruling that draft law was unconstitutional 28 April approved new electoral laws omitting changes demanded by many political parties; President Sisi said elections will not take place until after Ramadan June-July. U.S. 1 April lifted weapons export ban on Egypt, imposed when military seized power in July 2013. Attacks in Sinai continued: fifteen soldiers and two civilians killed in gun attack 2 April near Sheikh Zuweid town; at least eleven civilians and two police officers killed 8-9 April; at least twelve killed 12 April in separate attacks on police station, checkpoint and highway in N Sinai. Three military academy students killed by roadside bomb in Kafr el-Sheikh 15 April.

Algeria

  |  30 Apr 2015

Unchanged

Opposition parties continued to call for “democratic transition”, dismissed talk of constitutional changes as unnecessary distraction. In response, main governing coalition parties National Liberation Front (FLN) and National Democracy Rally (RND) accused opposition of seeking to “rehabilitate terrorists”, said opposition lacks grassroots support. PM Sellal 9 April visited Ouargla, centre of protests against shale gas prospecting in south, amid accusations police had silenced local activists. Defence Ministry 6 April said some 500 illegal migrants intercepted in Tamanrasset province; 14 April said weapons cache discovered near border with Libya; 28 April said five militants killed in Tizi Ouzou region.

Western Sahara

  |  30 Apr 2015

Unchanged

UNSC 29 April renewed MINURSO peacekeeping mission mandate for another year.

Tunisia

  |  1 Apr 2015

Unchanged

Militants 18 March attacked Bardo Museum in Tunis, killing 23, mostly European tourists. President Essebsi stressed need for national unity, Islamist An-Nahda party called for more counter-terrorism efforts; security forces 29 March said commander of group responsible killed with eight other militants in south; some twenty arrested in connection with attack. Divisions within ruling Nida Tounes party between former members of Ben Ali-era ruling RCD party and leftists or anti-Islamists lessened after attack. Hundreds of thousands marched in Tunis against terrorism, including Essebsi and other world leaders. Social tensions in south continued, spurred by fears of attacks by Libya-based jihadis. Security forces 6 and 9 March discovered three weapons caches near Libya border, incuding dozens of small arms, grenades and bullets. Interior Ministry 29 March announced nine suspected terrorists killed in security operation in Gafsa governorate. Security forces expanded arrests of alleged terrorist sympathisers throughout month after mass arrests in Feb.

Egypt

  |  1 Apr 2015

Unchanged

Supreme Constitutional Court early March ruled two of three election-related laws decreed by President Sisi unconstitutional, effectively cancelling parliamentary elections scheduled to begin 22 April. Ruling welcomed by several political parties who had criticised laws; Sisi criticised for rushing legislation. Sisi 5 March announced small cabinet reshuffle, replaced eight ministers including controversial Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim, moved to deputy PM position. Crackdown on political dissent continued: fourteen outlawed Muslim Brotherhood (MB) members sentenced to death 16 March; 41 judges reportedly sacked for supporting MB. State media 29 March revealed MB leader Mohamed Badie and seventeen other top members listed by public prosecutor as terrorists. Army continued major military operations in Sinai: eight security force members killed during month, govt claimed at least 160 54 militants killed. Several bomb attacks against police stations and courts early March, particularly in Cairo area and Nile Delta. Sisi mid-March hosted investment conference in Sharm al-Sheikh, attended by over 1,700 investors and several world leaders; several billion USD in investments pledged including toward building new capital, notably from Gulf states. U.S. 31 March said would end weapons freeze imposed in 2013. Deal on Nile waters signed with Sudan and Ethiopia (see Ethiopia).

Algeria

  |  1 Apr 2015

Unchanged

Govt began talks with oil-producing countries on reversing decline in oil prices. Trial began involving former officials of state oil company concerning massive corruption discovered in 2009; adjourned after several witnesses did not appear. Govt 19 March announced shale gas exploration to continue despite protests against project in south. Three militants reportedly killed by army in Tagara area near Algiers.

