Friday, 22 November 2019
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Algeria

INTRODUCTION AND RECOMMENDATIONS


Munoz2unnamedSmuggling activities along the borderlands of the North African (NA) countries - Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia - have been tolerated by central governments because they have been a way of costless development. But now they have become a menace given as contraband has expanded from arms to people trafficing and the extension of jihadism. To fight these threats requires more cooperation than competition.


This might start with the rejuvenation of the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU), an organisation created in 1989 by Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania to increase cooperation through greater interregional trade as a way to future economic and may be political integration. The AMU has never been abolished and had been working until the confrontation between Algeria and Morocco.


The European Union could help to integrate border management systems, or at least to coordinate them, because border security depends not only on national capabilities but also on international cooperation. Solutions to border management depends mainly on an North Africa operating environment taking into account the dynamic of the region trading networks that have created deep connections between border communities in neighbouring states. But a note of caution : limiting long standing smuggling of traditional commodities smuggling (fuel, food and tobacco ....) in the Maghreb could lead to an increase in radicalisation of people living in the border areas.


With the help of the World Bank and the European Union, the first steps in a comprehensive long term strategy could be:
a. Connecting the south to the north of the Maghreb countries through road infrastructure
b. Supporting regional cooperation
c. Helping the regions close to the existing borders to develop.
d. Providing coastguards of the regions' states with training and equipment.

See the next page for a country by country update. This paper is based on one written for the Eurodefense Mediterranean Observatory by Ambassador Garcia Munoz, President of Eurodefense-Spain, and submitted to the Bucharest Conference in October 2019. His previous papers published on Defence Viewpoints are "Developments in the MENA area" 16 September 2017 and the "Mahgreb Revisited" mini series 20 November 2017 - 24 November 2017

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ED-ESPthumbnailAlgeria is undergoing a transformation that might lead either to a true political transition or simply to a change of regime. Since the departure of Bouteflika, the regime's margin to manoeuvre has increased a bit, but the people seem to believe that the president's resignation was a way for his clan to gain time to install a successor close to it. The ruling powers are still in control and they do not want to hand over the power to the new Algerian generation until they will be satisfied with a compromise candidate. In the background the Algerian Army is protecting its unrelenting political dominance, says Mariano Garcia Munoz.

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