Algeria: The Kaddafi Curse


September 1, 2011:  The government said that it would not grant sanctuary to Moamar Kaddafi, and suggested that it was temporarily shutting down the official border crossings with Libya. Kaddafi could still sneak in, but such an illegal crossing would make him an outlaw in Algeria.

Hundreds of Tuareg tribesmen have fled Libya for Algeria. Libyan rebels accused Tuareg men of serving deposed dictator Kaddafi as mercenaries and have been attacking the nomadic Tuareg.

Refugees from Libya are a minor problem compared to the rising cost of food. In the last eight years, the government has nearly tripled (to $8 billion a year) the money it spends on food imports. In response, more farming is being encouraged.

August 29, 2011: The government announced that the wife, and three children of Moamar Kaddafi had been granted asylum in Algeria. The Kaddafis had travelled from Tripoli in a large convoy (of several dozen vehicles) and had to fight at least one group of Libyan rebels. The trip, largely through the desert, took several days, including mistakenly driving into Tunisia at one point. The Algerian government now fears that allowing the Kaddafis in may lead to more violent pro-reform demonstrations inside Algeria.

August 26, 2011: Two suicide bombers attacked a military academy west of the capital. This killed 18 and wounded 26. Two of the dead were Syrian officers studying at the academy. Al Qaeda took credit, and said the attack was in response to Algerian support for Libyan dictator Moamar Kaddafi.

August 23, 2011: Sixty kilometers east of the capital, police killed three Islamic terrorists.



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