Algeria: Threat Of Unemployment Defeats The Revolution

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April 18, 2011:  The government has made itself even less popular by calling for NATO, and Libyan rebels, to stop attacking the government of Libyan dictator Moamar Kaddafi. So have other dictatorships like Cuba and Iran. In addition, Algerian officials have been the source of many reports about al Qaeda activity in Libya, the idea apparently being to connect the rebellion in Libya with growing al Qaeda power. There's little evidence to back this up. Al Qaeda has been more active in North Africa, mainly in Algeria, because the Islamic terror group has become the security arm of drug smugglers, who bring cocaine (flown or shipped in from South America) and hashish (produced in West Africa) north, where most of it is smuggled into Europe.

Thousands of teachers and other specialists, all employees of the government, have been on strike for weeks. The government is attempting to wait out the rebellious spirit that has inspired numerous strikes and demonstrations in Algeria. So far, this strategy is working, but it is not guaranteed to win. The large, well paid security forces (army and police) have remained loyal. While all Algerians are unhappy at how poorly the ruling party has mismanaged the economy, the jobs of many in the security forces are seen as threatened by a new government. The revolution might still succeed, but it will either be over lots of dead bodies, or because most of the security force personnel are somehow persuaded to switch sides.

Libyan rebels claim they captured Algerian mercenaries fighting for the Libyan government. The captured Algerians were also carrying drugs (hashish) and may have been Algerian criminals attracted by the high pay Kaddafi was offering to those from neighboring countries who would come and help defend his government.

April 17, 2011: Some 75 kilometers east of the capital, six soldiers and two terrorists were killed in two clashes. Thousands of security forces troops have been withdrawn from  operations against Islamic terrorists, in order to deal with the growing number of anti-government demonstrations. This has reduced the pressure on the few hundred Islamic terrorists still active in the northern part of the country, and made it possible for more attacks to be launched on the security forces.

April 15, 2011: Some 110 kilometers east of the capital, Islamic terrorists killed 13 soldiers while they attacked an army camp. Two of the attackers were also killed.

In the capital, the president gave his first speech in response to the unrest that began three months ago, as part of the unrest sweeping the Arab world. The president pretended to offer change, but didn't, and Algerians realized that immediately. The popular unrest continues.

April 12, 2011: In the capital, over 10,000 students marched on the presidential palace, demanding real reforms. Dozens of students were arrested or injured by police. The massed police forces stopped the students from getting to the government palace.

April 5, 2011: The government fired five senior media officials, after these men, and over two dozen more employees of state media operations, participated in an anti-government demonstration the day before.

 

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