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CrisisWatch Database

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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.

Mauritania

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

Parliament 2 July passed anti-terrorism law.

Tunisia

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

Govt forces stepped up operations against militants in west: at least 14 soldiers, 1 attacker reported killed 16 July in Mount Chambi area near Algerian border; 2 soldiers killed 26 July in El Kef region. Govt 17 July created new anti-terrorist agency; 19 July announced 63 suspected terrorists arrested in El Kef, Sidi Bouzid and Kasserine provinces. Around 40 mosques, 1 radio station, 1 TV station closed down by govt 20 July over alleged Islamist radicalism. FM Mongi Hamdi 30 July warned of possible border closure following Libya unrest, said UN presence requested.

Algeria

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

Govt forces 4 June killed alleged terrorist in Bouira town; 11 suspected militants arrested mid-month by security forces in El Oued province. 11 policemen injured during unrest in Ghardaia town 8 June following clashes between Malekite and Ibadite communities. Several public buildings torched, 12 people injured 20 June in communal violence in Beriane town.

Libya

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

Supreme Court 9 June ruled PM Ahmed Maiteeq’s appointment illegal; Maiteeq resigned same day; power restored to interim PM al-Thinni despite parts of General National Congress (GNC) opposing him over previous involvement with controversial militia leaders. Ousted PM Zeidan mid-June returned to country after having fled in March, announced plan to challenge dismissal in court. UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) cancelled political dialogue initiative scheduled 18-19 June due to opposition by liberal factions. Parliamentary elections held 25 June: 13 of 200 seats expected to remain unfilled following security challenges and boycotts, low turnout reported. At least 5 killed in election-day clashes between govt forces and militants in Benghazi; gunmen same day killed prominent political activist Salwa Bughaghis in Benghazi. Car bomb detonated in front of Constituent Assembly in Bayda 26 June, 2 injured. Clashes between Ansar al-Sharia and former General Khalifa Hiftar’s forces continued in and around Benghazi: 19 killed, 82 injured 1-2 June; at least 8 killed 15 June; Hiftar injured, 3 killed in assassination attempt 4 June; missiles fired on Benghazi airport, Tobruk military HQ mid-June. Influential cleric Sheikh Sadeq al-Ghariyani 9 June called on Libyans to fight Hiftar and his allies. Senior Ansar al-Sharia member Ahmed Abu Khattala, suspected of involvement in Sept 2012 U.S. embassy attack, captured 15 June by U.S. Special Forces in Benghazi.

Mauritania

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz re-elected 21 June with 82% of vote, turnout reportedly 56%; election boycotted by most opposition parties. Runner-up Biram Ould Dah Ould Abeid 24 June accused govt of fraud, filed appeal at constitutional council; council 29 June rejected appeal, confirmed Aziz’s victory. Former President Ely Ould Mohamed Vall 17 June urged non-recognition of “farcical” elections.

Tunisia

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

Following 13 June agreement by participants in National Dialogue, election commission announced parliamentary elections to be held in Oct ahead of presidential election in Nov, in line with sequence preferred by Islamist An-Nahda party. Security situation remained tense: 2 alleged jihadis killed 12 June by govt forces in Jendouba town; 2 civilians injured 11 June in IED attack in Mount Selloum close to Kasserine town; govt 3 June announced arrest of 14 alleged members of terrorist cell in Gafsa town. Interior minister 6 June called for allowing army to support regular security forces in cities. AQIM 13 June claimed responsibility for 27 May attack on interior minister’s family home that killed 4 police. Committee tasked with investigating alleged state violations of human rights since 1955 established 9 June.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

Clashes between Moroccan forces and Saharawis continued: dozens injured 15 June during protest in Laayoune calling for human rights mechanism within UN MINURSO mandate. Moroccan authorities 5 June deported 2 Italian journalists for reporting on Saharawi resistance in Laayoune. Several injured 7 June in clash between Saharawis and Morrocan settlers in Dakhla city. Former president of Mozambique Joaquim Chissano appointed new AU special envoy for Western Sahara late month.

