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Maghreb Media Roundup (January 30)

[Image of the Arch of Trajan in Timgad, Algeria. Image by zedamnabil/Flickr] [Image of the Arch of Trajan in Timgad, Algeria. Image by zedamnabil/Flickr]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Maghreb and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Maghreb Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to by Thursday night of every week]


Is a Late ‘Arab Spring’ Knocking on Algeria’s Doors from the Desert? Adam Al-Sabiri considers the implications of the vast protest movement against shale gas operation in southern Algeria.

Corporate management: Need to draft charter on governance of public companies As Algeria looks to diversify its economy and attract more foreign investment, it is focusing on passing legislation to better regulate public companies.

Du gaz de jeunes Writing for El-Watan, Chawki Amari goes after the government for its treatment of Algeria’s twenty million young people.

Algeria to Boost Oil Production in Face of Falling Prices As concerns about the falling price of oil escalate, the Minister of Energy announced plans for an increase in production to try and compensate.

Bouteflika aurait décidé le gel des forages de gaz de schiste After various protests against shale gas exploration in southern Algeria, President Bouteflika decided to stop the project for now.


Hope for Libya after first round of talks Rival political groups have found some success in the peace talks in Geneva, including agreeing to an immediate cease fire.

ليبيا: غياب الحوكمة لا يعني الإفلاس Samir Sabah discusses the political crisis in Libya, rejecting the notion that the country will soon go bankrupt.

Libya’s lobbying efforts in the U.S. Libya’s current US lobbying profile, including information on government spending, major lobbying groups, and overall evaluation.

Gunmen blow themselves up inside Tripoli hotel A brief news account of the deadly attack at the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli on 27 January, a hotel that often hosted Libyan government officials and foreign diplomats.

Condemnations of Corinthia attack continue as arguments grow over culprits No group has claimed responsibility for the attack on the Tripoli hotel, but Libya Dawn’s General National Congress is blaming Gaddafi supporters and their foreign backers, namely Egypt.

Future Libya peace talks to be held on home ground - U.N. The peace talks will be moved from Geneva to Libya, and the General National Congress is expected to join the talks following the venue change.

Volatile Libya resumes commercial flights to Europe After a six-month hiatus, Libya has resumed limited flights to Germany and Rome, a positive sign for the crippled commercial airline industry.

Libya producing 363,000 bpd of oil, says rival minister Oil production in Libya continues to fall as a result of the persistent political crisis.

Libya’s Ansar al-Sharia group confirms chief’s death Ansar al-Sharia leader Mohamed al-Zehawi was killed during fighting near Benghazi in October. At the time, al-Zehawi was reported as mortally injured, but nothing further was known about his status until now.

Gunmen kill policeman guarding U.N. building in Libya’s capital The attack at the United Nations building in Libya on Friday, January 23 resulted in the death of a Libyan policeman.


Mauritanian prison siege ends with hostages freed The Mauritanian government agreed to release four prisoners in exchange for the safe release of two prison guards taken hostage by death row inmates.

Mauritania jails anti-slavery activists The two-year prison sentence for three activists who were promoting land rights for the descendents of slaves has drawn international criticism and protests within the country.


عاجل...القضاء يُدين الدولة المغربية بأداء 5 ملايين لفائدة الجمعية المغربية لحقوق الانسان +نسخة الحكم In a case between the interior ministry and the Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH) the court awards the association five million dirhams in damages.

ردا على فيديوهات الرشوة.. البوليس كيرجّع الصرف A video documenting police corruption went viral on social media and the director-general of national security responded with the formation of a national committee to better monitor bribery among traffic police.

حصاد يمنع ندوة يرأسها زميله في الحكومة مصطفى الخلفي The Rabat wali canceled a seminar on press freedom that was going to host the Minister of Communication, Mustapha Khalfi.

Un migrant subsaharien sur le point de comparaitre devant le tribunal militaire An immigrant from Mali is being tried in a military court on 21 January,, in violation of recent legal reform put in place at the end of last year. The crime was an immigrant throwing a rock at a member of the Morocco’s Auxiliary Forces, which allegedly led to his death.

Oil companies step up drilling efforts in Morocco Over thirty-four international oil companies are operating throughout Morocco and positive drilling results are leading to an even greater interest in the country’s potential as an oil exporting nation.