Libya

  |  1 Apr 2015

Unchanged

UN-led political dialogue continued, with two rounds of talks in early March and third beginning 24 March; UN unveiled six-point proposal aimed at ending violence at parallel meetings of political party leaders held mid-March in Algiers. Another round of talks between municipal council leaders held 23 March in Brussels; fourth track focused on tribal leaders planned in Cairo. Despite this, no agreement reached on new National Unity Govt (NUG) to unite Tripoli and Tobruk factions: Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR) continued to insist it should be sole institution to vote on NUG, position rejected by Tripoli-based General National Congress (GNC). GNC leader Omar al-Hassi reportedly ousted from PM position following complaints from ministers. Tobruk authorities mid-March attempted to secure deal with UAE petroleum group authorising export of crude oil from Ras Lanuf terminal; deal, which fell through, countered previous agreements establishing Tripoli-based National Oil Corporation (NOC) as sole entity allowed to authorise oil sales. Military confrontation continued, with attacks by Misrata-Tripoli coalition on Zintan and Sidra port area, and aerial strikes by Hafter-led forces on Tripoli airport and Misrati positions in Sidra area. Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) affiliated militants early March carried out series of attacks on oil fields in Sirte basin area, late March targeted brigades from Misrata. UNSC Resolution 27 March called for immediate ceasefire, approved extention of UNSMIL mandate and reaffirmed arms embargo; second resolution urged member states to support Libyan govt in fight against IS

Tunisia

  |  2 Mar 2015

Unchanged

New govt approved by parliament 4 Feb following weeks of delay: technocrats and Nida Tounes, An-Nahda, Free Patriotic Union (UPL) and Afek Tounes parties all awarded minister positions. Security forces clashed with demonstrators in southern provinces protesting imposition of entry and exit taxes along Libya border, one killed 8 Feb. Security official 13 Feb said some 500 Tunisian Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) fighters returned from Iraq and Syria, exacerbating existing security concerns; security forces announced up to 3,000 arrested 6-13 Feb, some further 100 arrested 20-24 Feb. Following IS attack in Libya (see Libya), army moved several units to southern border to prevent terrorist infiltration. Four national guards killed 16 Feb by al-Qaeda brigade near Mount Chaambi.

Mauritania

  |  2 Mar 2015

Unchanged

Govt 5 Feb announced senatorial elections planned for 15 March postponed in order to allow govt and opposition, which currently plans to boycott vote, time to negotiate acceptable timetable and conditions for polls. Hundreds protested 12 Feb calling for release of three anti-slavery activists arrested Nov 2014; activists 23 Feb began hunger strike to protest prison conditions, abuse.

Egypt

  |  2 Mar 2015

Unchanged

Egyptian air force 16 Feb bombed militant targets inside Libya after Libyan group calling itself Islamic State – Tripoli Province released video showing execution of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians (see Libya); govt urged UNSC to support intervention, lift arms embargo on Egyptian-allied govt of Libyan PM al-Thinni and impose maritime blockade on Libya. Violence continued in Sinai: jihadi group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (ABM; also known as Sinai Province and linked to jihadi group Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL)) 10 Feb claimed execution of eight tribesmen accused of collaborating with army and Israel; army reportedly killed scores of militants, including 47 in N Sinai 6 Feb. Deadly bomb attacks continued in Cairo including policeman killed 13 Feb. Court 4 Feb sentenced protest leader Ahmad Douma and 229 others to life imprisonment over clashes with army during Dec 2011 protest. Crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood (MB) continued: court 2 Feb confirmed death sentencing of 183 MB members; govt 23 Feb dissolved 169 MB-affiliated NGOs. Authorities early Feb released and deported Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste, court released two others from detention. At least nineteen killed in stampede after police 10 Feb tear-gassed football fans in Cairo.

Algeria

  |  2 Mar 2015

Unchanged

Political tug-of-war between governing FLN-RND coalition and opposition parties continued over holding of “national consensus conference” on transition to address issues related to President Bouteflika’s failing health, falling oil prices and delayed constitutional reform. Officials from two ruling parties said they would not participate in any meeting that would “undermine the legitimacy of republican institutions starting with the presidency” or put focus on any “transition”. Protests over shale gas exploration widened early Feb after officials from Sonatrach, national oil company, suggested drilling would continue despite govt assurances to contrary.

Libya

  |  2 Mar 2015

Deteriorated

As deadly violence continued to rise, Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR) withdrew from UN-sponsored talks aimed at finding solution to political crisis. Armed group pledging allegiance to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) 15 Feb released video showing militants beheading 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Sirte; in response, Egyptian jets 16 Feb launched aerial attacks on IS stronghold of Derna (see Egypt), Libyan air force commander said at least 40 militants killed. Libya and Egypt 18 Feb called on UNSC to lift arms embargo. At least 45 killed in simultaneous car bomb attacks in Qubba, near Derna, 20 Feb; attacks targeted police HQ and home of HoR speaker Aguila Salah Issa and were claimed by IS. Islamist militants 4 Feb attacked Mabruk oil field killing ten. Efforts at diplomatic solution continued: warring factions 10 Feb resumed UN-sponsored talks but HoR 22 Feb voted to suspend participation in talks, citing rival assembly’s failure to condemn Qubbah bombings, said dialogue lacked vision.