Libya

  |  1 Jun 2014

Deteriorated Risk Alert

Libya brought to brink of country-wide military showdown over persistent insecurity and General National Congress (GNC) decision to back Ahmed Maiteeq, widely perceived as backed by Misrata-based Islamist groups, as new PM despite fierce controversy over legality of his 4 May appointment; Maiteeq 25 May obtained disputed GNC vote of confidence. Retired army general Khalifa Hiftar, army units and tribal-backed forces from east 16 May launched military assault including airstrikes against militant Islamist groups in Benghazi; at least 70 killed in fighting; several army units including Benghazi-based Special Forces, Tobruk-based airforce units and Ibrahim Jedran’s Petroleum Guards Force declared support for Hiftar’s operation; Jedran and Hiftar 26 May said did not recognise Maiteeq’s govt; interim PM al-Thinni’s govt also questioned legality of Maiteeq’s appointment. Militia allies 18 May attacked GNC in Tripoli, ordered its suspension; at least 4 killed, dozens injured. Radical Islamist Ansar al-Sharia Benghazi leader al-Zahawi 27 May vowed to battle Hiftar, accused U.S. of supporting him, threatened to bring foreign fighters to Libya. U.S. 28 May issued travel warning, recommended U.S. citizens leave immediately.

Tunisia

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Political calm marred by security incidents: state of emergency declared in south 9 May following violent clashes between inhabitants over agricultural land. Socio-economic protests continued in interior and south. Aziz Amami, blogger and leader of “I burned a police station” movement established to defend young demonstrators on trial for burning police stations during 2011 uprising arrested 12 May on drug charges, charges dismissed 25 May. Human rights groups reported Amani mistreated in custody, said arrest due to police desire for revenge. President Marzouki 6 May raised prospect of presidential pardons for jihadists while visiting Mount Chaambi area, target of ongoing military operations. 2 soldiers killed, 4 injured by landmine in Mount Chaambi 23 May. PM Jomaa 25 May reported terrorist operation targeting national leaders, economic and tourist establishments prevented by security forces. Interior Minister Ben Jeddou’s home in Kasserine, south, attacked late May by suspected Islamist militants, 4 policemen killed. Court 26 May ordered dissolution of vigilante group League for the Protection of the Revolution. New electoral law officially promulgated 26 May: head of electoral committee said general elections will “probably” take place late-Nov.

Algeria

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Following April re-election, President Bouteflika 5 May named new cabinet, opposition refused offer to participate; Bouteflika 15 May proposed constitutional amendments including two-term presidential limit, less restrictions on media. Violence continued in south: 12 militants killed by govt forces 5 May in Tamanrasset province. 2 AQIM members killed by govt forces 13 May in Boumerdes province; AQIM 1 May claimed responsibility for Kabylie attack 18-19 April that killed 11 soldiers. Govt 19 May closed border with Lybia, fearing influx of militants.

Libya

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

General National Congress (GNC) remained polarised despite March ouster of PM Zeidan. Interim PM Abdullah al-Thinni 12 April announced resignation after gunmen attacked his home and family. Gunmen 29 April stormed GNC, disrupted selection of new PM; several injured. Constitutional Drafting Assembly (CDA) convened 21 April, but 13 of 60 seats remain unfilled; president, VP and rapporteur for CDA appointed. Govt early April began direct negotiations with federalist movement leader Ibrahim Jedran on oil terminal crisis; Jedran reportedly agreed to lifting closure of 4 oil terminals in 2 stages in exchange for establishment of investigation into oil sector irregularities, disbursement of salaries to militiamen and dropping of criminal charges against them. Hariga and Zeutina ports reopened; reopening of Ras Lanuf and Es Sider terminals conditional on govt implementation of deal. Agreement opposed by some factions within GNC and govt as well as allied armed groups. Abductions continued including Jordan’s ambassador 15 April, Tunisian embassy adviser 17 April. At least 2 killed in suicide bomb targeting army camp in Benghazi 27 April. U.S. Deputy Sec State visited 24 April, promised help to tackle “rising violent extremism”.

Algeria

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Presidential elections held 17 April, low turnout reported, especially in Kabylie (23%); President Bouteflika secured re-election with 81.53% of votes, 28 April pledged constitutional reform, said reestablishment of peace and security is priority. Runner-up and former PM Ali Benflis took 12%, decried massive fraud, accused Constitutional Council of cover-up. Police violently dispersed attempts by opposition activists to stage protests in capital ahead of vote. Jihadis reportedly killed 11 soldiers 18-19 April in Kabylie. Tensions between Chaambis (Arabs) and Mozabites (Berbers) in south continued: at least 35 injured, including 17 police, 5-6 April. Violent clashes between police and Kabyle Berber activists in Tizi Ouzou 20 April, day of celebration of Berber spring.

