ALGERIA MONTHLY SITUATION REPORT
· Almost a month after he was airlifted to Paris for treatment following a “minor stroke”, there has been no sign of President Bouteflika and speculation as to his condition is rising to fever pitch.
· Bouteflika’s health problems come just as he had made up his mind to run for a fourth successive term of office next year.
· Concordant sources suggest that one of the main aims of the corruption investigations, which are being driven by the DRS, is to prevent Bouteflika from running for a fourth term.
· The question of the fourth term may have been laid to rest by the President’s health problems; paradoxically, the situation may become more complicated if Bouteflika were to make a full recovery and return in fighting form .
· Interior Minister Ould Kablia has announced new security measures along the border with Morocco, and complained bitterly of the Moroccan authorities’ lack of cooperation in combatting smuggling.
· Inclined for domestic political reasons to talk up problems on the border with Morocco, Ould Kablia has tended to downplay far greater threats on Algeria’s eastern borders.
· As they move against jihadist groups in the mountains along the border with Algeria, the Tunisian authorities are appealing for ever greater military assistance from the Algerians.
· A Tunisian security official draws a pessimistic prognosis for the situation in Tunisia, which is compared to Algeria in the early ’90s.
· Jihadist activity nationwide accelerated markedly in April and early May, with security operations lagging somewhat behind them. There were no incidents in Algiers, however.
· A convoy of Italian expatriate workers has been ambushed in north-west Algeria in what may have been a kidnapping attempt, although none were taken hostage or wounded.
· Repeated acts of car-jacking and brigandry in the Hassi Messaoud area indicate that security is still not optimal around Algeria’s oldest oil hub.
· There have been a number of incursions in the south-eastern oil province of Illizi by small groups of armed men from Libya, including one near In Amenas, and a failed attack on a security forces convoy transporting jihadist prisoners in the same province.
Soyez le premier à commenter