Tunisia

  |  2 Feb 2015

Unchanged

New President Essebsi 5 Jan nominated Habib Essid, former interior minister, new PM; nomination of cabinet delayed after several parties, including second largest in parliament An-Nahda, mid-Jan expressed opposition to Essebsi’s proposed candidates. Suspected Islamist militants 4 Jan killed policeman near El Fahes, Zahoun regions. Military court convicted blogger of insulting army, sentenced to one year jail.

Mauritania

  |  2 Feb 2015

Unchanged

President Abdel-Aziz early Jan called for dialogue with opposition bloc National Forum for Democracy and Unity (FNDU). FNDU rejected call; govt 22 Jan said ruling party “not against” holding early elections, as requested by opposition.Thousands protested against Charlie Hebdo cartoons 16 Jan; Abdel-Aziz addressed protesters, said cartoon “attack on our religion and on all religious”. Three anti-slavery activists sentenced to two years’ prison 15 Jan; subsequent protests violently dispersed by police.

Algeria

  |  2 Feb 2015

Unchanged

PM Sellal 21 January announced austerity measures in response to falling oil prices, fuelling concerns over Algeria’s continued ability to buy social peace; energy minister 22 Jan said country could boost oil production to compensate, avoid international borrowing. Protests throughout month in south against possible shale gas exploration (“fracking”). Authorities mid-Jan announced series of terrorist operations targeting oil and gas areas in south thwarted. Thousands demonstrated 16 Jan in capital against Charlie Hebdo cartoons; several police injured in clashes with protesters, dozens arrested including two Islamist leaders for illegally organising march. Govt late-Jan agreed to work together with Niger forces to tackle threat of armed groups in Sahel.

Western Sahara

  |  2 Feb 2015

Unchanged

Polisario Front leader Mohamed Abdelaziz 22 Jan denounced Moroccan govt’s attempt to put conditions on UNSG SR work in Western Sahara, called on UN to stop “shameless” exploitation of natural resources in region by Morocco.

Egypt

  |  2 Feb 2015

Unchanged

Dozens of protesters, one police killed on 25 Jan anniversary of 2011 uprising; over 500 arrested. President Sisi 12-13 Jan held first meetings with political party leaders ahead of March-May parliamentary elections; declined to support any party, promised to back unified national party list. Authorities same day released former deputy foreign affairs adviser to deposed President Morsi in most significant Muslim Brotherhood (MB) release to date; junior MB members reportedly offered release in exchange for signing repentance forms. Authorities 26 Jan released two sons of former President Mubarak. Court 1 Jan overturned convictions of three Al Jazeera journalists and ordered retrial following late Dec Saudi-brokered agreement requiring Qatar to close Al Jazeera’s Egypt station, which has frequently given airtime to MB members. Court 31 Jan listed Hamas’ armed wing as terrorist organisation; military continued to evict residents and demolish homes in Rafah to create buffer zone along Gaza border. Attacks by jihadi group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis continued including at least 30 soldiers and police killed in attacks in north Sinai 29 Jan. Assassinations of police continued including two shot dead outside church in Minya 6 Jan.

Libya

  |  2 Feb 2015

Unchanged

UN-convened talks held 14-15 Jan after several delays, and again 27-28 Jan; talks aimed at agreement on formation of national unity govt, ending hostilities, putting constitution back on track; representatives of internationally-recognised House of Representatives (HoR) attended but General National Congress (GNC) refused to participate. Military confrontation between forces allied to rival parliaments continued throughout month in Benghazi, west of Tripoli and around oil terminals in Gulf of Sirte. Militia loyal to former army general Khalifa Hiftar 22 Jan siezed control of Central Bank’s Benghazi branch, transferred branch’s database and computer systems to al-Bayda town in east; bank’s vault so far intact. Some twenty Egyptian Christians kidnapped by Islamist militants early Jan, thirteen from Sirte. Leader of Ansar al-Sharia militant group confirmed dead 24 Jan, killed in Oct clashes. At least twelve killed, including French and U.S. citizen, in attack on hotel in Tripoli 27 Jan; social media linked to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL) claimed IS responsible for attack, but self-declared Tripoli-based govt blamed military wing of internationally-recognised Tobruk-based parliament.