Mauritania

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Mauritania: President Abdel Aziz 23 April announced his intention to stand for re-election in the 21 June polls, despite continued boycott by the opposition.

Tunisia

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Salafis clashed with police 8 April in Rouhia (east) and 12 April in Menzel Nour (west), several police injured. Dozens of Salafis arrested, police raided mosque in Rouhia early April, evicted several self-appointed imams, notably in Baraket Essahel. Major military operation began late-April to rout militants from Chaambi mountains. MPs condemned clemency granted by military to former Ben Ali regime security officials involved in repression of 2010-11 uprising. Economic deterioration continued, several officials suggested short-term austerity measures necessary; PM Jomaa 29 April said reforms needed but ruled out severe cuts. French and German FMs visited, pledged financial aid.

Western Sahara

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

UNSC 29 April renewed MINURSO peacekeeping mandate for another year, called on all parties to respect human rights, but did not call for inclusion of component to monitor abuses, as advocated by POLISARIO, Algeria, rights groups.

Libya

  |  1 Apr 2014

Deteriorated Risk Alert

Crisis over blockade of oil export terminals continued, risking expansion into wider fight between Islamists and non-Islamists, and respective militia allies. Tensions between Tripoli and gunmen loyal to eastern pro-autonomy leader Ibrahim Jedran escalated after Jedran forces loaded crude oil on North Korean-flagged tanker in Sidra terminal 8-10 March in defiance of state authority; U.S. naval forces 16 March took control of tanker near Cyprus, returned it to Libyan govt authority. General National Congress (GNC) president ordered use of force to liberate terminals; clashes ensued in Sirte and Zillah oil field; GNC president 12 March suspended military action and gave 2-week deadline to vacate terminals peacefully or face force; pro-Jedran forces mid-March gathered at Wadi Ahmar in anticipation of further clashes. GNC 11 March passed no-confidence motion ousting PM Zeidan, ending long standoff over Zeidan’s failure to address oil crisis; defence minister Abdallah al-Thinni sworn in as interim PM. At international conference on Libya in Rome 6 March, NATO reaffirmed commitment to help with transition. UNSC 13 March renewed UNSMIL mandate, 19 March mandated international community to seize ships transporting Libyan oil acquired illegally. Bomb exploded at Tripoli airport 22 March.

Algeria

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Preparations for 17 April presidential polls continued. Authorities 1 March dispersed youths protesting in Algiers against President Bouteflika’s intention to run for 4th term. Recently-formed citizen’s movement “Barakat” (“enough”) 2 March filed complaint at Constitutional Court against Bouteflika 4th term; protested outside Constitutional Court 4-6, 8 March. At least 264 arrested 1-6 March; presidential candidate and former PM Ali Benflis denounced wave of arrests; rights groups also denounced ongoing repression. Security forces killed over a dozen suspected terrorists in series of operations during month near Tizi Ouzou, Tébessa, Bouira. Intercommunal tensions in Ghardaïa continued: at least 10 injured in clashes between Mozabites (Berbers) and Chaambis (Arabs) 6 March; at least 1 injured 10 March in attacks on buses; at least 20 injured, 3 killed in clashes 11-16 March.

Mauritania

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Opposition parties Rally for Democratic Forces (RFD), Coordination for Democratic Opposition and Islamist party Tawassoul threatened boycott of July presidential elections.

Tunisia

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Jan political truce between Islamists and secularists continued. Ongoing debate over new electoral law in National Constituent Assembly; main issue is whether to hold parliamentary and presidential elections on same day and right of illiterate voters to use proxies. Independent Election Commission head 26 March said polls will go ahead in 2014 despite election law delays. Social tensions driven by economic insecurity increased, particularly in south: police and residents in Ben Guerdane clashed 11 March following temporary closure of border post with Libya. 6 security officers wounded 17 March in shootout in Jendouba, NW; 2 officers injured same day in Sidi Bouzid.

Tunisia

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

New technocratic govt headed by PM Mehdi Jomaa in place, easing political tensions. Islamist An-Nahda and secular Nida Tounes party struggling to reach agreement on legal framework for upcoming elections and unwritten rules to help avoid clashes. Security concerns remain: armed jihadis 16 Feb killed 4, including 3 security force members, near Jendouba city. Interior minister announced around 400 Tunisians returned from fighting in Syria. U.S. Sec State Kerry visited 18 Feb to discuss security, praised transition progress, promised help in fight against radical Islamist militants.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

Security forces 15 Feb violently dispersed march in Laayoune chanting slogans calling for freedom, self-determination and extension of MINURSO prerogatives to include human rights monitoring in W Sahara.

