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Vol 52 No 12

Published 10th June 2011

Revolts change regional alliances

Incumbent regimes are reshaping their strategies to address the democracy wave and to maintain their anti-terror posture

As the ‘Arab Spring’ plays out across North Africa and the Middle East, the national uprisings are not only arousing new fear among ruling elites but also changing the shape of regional rivalries and alliances. The Algerian government, in particular, claims that the Libyan conflict has strengthened Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, with Islamist networks in eastern Libya providing AQIM with men and weapons – just one reason why Algiers fears the consequences of the fall of Moammar el Gadaffi. Morocco, meanwhile, claims that hundreds of Polisario Front fighters from the disputed Western Sahara have left to fight for the Libyan leader. A former United States Ambassador to Morocco, Edward Gabriel, has supported this claim.

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