Tunisia

  |  5 Jan 2015

Unchanged

Beji Caid Essebsi, leader of secular party Nida Tounes, won second round of presidential elections 19-21 Dec with 55.68% of vote, sworn in 31 Dec. Poll polarised country, sparking protests in south after Essebsi late Nov claimed incumbent candidate Moncef Marzouki’s campaign and electoral base driven by Islamists and Salafi jihadis. Nida Tounes’ Mohamed Ennaceur elected parliament speaker. Security forces 14 Dec reportedly arrested seven militants in Kebili, another five arrested in Kasserine.

Mauritania

  |  5 Jan 2015

Unchanged

Govt ministers, military officials and other representatives 15 Dec met senior NATO officials in Nouakchott to discuss terrorism, illegal trafficking and other regional security issues.

Algeria

  |  5 Jan 2015

Unchanged

Govt continued to toughen stance on illegal immigrants, began repatriation of some 3,000 Nigerien migrants. Defence ministry 2 Dec announced army arrested over 50 foreign smugglers near Niger border. Security forces late Dec reportedly killed Gouri Abdelmalek, leader of Jund al Khilafa militant group responsible for Sept kidnapping and beheading of French tourist.

Egypt

  |  5 Jan 2015

Unchanged

Govt 10 Dec finished drafting electoral districting law after five-month delay; political parties not consulted. Election commission expected to announce elections timetable within weeks after President Sisi issued law 23 Dec. Political parties criticised law, including for favouring return of Mubarak-era National Democratic Party members. Military prosecutors early Dec referred at least 820 to military trials in Ismailia, Beheira and Minya, signifying marked shift toward using military justice system. Sentencing related to Aug 2013 violence following ouster of former President Morsi continued: court 2 Dec sentenced 185 Muslim Brotherhood (MB) supporters to death over attack on Cairo police station; seven Islamist militants sentenced to death 6 Dec over attack on police near Israeli border. MB supporter reported killed in clash with police 12 Dec in northern province Kafr al-Sheikh. New Sinai-based militant group Katibat al-Rabat al-Jihadiya 15 Dec announced split from Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (ABM) due to disagreement over ABM’s mid-Nov pledge of allegiance to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL). Police 21 Dec reportedly killed five ABM militants in Nile Delta’s al-Sharqia district; two soldiers killed in bomb attack in northern Sinai 25 Dec. Two police, two gunmen killed in shootings in Cairo and Alexandria late Dec.

Libya

  |  5 Jan 2015

Deteriorated
Conflict between Libya’s two rival political bodies and their military allies intensified, with heavy clashes and multiple new frontlines emerging across country. Coalition of fighters from Misrata, key component of Tripoli-based Libya Dawn coalition, along with fighters from Awlad Suleiman tribe and Ansar Sharia, 13 Dec attacked forces allied with Tobruk-based parliament in eastern Sirt basin in bid to take control of Sidra and Ras Lanuf oil export terminals. Sidra's oil storage tanks caught fire following 26 Dec fighting; international help requested to extinguish fire. Tebu and Tuareg gunmen, allied with Tobruk parliament and Libya Dawn respectively, clashed repeatedly in south throughout month. Libya Dawn fought pro-Tobruk armed groups rebranded “Libyan National Army” (LNA) in west for control of Ras al-Jdeir border post with Tunisia and al-Witiya airbase. Dozens killed in fighting in west and Benghazi; at least 30 killed in oil terminal clashes. UN-sponsored political dialogue meeting scheduled 9 Dec again postponed.

Tunisia

  |  1 Dec 2014

Unchanged

Presidential polls held peacefully 21-23 Nov, interim President Marzouki will face Beji Caid Essebsi of secular Nida Tounes party in run-off 26-28 Dec. Nida Tounes’ success in Oct parliamentary polls and prospect that it will secure presidency contributing to polarisation of Tunisian politics: Islamist An-Nahda party supporters concerned it will mean return to former regime and dictatorship. Marzouki seeking support from Islamist right, self-proclaimed “defenders of the revolution”, and supporters in south. Insecurity near Algerian border continued: five soldiers killed, ten wounded 5 Nov in attack on army bus by alleged jihadis. Authorities closed border with Tunisia ahead of polls, raised alert level amid reports jihadi group Islamic State established presence in Libya.

Mauritania

  |  1 Dec 2014

Unchanged

Nine human rights and anti-slavery activists including Biram Dah Abeid, leader of Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement, arrested 11 Nov near Rosso, jailed on charges of inciting violence, violating public order, offending authorities, belonging to unsanctioned organisation.