Libya

  |  1 Mar 2014

Deteriorated

Armed violence and unrest increased across country; UNSMIL 25 Feb expressed “deep concern” over ongoing assassinations, bombings and other attacks. Peaceful protests across country early Feb calling for General National Congress (GNC), whose mandate some argue ended 7 Feb, to disband; at least 8 congressmen resigned in protest at Jan extension of GNC’s mandate. Several armed groups threatened to disband GNC by force: Zintan military council 12 Feb accused GNC of being “new dictatorship”, announced intention to use force if necessary; brigades affiliated with pro-autonomy group in east 18 Feb supported calls to suspend GNC. Retired army commander Khalifa Hiftar, claiming to speak for national army, 18 Feb demanded GNC transfer power to interim presidential body entrusted with emergency legislative powers. Mostly Islamist rival armed groups across country publicly supported GNC. GNC early Feb accepted 8 possible candidates to replace PM Zeidan. 20 Feb polls to elect assembly to draft constitution marred by low turnout, minor violence that halted voting in Derna, Murzuk and Awbari. Assassinations continued across country including air force colonel killed 3 Feb and first post-Qadhafi prosecutor-general killed 8 Feb in Derna; residents of Benghazi protested assassinations, deteriorating security following 26 Feb killing of 2 policemen. Bodies of 7 Egyptian Christians found on beach near Benghazi late Feb; all killed execution-style.

“Libya’s turmoil: little to celebrate”, Economist, 22 Feb. 2014.

Algeria

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

PM Sellal 23 Feb announced President Bouteflika would seek re-election for 4th term; elections scheduled for 17 April against backdrop of rare public battle between presidential clan and military intelligence.

Mauritania

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

Malian President IBK visited 12 Jan, signed agreement to boost military cooperation and information sharing in regional fight against terrorist and armed groups.

Libya

  |  1 Feb 2014

Deteriorated

Political tensions remained high with General National Congress (GNC) still deadlocked over new transition roadmap and motion of no-confidence in PM Zeidan; majority of GNC members favour Zeidan’s removal, but key group refuses to hold no-confidence vote until successor agreed upon. Islamist Justice and Construction party 22 Jan quit Zeidan govt after failing to win support for no-confidence vote. Gunmen 14 Jan opened fire on GNC, demanded Zeidan’s resignation, threatened use of force against cabinet. Popular calls to dismiss GNC by 7 Feb. GNC 30 Jan set 20 Feb as date for election of constitution-drafting panel. Main oil export terminals in east remained closed. Following govt fire on Maltese tanker accused of heading to federalist-controlled al-Sidra port 4 Jan, federalist movement leader Ibrahim Jedran’s self-appointed Barqa (Cyrenaica) Council 6 Jan announced it would ensure safety of any tanker entering “Cyrenaican waters”. Religious authorities 15 Jan issued fatwa to free ports “by all possible means”. Over 86 killed after clashes erupted 9 Jan between Tebu and Awlad Sulayman tribesmen in Sebha and Murzuq, south. Govt 18 Jan ordered deployment of security forces following alleged show of force by Qadhafi loyalists in Sebha. At least 30 killed 13-18 Jan in clashes in Tripoli western suburbs and Aijelat between state security forces and criminal gangs accused of being pro-Qadhafi. Targeted violence continued, extending throughout Libya: UK and New Zealand nationals murdered 2 Jan in Sabratha; gunmen 11 Jan killed deputy industry minister in Sirt; gunmen 15 Jan killed political activist Amr Habil in Derna; deputy PM Sadiq Abdul-Karim survived assassination attempt in Tripoli 29 Jan. 2 Italians kidnapped 18 Jan in Derna; South Korean trade envoy kidnapped in Tripoli 20 Jan, released 23 Jan. Egypt evacuated embassy and Benghazi consulate following 25 Jan kidnap of 5 diplomats and embassy employee; hostages released 26 Jan in exchange for Egyptian release of Sabaann Hadia, prominent Islamist rebel commander, arrested 24 Jan in Alexandria.

