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

Ruling party confirmed ambition to play active role in President Tebboune's re-election campaign after years on the sidelines; amid strained bilateral relations, Bamako denounced Algiers-sponsored 2015 peace accord.

Ruling party and military asserted support for Tebboune’s re-election bid. At Central Committee session, National Liberation Front’s new secretary general, Abdelkrim Benmbarek, 7 Jan expressed support for President Tebboune’s candidacy in presidential election due to be held before year’s end; stance confirms party’s comeback on political stage after being sidelined in wake of 2019-2021 Hirak protest movement. Army also expressed support for Tebboune. During inspection visit to second military region (west), army chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Saïd Chengriha, 15 Jan called on citizens to adhere “to the project of the rebirth of a new Algeria, led … by Abdelmadjid Tebboune”.

Algeria-Mali diplomatic tensions remained elevated. Mali’s junta 25 Jan revoked Algiers-sponsored 2015 peace deal with separatist rebels, citing “increasing number of unfriendly acts, instances of hostility and interference in Mali’s internal affairs” by Algiers. Foreign ministry next day denounced Mali’s “use of international mercenaries” and rearmament program “funded by third countries”. Earlier in month, Algerian ambassador to Mali and Malian ambassador to Algiers 5 and 7 Jan returned to their posts two weeks after being recalled for consultations; diplomatic row erupted in Dec over Algiers’ consultations with rebel leaders and Tebboune’s meeting with Malian opposition leader Mahmoud Dicko. 

Algeria took seat on UN Security Council. Algeria’s two-year term as non-permanent member of UN Security Council started 1 Jan, with Western Sahara and Palestine as priority issues on country’s agenda.

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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

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