Libya

  |  1 Dec 2014

Unchanged

Supreme Court 6 Nov stripped Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR, Libya’s internationally recognised parliament) of legal basis, plunging Libya into further political chaos; anti-HoR factions approved verdict, some continue to support former legislature General National Congress (GNC) as interim legal authority, others call for early elections. U.S., Canada and six EU states issued statement but declined to take position; Egypt stated continued support for HoR; Turkey called for early elections. Clashes between armed factions continued in main cities: ongoing clashes in Benghazi, where some 400 reported killed in past six weeks; army 21 Nov declared shutdown of Tripoli and Misrata airports; airstrike by unidentified jet 24 Nov targeted Tripoli’s Mitiga airport, controlled by Islamist Libya Dawn militia. Fighters loyal to HoR seized control of Kekla town in west, following weeks of clashes with Libya Dawn forces. Car bombs exploded outside Egypt, UAE embassies 13 Nov amid reports countries conducting airstrikes in Libya. UNSC 26 Nov expressed “profound concern” over security deterioration, warned of sanctions. Egyptian FM Sameh Shoukry 30 Nov announced regional FMs to meet 4 Jan to discuss support to Libya. Head of Tripoli-based legislature Omar al-Hassi 28 Nov said struggle for control of Libya’s oil could split country.

Algeria

  |  1 Dec 2014

Unchanged

Budget deficit looming with continued lowering of international price of oil. Police mid-Nov staged three-day strike to protest working conditions; govt negotiated social but not political concessions to end strike. Two killed, dozens wounded 28 Nov in clashes between security forces and protesters in southern province of Ouargla. Security along Libya border increased. Reports President Bouteflika mid-month visited France for medical treatment.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Dec 2014

Unchanged

King of Morocco Mohammed VI early Nov said W Sahara autonomy initiative is “maximum” Morocco can offer, rejected any change of parameters of negotiations or change in UN MINURSO peacekeeping mandate to include human rights; also called on U.S. to adopt less ambiguous position on conflict, pressure Algeria to end support for Polisario separatist movement. Polisario countered with threat of “return to armed struggle” if Morocco and international community “fail to comply with international regulations and legitimate resolutions”; called on EU to condemn king’s speech.

Egypt

  |  1 Dec 2014

Deteriorated

Sinai-based militant group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (ABM) 10 Nov pledged allegiance to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL), changed name to Province of Sinai (Welayet Sina); 14 Nov claimed responsibility for late Oct attack on army checkpoint killing 33 soldiers. ABM 13 Nov killed five govt forces in Sinai; three militants, seven civilians reported killed in clash with army 19 Nov. Court 30 Nov designated IS and affiliated groups terrorist organisations. Court 29 Nov dropped case against former President Mubarak over killings of protesters in 2011; two anti-Mubarak protesters killed same day. Civilian criminal court 16 Nov referred five Al Azhar University students to military court after President Sisi late Oct expanded jurisdiction of military courts to try civilians. Crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood (MB) members continued following PM Mehleb’s late Oct decree dissolving MB-led National Alliance to Support Legitimacy (NASL);senior MB leader Mohamed Ali Bishr arrested 20 Nov. Clashes between police, MB-supporters continued: two protesters killed south of Cairo 7 Nov. Salafi Front called for demonstrations 28 Nov, some leaders called strategy of peaceful protest a failure: four protesters reported killed in Cairo after ministry of interior pledged to use lethal force against demonstrators; two senior army officers shot dead in Cairo same day, another killed in Alexandria. Four killed, including two police, in bomb attack on train in Nile Delta’s Menufia province 5 Nov. Sisi 10 Nov said parliamentary elections to take place by March 2015.

Tunisia

  |  1 Nov 2014

Unchanged

Secular party Nida Tounes won 27 Oct parliamentary elections with 39% of votes, Islamist An-Nahda party second with 32%; drawn-out process of forming coalition majority expected as Nida Tounes considers national unity govt with An-Nahda or narrower secular coalition. Days preceding elections remained calm despite fears of attacks by militants, deepening divisions in secular political camp; An-Nahda party remained unified, reiterated determination not to field candidate for late Nov presidential election. Govt 23 Oct decided to close Libya border crossings of Ras Jedir, Dhehiba during polls as part of tightened security measures against spillover from Libya crisis; 70,000 security forces deployed during same period. Several suspected militants arrested including 30 in Oued Ellil town late Oct; six suspected militants, one police killed during police raid in Oued Ellil 24 Oct.

Mauritania

  |  1 Nov 2014

Unchanged

Security forces arrested four on the 12 of October for having suspected links to Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIL) in town of Zouérate. Government reportedly closed the border with Mali late October to block the spread of Ebola.