Algeria

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

President Bouteflika hospitalised in France mid Jan renewing fears over his health. Bouteflika 17 Jan said elections scheduled for 17 April; Islamist parties Movement of Society for Peace (MSP) and Front for Change announced boycott. Ruling National Liberation Front (FLN) Sec Gen Amar Saadani reiterated Bouteflika likely candidate for polls; ex-PM Ali Benflis announced intention to run. Security forces 8 Jan killed 8 suspected terrorists near Bouira.

Tunisia

  |  1 Feb 2014

Improved

New constitution signed into law 27 Jan, day after passing National Constituent Assembly vote with 200 of 216 votes. Constitution clears way for new general elections, most secular democratic constitution in Arab world. Radical religious groups criticised secular orientation of constitution; internal tensions in Islamist an-Nahda party over compromises made to achieve breakthrough. PM Jomaa sworn in 10 Jan to replace an-Nahda-led Troika govt; Jomaa’s new caretaker cabinet approved by parliament 29 Jan. Scattered clashes and attempts to attack govt and political parties across country. Some opposition secularists appeared intent on “de-Islamising” administration, encouraging judges to start trials against an-Nahda ex-ministers over corruption accusations, links to terrorist groups. Protests over economic hardships increased: crowds protested new taxes in Tunis 10 Jan, tens reportedly arrested after clashing with police; same day man killed in clashes near Algerian border after protesters tried to storm customs office.

Mauritania

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

Electoral commission 3 Dec announced results of legislative and municipal results held 23 Nov, said ruling party Union for the Republic (UPR) won landslide victory with 53 seats in national assembly; Islamist party Tawassoul came second with 12 seats. Thousands of Coordination for Democratic Opposition (COD) supporters protested 18 Dec in Nouakchott against “unilateral” elections.

Algeria

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

Security forces 4 Dec killed leader of AQIM Ennour brigade Khalil Ould Addah (aka Abou Bassen) and 4 terrorists in Tamanrasset desert; 6-8 Dec continued combing operations near Ghardaïa in effort to root out “important AQIM group”; 13 Dec killed 2 alleged terrorists near Tizi Ouzou; 15 Dec shoot-out near Tizi Ouzou left 1 soldier injured. Intelligence services mid-month reportedly contacted Ansar Dine leader Iyad Ag Ghali to seek his assistance in liberating hostages abducted by MUJAO in Gao in April 2012. PM Abdelmalek Sellal 7 Dec said country will bolster security cooperation with Libya to stem arms proliferation. Govt 17 Dec said 220 terrorists killed since Jan 2013. Intercommunal clashes in Ghardaïa 25-27 Dec between Chaâmbis (Arabs) and Mozabites (Berbers) left dozens injured, including 40 policemen; govt deployed gendarmerie; president 31 Dec called for calm, dialogue.

Western Sahara

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

Polisario Front 10 Dec declared that approval of new Protocol to EU-Morocco Fisheries Partnership Agreement (FPA) amounts to EU support for Morocco’s “illegal claims” on W Sahara; protests against agreement same day in Laayoune violently dispersed by police and army. UNGA 11 Dec adopted resolution reasserting support to negotiation process “to reach solution which allows Saharawi people to exercise right to self-determination”. Morocco, Polisario 1 Jan confirmed new round of talks will be held Jan in Sweden and Morocco.

Tunisia

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

National Dialogue between governing Troika and opposition parties 14 Dec reached agreement on industry minister Mehdi Jomaa as technocratic caretaker PM to construct interim govt replacing Troika led by an-Nahda, and lead caretaker administration until elections. Jomaa 18 Dec said consultations on forming new interim govt “ongoing”. Compromises still needed on other issues including new constitution, new elections and reviewing some of an-Nahda’s public administration appointments. Landmine exploded 2 Dec during military operation against Islamist militants in Mount Chaambi, killing 1 soldier. President Marzouki provoked outrage with early Dec publication of “black book” detailing collaboration of public intellectuals, journalists and others with ousted Ben Ali regime. National Constituent Assembly 14 Dec adopted draft law on creation of transitional justice authority.

