Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Algeria's regime: out on a limb that looks set to fall

By giving the Gaddafi family refuge, Algeria's gerontocracy is putting itself on the wrong side of history

Brian Whitaker
guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 30 August 2011

"....That leaves Algeria out on a limb, increasingly identified with the forces of counter-revolution. Not only has it so far failed to recognise the Libyan NTC, but it is now openly providing refuge for members of the Gaddafi family.

Welcoming the Gaddafis, according to Algeria's ambassador at the UN, was nothing more than a humanitarian gesture, in line with the traditions of desert hospitality – but we don't have to look very far to see the politics behind it.

What happened to the Tunisian, Egyptian and Libyan regimes could easily have been the fate of the Algerian regime, too. In January, as the Tunisian uprising gathered pace, Algeria also experienced widespread disturbances – and for very similar reasons. Regular protests were still continuing on a smaller scale at the end of March.....

This suggests it's only a matter of time before the regime follows its neighbours into oblivion. Possibly Algerian leaders are hoping to keep revolutionary fervour at bay by creating difficulties for the transitional government in Libya next door but, if so, they could be making a big mistake.

As smarter approach is to accept the inevitable in Libya, as Morocco has cheerfully done, and not draw attention to their hankering for the past."

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