Libya

  |  1 Nov 2014

Unchanged

Military and political crisis continued despite repeated UN calls for ceasefire: anti-Islamist militia coalition led by Zintan-based groups, rebranded as “tribal army”, attacked western Jebel Nefusa towns allied to Islamist leaning coalition Libya Dawn, at least 21 reported killed. Fighting continued in Benghazi: groups allied to general Khalifa Haftar clashed with Islamist rivals, including 22 reported killed 15 Oct during Haftar’s seizure of Ansar al-Sharia base; at least 130 reported killed across city over following ten days. Tobruk-based internationally recognised parliament, House of Representatives (HoR), 19 Oct formally aligned with Haftar: HoR spokesman Farraj Hasshem described Haftar’s “Operation Dignity” against Islamists as Libyan army operation despite reports most Haftar fighters young tribesmen with no military background, allegations of abuses including summary executions of captive Islamists and their families. UNSG Ban 11 Oct visited Tripoli, urged peace talks; condemned both Haftar and Ansar al-Sharia. Prime minister of Islamist-supported parallel govt in Tripoli, Omar al-Hasi, 21 Oct held first public diplomatic meeting with Turkish envoy. Egyptian airstrikes reportedly struck Islamist forces in Benghazi 15 Oct, Egypt denied involvement; HoR member Tareq al-Garrouchi alleged planes were Egyptian, pilots Libyan.

Egypt

  |  1 Nov 2014

Unchanged

Scores killed in clashes between army and militants in Sinai, including 31 soldiers 24 Oct: govt declared three-month state of emergency in north and central Sinai, closed border with Gaza and evacuated 1,100 residents along border to create buffer zone; 26 Oct postponed indirect talks between Israel, Palestinian factions, scheduled to begin in Cairo late month, in reaction to attacks. Gaza reconstruction conference 12–13 Oct, co-hosted in Cairo by Egypt and Norway, trumpeted as sign of Egypt’s return to world stage in local media following similar reporting around President Sisi’s late Sept attendance of UNGA and meeting with U.S. President Obama. Renewed protests on university campuses across country beginning 11 Oct: several clashes between students and police including 149 students arrested over first three days of protests; student died following clashes at Alexandria University, eleven injured in bomb blast outside Cairo University 22 Oct. Twelve reported injured in bomb blast near Cairo courthouse 14 Oct; several bombings in northern city Tanta during Sufi religious festival 16 Oct, no casualties.

Algeria

  |  1 Nov 2014

Unchanged

Army 10 Oct claimed to have killed five militants in retaliation for Sept beheading of French tourist. Three police killed by militants 16 Oct in Zemmoura, Relizane province. Hundreds of riot control police mid-Oct demonstrated in Algiers, southern town Ghardaia against poor working conditions in defiance of anti-protest law; protests followed several police injuries sustained during violent clashes between Arabs, Berbers in Ghardaia.

Tunisia

  |  1 Oct 2014

Unchanged

Tensions and divisions grew among secular politicians ahead of parliamentary election campaign: leading secular party deputy Nida Tounes 1 Sept escaped assassination attempt; party leader and presidential candidate Beji Caid Essebsi 12 Sept claimed top party dissidents and security officials plotting his assassination; two top party officials opposing Essebsi’s candidacy fired following day. Islamist An-Nahda party appeared calm and confident, maintained not planning to field candidate for upcoming presidential election; former leader Hamdi Jebali 19 Sept echoed stance, declining to run and citing wish for Tunisia’s democracy to mature without Islamist-secular divide. Security situation remained stable despite border tensions; police 17 Sept killed 2 armed jihadis on border with Algeria.

Algeria

  |  1 Oct 2014

Unchanged

Algerian AQIM faction 13 Sept announced split from group, creation of Jund Al-Khilafa (“Soldiers of the Caliphate”), pledged allegiance to Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIL); late month beheaded French citizen Hervé Gourdel following 21 Sept abduction and demands for halt to French airstrikes against IS in Iraq.

