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Vol 52 No 19

Published 23rd September 2011


No springtime in Algiers

The ageing elite which supported Gadaffi to keep revolutions at bay now faces much bigger challenges at home

There is no prospect of Algeria’s rulers voluntarily ceding power to a new generation. The Libyan crisis has galvanised them. Much as Colonel Moammar el Gadaffi has been a chronic nuisance in the past, protecting him has been a part of the Algerian leadership’s strategy to hold back the Arab Spring. Persistent reports speak of covert Algerian material and diplomatic support to Gadaffi. Libya’s National Transitional Council believes that Algeria facilitated flights bringing the despised ‘African mercenaries’ into Libya in February and March, while documents from a looted Tripoli office suggest that Chinese companies planned to supply Gadaffi’s forces with arms transported across the Algerian border.

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