Algeria faces interlocking political and socio-economic challenges three years after a long-awaited presidential transition. A largely peaceful protest movement called the Hirak – prompted by the ex-president's attempt to prolong his tenure but driven by deeper grievances – filled the streets on Fridays for much of the period 2019-2021. The Hirak has faded, but its goals are unrealised, and renewed unrest is an ever present possibility. Tensions with Morocco, including over Western Sahara, also loom, threatening to roil North Africa. Through fieldwork and engagement with senior officials, Crisis Group works to enhance Algeria’s contribution to stability and conflict resolution in a troubled neighbourhood.

CrisisWatch Algeria

Unchanged Situation

President Tebboune announced early elections to be held in Sept as diplomatic ties with Morocco further deteriorated.

Early presidential elections announced for Sept. President Tebboune 21 March announced presidential elections to be held on 7 Sept, three months ahead of schedule, providing no immediate explanation for rescheduling. Tebboune has not officially announced re-election bid, but is likely to run for second term if his health allows, having secured army support. Unexpected rescheduling of elections raised questions among electorate.

Morocco announced plan to confiscate Algerian embassy properties in Rabat. Morocco 13 March issued decree ordering expropriation of Algerian embassy buildings in Morocco’s capital Rabat amid deteriorating relations between neighbouring countries over Western Sahara question. Algerian foreign ministry decried Moroccan “provocations” and vowed to retaliate against Rabat’s plan to use confiscated Algerian properties to expand administrative buildings of Moroccan foreign ministry.

Algerian Hirak movement activist fined and given suspended sentence. Algerian court 13 March issued six-month suspended sentence and 50,000 dinar ($372) fine to prominent pro-democracy activist Karim Tabbou. Sentence is part of broader campaign of harassment of pro-democracy Hirak movement.

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In The News

1 Nov 2022
Morocco cannot follow Algeria in terms of military spending, so a military alliance with Israel is a way to balance the power with Algeria. VOA

Michaël Béchir Ayari

Senior Analyst, Tunisia
6 Sep 2022
We're seeing a diplomatic war [over Western Sahara], where both sides [Algeria and Morocco] are resorting to anything short of open conflict. AFP

Riccardo Fabiani

Project Director, North Africa

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Michaël Béchir Ayari

Senior Analyst, Tunisia

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