Egypt

  |  1 Oct 2014

Unchanged

Muslim Brotherhood (MB) appeared to be losing support as protest turnout declined. Salafi al-Watan party 17 Sept withdrew from MB-led Alliance to Support Legitimacy (ASL) after earlier withdrawal of moderate al-Wasat party; both said planning to act as opposition groups, indicating participation in coming elections. Non-Islamist criticism of regime continued: at least 105 detainees, mostly secular activists, on hunger strike to protest unjust detentions under 2013 Protest Law; many in pre-trial detention. High-profile activist Alaa Abdelfattah, 2 others released from pre-trial detention 15 Sept; 116 students, arrested during demonstrations, released 17 Sept. MB leader Mohamed Badie handed another life sentence 15 Sept; prominent MB politician Mohamed Beltagy sentenced to 20 years imprisonment early month. Attacks by jihadi group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (ABM) continued in Sinai including 11 soldiers killed 2 Sept, 6 police killed 16 Sept; 4 ABM militants reported killed 23 Sept. ABM continued beheadings of local Sinai residents accused of cooperating with Israeli intelligence: corpse discovered 19 Sept marking eleventh such execution since mid-Aug. Three police killed in bombing outside foreign ministry in Cairo 21 Sept, claimed by militant group Ajnad Misr.

Libya

  |  1 Oct 2014

Unchanged

Military and political standoffs continued as Islamist-leaning militia coalition continued to clash with anti-Islamist groups, country’s 2 rival legislatures refused to recognise each other’s legitimacy; state institutions in increasing disarray as neither Council of Representatives (CoR) based in Tobruk nor General National Congress (GNC) in Tripoli exert control. More than 100 killed in clashes between supporters of Islamist-leaning Operation Libya Dawn and rivals on outskirts of Tripoli; dozens killed in Benghazi including 9 in clashes between Islamist groups and Khalifa Haftar’s troops 9 Sept; several assassinations by suspected Islamists targeting activists and journalists, including 14 killed 18-20 Sept. Up to 12 reported killed in clashes between militias and police near El Shahara oil field 17 Sept. CoR 4 Sept reportedly signed military agreement with Egypt following alleged Egyptian airstrikes on Islamist positions in Tripoli in Aug; more airstrikes reported mid- to late Sept. CoR 22 Sept approved PM al-Thinni’s new cabinet. Head of GNC-backed administration Omar al-Hassi 15 Sept called for international recognition; GNC mid-month sent emissaries to Chad and Sudan. Rival parliamentary factions 29 Sept held talks under UN auspices in Western town of Ghadames, reportedly agreed to call for ceasefire; Libyan Dawn rejected call, demanded disarmament of rivals; earlier unsuccessful mediation attempts in early-Sept and 17 Sept international conference in Madrid produced no clear plan of action, only agreement not to recognise Tripoli-based govt."

Libya

  |  1 Sep 2014

Deteriorated Risk Alert

Fighting between Islamist leaning Misrata-led militia coalition and anti-Islamist Zintan-led coalition continued in Tripoli, UN attempt to broker ceasefire failed mid-month; Misrata-led forces 23 Aug captured Tripoli’s international airport and Zintanis withdrew from the capital, but armed confrontations likely to continue. Fighting fuelled by instalment of new parliament, Council of Representatives (CoR), in eastern city Tobruk: 158 of 188 newly elected MPs 4 Aug convened for swearing-in ceremony; pro-Misrata factions disputed relocation from Tripoli, claimed transfer of authority to new parliament unconstitutional, CoR biased against Islamist factions; appealed to Supreme Constitutional Court. Former parliament General National Congress (GNC) 25 Aug reconvened in Tripoli, elected Islamist backed Omar al-Hasi PM in challenge to CoR’s authority. Acting PM al-Thinni 28 Aug announced resignation to allow CoR to form new govt. Multiple unidentified air strikes through month targeting Islamist positions; U.S. officials late month said Egypt and UAE responsible, Egypt denied involvement. Fighting between former General Hiftar’s forces and Islamist militants continued in Benghazi. UNSC 27 Aug imposed sanctions on individuals fuelling the fighting, ordered all arms transfers to be approved by UN sanctions committee.

Algeria

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

200 Syrian migrants detained 18 Aug in Oued Laâlemga near Libyan border, reportedly en route to Italy aided by Libyan Islamists. Army 12 Aug reportedly killed 2 militants in Ouled Riah.

Egypt

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

Several killed during protests marking first anniversary of deadly raids on Cairo protest camps, including Rabaa Square mass killings, following ouster of former President Morsi: 9 protesters, 1 police reported killed 14-15 Aug; protester reported killed 8 Aug. Human Rights Watch 12 Aug urged investigation into 2013 killings, said protest raids may amount to crimes against humanity. MB Freedom and Justice Party dissolved by court 9 Aug; Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam 7 Aug rejected death sentence for Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Badie, late month commuted sentence to life imprisonment. Violence continued in Sinai including reported army killing of 11 militants 3 Aug; jihadi group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis mid-month executed 4 over alleged links to security army, Israel. 5 police, 4 alleged smugglers reported killed west of Alexandria 5 Aug; unknown gunmen 18 Aug shot dead policeman north of Cairo.

