Algeria: The Government Lied


January 26, 2012: The government is one of the leading opponents to intervention in the Syrian rebellion. The popular uprising against the Assad family dictatorship in Syria has been going on for a year now, and many Arab League members wanted to intervene as they did in Libya, mainly to stop the killing. Algeria opposed that operation as well. Algeria is, along with Syria, are the only military dictatorships in the 22 member Arab League. Although the Algerian government is under pressure to become a true democracy not much real progress is being made. The military rulers of Algeria are delaying real change for as long as they can.  

January 22, 2012:  Police arrested three al Qaeda members in the northeastern port town of Annaba. The men were planning to use speedboats loaded with explosives to attack large Western (military or commercial) ships. The three had been recruited by an al Qaeda leader who had earlier been arrested.  

Two armed al Qaeda men were ambushed and killed by police 60 kilometers east of the capital.

January 20, 2012: Across the southern border, in Mali, a new Tuareg rebel group staged attacks on two towns. The rebels were repulsed, with 46 of them killed. Two soldiers also died. Some of the rebels were found to have earlier served as mercenaries for the recently deceased Libyan dictator Moamar Kaddafi.

January 16, 2012: The governor of Illizi Province (in the southeast) was kidnapped by three armed Algerian men and taken across the border into Libya. The next day, Libyan troops found and arrested the kidnappers and rescued their Algerian captives. At first, the kidnappers were identified as al Qaeda, but it was later found that they were just ordinary criminals. That was an easy mistake to make, as al Qaeda has been using kidnapping of foreigners and prominent locals to raise money. Sometimes the victims are taken by ordinary criminals and then sold to al Qaeda (which has the resources to obtain a larger ransom).

January 12, 2012: The long promised media law was revealed, and it still gave the government a lot of control over journalists and media outlets. The government had assured reformers that the new media law would eliminate all the restrictions imposed in 1990. The government lied.





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