Libya

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

General National Congress (GNC) “roadmap” committee held consultations on length and modality of extension beyond Feb 2014; UNSMIL hosted several closed-door meetings; GNC 23 Dec voted to extend transition one year, set deadline for drafting constitution by Aug 2014. UNSC 19 Dec expressed concern over worsening security, political divisions, called on all parties to end violence and support democratic transition. GNC 4 Dec voted to make Sharia law foundation of national legislation. Militia blockading oil export terminals in east again called for autonomy of region, right to profit from oil exports, refused to end blockade; leader Ibrahim Jedran 15 Dec said he will begin selling oil outside govt channels and redistribute revenues to provinces according to pre-Qadhafi law; Libya Revolutionary Operations Room (LROR) 16 Dec said will liberate terminals by force. Assassination of security force members continued in east: at least 13 soldiers killed 21 Dec in car bomb explosion on checkpoint in Barsis, outside Benghazi. Benghazi military intelligence chief shot dead 21 Dec in Derna; army officer killed 26 Dec in Benghazi.

Tunisia

  |  1 Dec 2013

Unchanged

Political roadmap suffered setbacks as National Dialogue (ND) suspended after parties 4 Nov failed to reach consensus on PM candidate and opposition accused ruling Islamist party An-Nahda of stalling process to maintain power. Court 11 Nov rejected all nominees for Independent High Electoral Commission (ISIE) tasked with organising upcoming elections, said candidates failed to meet legal standards. Opposition politicians and ruling coalition member Ettakatol 7 Nov suspended participation in National Constituent Assembly (NCA) to protest amendments to NCA procedures by ruling Islamist party An-Nahda; An-Nahda 20 Nov withdrew amendments. President Marzouki 3 Nov extended state of emergency until June 2014. National Guard 12 Nov launched operations against radical Salafist group Ansar al-Sharia (AS): arrested AS deputy leader Wael Amami in Kairouan, spokesman Seifeddine Rais in Sidi Bouzid and released them few days later; killed 1 suspected militant, arrested 8 in Nagga firefight. 3 landmines exploded in Mount Chaambi area 17 Nov, woman injured; security forces said mines “recently planted by terrorists”. Police 6 Nov arrested suspect accused of involvement in 23 Oct Sidi Bouzid killing of 6 soldiers. Protests in towns of Siliana, Gafsa during general strike against govt on 26 Nov led to dozens wounded, rioting.

Libya

  |  1 Dec 2013

Unchanged

Misrata-affiliated armed groups 15 Nov opened fire against peaceful anti-militia demonstrators in Tripoli, killing over 40; public outrage and threat of further demonstrations pressured other armed militias to abandon capital and hand over bases. Army and civilians late Nov clashed with Ansar al-Sharia, armed Islamist group, in Benghazi; at least 9 killed. At least 10 killed in attack on weapons depot in Brak al-Shati 28 Nov. General National Congress (GNC) 12 Nov voted to place Libya Revolutionaries’ Operation Room (LROR), controversial security body accused of kidnapping PM Zeidan in Oct, under command of military Chief of Staff. Assassination of former security officials, especially in Benghazi and Derna, continued. Over 40 killed in explosion 29 Nov when locals tried to steal ammunition from weapons depot near Sabha in south.

Algeria

  |  1 Dec 2013

Unchanged

Ruling National Liberation Front (FLN) 16 Nov designated President Bouteflika candidate for 2014 elections. Clashes between Chaambis (Arabs) and Mozabites (Berbers) 24 Nov in Ghardaïa wilaya left several injured. Hundreds of villagers east of Tizi Ouzou 7 Nov protested against insecurity.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Dec 2013

Unchanged

Following “acts of provocation and hostility” from Algeria, including 28 Oct African Conference of Solidarity with Sahrawi people in Abuja where speech read out on behalf of President Bouteflika called on UN to support efforts aimed at setting up international mechanism to monitor “massive and systematic human rights violations”, Morocco 30 Oct called back ambassador in Algiers. King Mohammed VI 6 Nov accused “foes” of buying opinions hostile to Morocco; Algerian PM Sellal 7 Nov said country “did not want to teach any of its neighbours lessons, and only wanted to live in peace”. Nationalist Istiqlal party called for Morocco to “recover territory in south east that Algeria took by force”.

Mauritania

  |  1 Dec 2013

Unchanged

Legislative elections held 23 Nov with 60% turnout despite boycott by 10 parties belonging to Coordination for Democratic Opposition (COD), party of President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, Union for the Republic, likely winner; formerly banned Islamist party Tawassoul expected to win seats and come in second place.