Mauritania

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

President Mohamed Abdel Aziz sworn-in for second term 2 Aug; 2 members of youth opposition movement Kafana, including leader Jacob Ahmad, arrested by security forces 5 Aug over anti-Aziz graffiti.

Tunisia

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

Optimism prevailed throughout month following late July “Gentlemen’s Agreement” on political party behaviour before and after elections, despite worries Oct election could re-ignite tensions. 1,500 electoral lists containing over 15,000 candidates submitted by 29 Aug deadline according to Independent High Electoral Commission (ISIE). Situation remained under control on eastern border, refugee influx from Libyan fighting stable (see Libya); approximately 3,000 Egyptians crossed daily, evacuated to Egypt with Tunisian cooperation. Security remained tense on Algerian border: suspected jihadis 2 Aug killed soldier manning border post; 2 others wounded by landmine in same area 16 Aug. Police 23 Aug killed 2 women mistaken for members of armed group near Kasserine. Interior ministry 7 Aug said 21 Ansar al-Sharia members allegedly plotting terror attack arrested in Tunis.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

Polisario Front leader Mohamed Abdelaziz 18 Aug sent letter to UN condemning Moroccan military deployment in Western Sahara, continued expulsion of journalists and human rights activists.

Libya

  |  1 Aug 2014

Deteriorated Risk Alert

Insecurity deepened as clashes between security units, militias left scores dead; fragmentation of newly elected parliament enhanced concerns over govt’s inability to tackle security challenges; first parliamentary session scheduled to take place in Benghazi early Aug, reportedly moved to Tobruk over security concerns. At least 94 reported killed 13-27 July in fighting between Zintan militia and security units affiliated with Islamist-leaning Libya Revolutionaries’ Operation Room (LROR) over control of Tripoli airport. Govt 28 July called for international help to fight oil tanker fires in Tripoli harbour set ablaze by fighting, rival militias 30 July agreed on temporary ceasefire to allow firefighters to try to control blaze. At least 75 reported killed mid- to late July in Benghazi during clashes between different govt forces and militias; Islamists seized control of Special Forces base 28 July in battle killing over 50. Former General Hiftar 31 July denied Islamist claims of complete control over Benghazi; Ansar al-Sharia 30 July declared city an “Islamic emirate”. UN staff 14 July pulled out of country due to increasing violence; U.S., several other embassies evacuated throughout month; UK embassy convoy attacked 26 July on road to Tunisia, no casualties; several countries announced plans to evacuate nationals. Acting PM al-Thinni reportedly prevented from flying to Tobruk by militia controlling Mitiga airport 24 July. FM Abdel Aziz 18 July appealed to UNSC for help in tackling security problem; UNSC statement 23 July stressed need for political solution.

Algeria

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

Govt forces mid-month reportedly killed 6 suspected AQIM members, arrested 1. PM Abdelmalek Sellal 22 July met Tunisian counterpart following killing of at least 14 Tunisian soldiers by gunmen near border (see Tunisia); countries launched joint military operations including 8,000 Algerian troops. Govt 22 July announced plan to tackle crisis in southern town of Ghardaia following months of clashes between Arab and Mozabite Berbers killing 10 and damaging over 1,400 buildings.

Egypt

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

Govt early July implemented deep fuel subsidy cuts as part of wider aggressive campaign to reduce budget deficit, also including electricity subsidy cuts and taxes on consumer goods: resulting fuel price hikes led to few scattered protests; full impact yet to be felt by consumers, fears move could increase social tensions; measures expected to fulfil one requirement for Egypt to secure IMF assistance package. Several deadly incidents along border with Israel including: soldier killed in roadside bombing in Rafah 9 July; 2 tribal elders reported killed by suspected Islamist militants in same town 21 July; 8 reported killed, including soldier, in explosions targeting security installations 14 July; over 20 militants, 4 children reported killed in shoot-outs, mortar fire 26-27 July. At least 21 guards killed in Western Desert oasis 19 July, Sinai-based jihadi group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis blamed. Crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood (MB) continued, extended to other parties from Alliance for Support of Legitimacy (ASL) opposing 2013 military coup; senior leaders of Construction and Development, Wasat party arrested early July. ASL 3-4 July arranged demonstrations on anniversary of coup, at least 6 reported killed in clashes, bomb blast in Cairo outside presidential palace. Former PM Kandil freed from jail mid-July, first release of senior official from administration of ousted President Morsi.

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CrisisWatch N°141

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