Algeria

  |  1 Nov 2013

Unchanged

Security forces 2 Oct arrested 5 Tunisians belonging to Salafi movement Ansar al-Sharia; 16 Oct killed 1 suspected terrorist on Bejaia-Bordj Bou Arredji border; 16 Oct captured prominent AQIM member Bousad “Hanafi” Hammadi in Tamanrasset; 18 Oct arrested 2 alleged jihadis returning from Iraq. Bomb 3 Oct near Bouira left 3 injured; 15 Oct bomb targeted gendarmerie in Bordj Bou Arredji. Authorities reported 190 terrorists killed since beginning of year. Govt 1 Oct deployed security forces in Ghardaïa following intercommunal clashes between Chaâmbis (Arabs) and Mozabites (Berbers). Authorities mid-month reportedly arrested blogger Abdelghani Aloui on suspicion of inciting terrorism, criticising President Bouteflika.

Tunisia

  |  1 Nov 2013

Unchanged

National Dialogue (ND) began 25 Oct based on new political roadmap signed 5 Oct following months of negotiations. Roadmap stipulates govt to step down within 3 weeks of start of ND, Constituent Assembly to finish constitution within 4 weeks, with new technocratic caretaker govt to govern until elections (date of which to be set prior to govt dissolution). Ruling Islamist party An-Nahda signed document, but 15 Oct said it will only leave office once constitution is ratified, electoral law reformed, independent electoral commission established, dates set for parliamentary, presidential elections; opposition National Salvation Front 23 Oct held demonstrations in protest, said An-Nahda delaying transition. Security situation remained unstable amid increased Islamist militant attacks. Suicide bomber 30 Oct detonated bomb in tourist resort Sousse, no injuries; police arrested second would-be suicide bomber in Monastir and 5 suspects in Sousse, said all belong to Salafi group Ansar al-Sharia. Militants 23 Oct killed 7 security officers near Sidi Ali Ben Aoun in Sidi Bouzid governorate, 17 Oct killed 2 police in Goubellat. PM Laraayedh 18 Oct said Tunisia would defeat “terrorism”; army stepped up operations, 21 Oct killed 9 militants in Goubellat, including Lotfi Ezzine, allegedly involved in assassinations of Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi; 20 Oct killed 10 militants allegedly belonging to Ansar al-Sharia near Algerian border.

Libya

  |  1 Nov 2013

Unchanged

Gunmen 10 Oct kidnapped PM Ali Zeidan for several hours, allegedly in retaliation for Zeidan’s tacit approval of U.S.-led capture of former al-Qaeda operative Abu Anas al-Libi early Oct. Zeidan blamed abduction on 2 congressmen Mohammed al-Kilani and Mustafa al-Triki and Libya Revolutionaries’ Operation Room (LROR), controversial security body with ties to Islamist groups that operates under authority of Libyan Congress (GNC) head. Abdelmonem Essid, member of other state-approved security group, subsequently took responsibility, said group seized Zeidan over drug and corruption allegations. 94 congressmen 27 Oct boycotted GNC to protest obstruction of investigation into Zeidan’s abduction, called for LROR’s dismissal. Russian embassy attacked 3 Oct, 2 killed and diplomatic staff evacuated; car bomb 11 Oct struck Swedish-Finish consulate in Benghazi. Attacks targeting security officials increased: gunmen 5 Oct killed 16 army officers at checkpoint near Tarhouna, SW of Tripoli; at least 10 security officials killed in separate attacks in Benghazi. Muslim cleric Abdulsalam al-Hassi of Benghazi killed 12 Oct. Oil shutdowns in west reduced crude exports to below 10% of capacity late Oct. ICC 12 Oct gave Libya green light to try Qadhafi-era security chief Abdullah Senussi.

Western Sahara

  |  1 Nov 2013

Unchanged

Police 19 Oct violently dispersed pro-independence protesters in Laayoune during 3-day visit by UN envoy Christopher Ross aimed at breaking deadlock; 20 Oct reportedly wounded 20 protesters in Smara. Ross 30 Oct presented report to UNSC, announced launch of new phase in negotiations based on discreet and separate bilateral exchanges with each party. UN Special Committee on Decolonisation 14 Oct adopted resolution reiterating need for negotiated settlement. Morocco 30 Oct recalled ambassador to Algeria over President Bouteflika’s remarks accusing Morocco of “massive and systematic human rights violations” in W Sahara.

Mauritania

  |  1 Nov 2013

Unchanged

Opposition coalition Coordination for Democratic Opposition (COD) 2 Oct suspended participation in first dialogue with govt in 4 years, but authorities 3 Oct said they will maintain 23 Nov date for legislative elections. 10 of 11 COD parties 4 Oct announced boycott but Islamist party Tawassoul and Union of Forces of Progress (UFP) 5 Oct said they will participate, prompting uncertainty over future of coalition.

Algeria

  |  1 Oct 2013

Unchanged

President Bouteflika 11 Sept reshuffled cabinet: appointed close aides to defence and interior ministries; ally Abdelmalek Sellal retained PM post; 22 Sept appointed Gen Abdelhamid Bendaoud head of Department of Internal Security (DSI) and Gen Mohamed Bouzit head of intelligence service’s external relations directorate. Security forces 5 Sept killed 7 reported terrorists attempting to cross into Mauritania; 9 Sept killed 2 in Tizi Ouzou and Boumerdès regions; 23 Sept killed 2 in Boumerdès province. Govt 7 Sept deployed 3,000 additional soldiers along borders with Tunisia and Libya.

Mauritania

  |  1 Oct 2013

Unchanged

President Ould Abdel Aziz 19 Sept announced cabinet reshuffle, appointed 6 new ministers. UNHCR envoy Athar Sultan-Khan 22 Sept met with PM Laghdaf to discuss plight of Malian refugees in Mauritania. News agency ANI 16 Sept released AQIM video showing 4 Frenchmen abducted in Niger in 2010. 

Libya

  |  1 Oct 2013

Unchanged

Oil sector disruptions continued: General National Congress’ (GNC) Crisis Committee 16 Sept announced deal to end port blockade reached, but protesters who shut down oil terminals denied any negotiation with state officials. Key pipeline reopened mid-Sept after GNC-led negotiations. Protesters 29 Sept shut down major Wafa gas field along Algeria border; Berber protesters 30 Sept shut off gas pipeline citing marginalisation in new constitution. Political tensions increased with mounting calls for PM Zeidan’s departure; GNC Security Committee member Abdulomonen Alyaser late Sept said IMF raised “red flag” over economy and govt’s direction. SW region Fezzan 26 Sept reportedly declared itself autonomous federal province. Security remained fragile with continued targeted assassinations including 3 security officers killed 29 Sept in Benghazi, and explosions including bombing of Benghazi branch of Foreign Ministry 11 Sept.

Tunisia

  |  1 Oct 2013

Unchanged

Ongoing mediation efforts attempting to end political deadlock between Islamist-dominated governing Troika and secular opposition. Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) 16 Sept pushed for new transition plan calling for ruling An-Nahda party to step down; An-Nahda initially rejected proposition. UGTT 28 Sept reported An-Nahda agreed to step down in Oct after 3 weeks of talks, hand over power to caretaker govt to oversee elections. An-Nahda leaders later said govt would not resign before agreement on constitution and launch of electoral campaign. Interior Minister Lotfi Ben Jeddou 13 Sept acknowledged his ministry received information from Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) regarding potential threat to opposition MP Mohamed Brahmi prior to his assassination in July, prompting outrage, opposition demands for inquiry. Media strike 17 Sept following further arrests of journalists.

Mauritania

  |  1 Sep 2013

Unchanged

Govt 3 Aug scheduled legislative, municipal elections for 12 Oct; opposition movement Coordination for Democratic Opposition (COD) called move “unilateral provocation”, threatened boycott; National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) 22 Aug postponed polls to 23 Nov. Govt signed military cooperation agreement with Niger. President Abdel Aziz confirmed country will participate in UN peacekeeping mission in Mali.

Tunisia

  |  1 Sep 2013

Unchanged

Ongoing pro- and anti-govt protests and sit-ins as political crisis remained unresolved. Early month saw exchange of fire with counter-terrorism units as they raided private homes. After extensive negotiations within governing Troika and with opposition, ruling Islamist An-Nahda party 22 Aug agreed to start national dialogue with opposition using framework proposed late-July by Tunisian General Labour Union, which entails forming new govt and expert constitutional committee to review constitution draft. However opposition 23 Aug rejected An-Nahda proposal, 24 Aug started week of protest called Rahil (“Departure”) aiming to dissolve govt and National Constituent Assembly, remove An-Nahda-appointed officials. Army 12 Aug launched airstrikes against Islamist militants in Mount Chaambi near Algerian border, after 1 soldier killed and 7 wounded in landmine explosion 4 Aug.

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CrisisWatch N°132

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