Morocco’s ‘Tolerant’ Islam Meets Realpolitik Human Rights Watch describes how Moroccan police stopped two planned rallies in front of the Saudi Arabian embassy in protest of the country sentencing Saudi blogger and activist Raif Badawi to 1000 lashes and ten years in prison.

L'écrivain Abdellah Taïa nous parle des sans-papiers, de racisme et d'islamophobie Moroccan author Abdellah Taïa discusses his most recent book, Un pays pour mourir, in the context of of clandestine immigration, racism, and islamophobia in Morocco and France.

Morocco denies asking for legal immunity for officials in France After the story of Morocco asking for legal immunity for its official made its way through major news outlets, the country’s communications minister denied that the government had made this request. This story relates to the allegations of torture against General Directorate of Territorial Surveillance (French acronym, DGST) director Abdellatif Hammouchi and the diplomatic fallout between Morocco and France.

3tini Saki: La chanteuse zina daoudia poursuivie pour incitation à la débauche A class action suit is being filed against a well-known Moroccan singer of chaabi music by people who were offended by Zina Daoudia’s song, “Give me my purse.”


Yassine Ayari condamné à un an de prison ferme pour "atteinte à l'armée" Tunisian blogger Yassine Ayari was sentenced to one year in prison for “attacking the army.”

Phosphate production poisoning Tunisian city Phosphate is Tunisia’s biggest export, but radioactive waste from a refinery in Gabes is damaging the health of the city’s residents as well as the environment.

Tunisian blogger jailed for defaming army on Facebook Dozens of demonstrators gathered outside a Tunisian court to protest the one-year prison sentence for the blogger. Human rights groups have also criticized the case.

Tunisia's Ennahda party rejects Essid cabinet The Ennahda party, which won the second-largest number of parliamentary seats but was not included in the newly formed cabinet, will vote against the cabinet in an upcoming vote of confidence.

النهضة: لن نكون مجرد ديكور في اللعبة الديمقراطية بتونس Despite being shut out of the new government cabinet, the Ennahda party is intent on performing an active role in government ministries and not be “purely decorative.”

نداء تونس أمام خيارين متناقضين: إرضاء النهضة والاحتفاظ بالناخبين Nidaa Tounes, the winner of the largest number of parliamentary seats and leader of the new government, is looking to strike a balance between pursuing the goals of the revolution and including all political parties in the government.

Tunisian activists take to the streets with art An in-depth look at “My Art in Spite of Myself” (Fanni Raghman Anni), a human rights activist group that performs theater and art shows in the streets of the capital.

Western Sahara

Africa Last Colony: Sahrawis Want Barack Obama's Help Many Saharawis are praising Obama’s efforts with Cuba and asking the US president to make a statement in support of their right to self-determination.

The Simplicity of Words Series: Part I (Poems of Agaila Abba) Saharawi writer and activist Agaila Abba shares her poetry about Saharawi identity and life as a refugee.

Energy Company Drills through Human Rights in the Western Sahara Craig Browne looks at the problems with Kosmos Energy drilling off the coast of the Western Sahara.

Scottish oil firm Cairn drills amid repression and fear in Western Sahara The Scottish oil firm is working with Kosmos Energy and the Moroccan state institution the National Office of Hydrocarbon and Mines off the coast of the disputed territory.

Sahrawi political prisoner suffers serious health situation Abdul Khaliq Almuati ‘s started a hunger strike on 15 January in protest of his treatment in a Moroccan prison.

Most Recent Articles from Jadaliyya’s Maghreb Page

Reconsidering the Rif Revolt (1958-1959) Nabil Mouline examines an important and oftten disregarded period in Morocco’s post-colonial history.

‘A Distinctly French Universalism’: Translating Laïcité after Charlie Muriam Haleh Davis deconstructs the notion of French secularism as neutral public space in the aftermath of the attacks on Charlie Hebdo

Rap as Activism in Morocco: A STATUS/الوضع Conversation between Mouad Belghouate (El-Haqed) and Samia Errazzouki Moroccan rapper and 20 February Movement activist discusses his time in prison and  importance of rap in the development of a political opposition.

إشكالية الفرد في المغرب Rachid Yamlouli argues that the primary problematic in Morocco’s society relates to a crisis of knowledge about human identity and existence.

دور المجتمع المدني في الثورة التونسية. محادثة لـ"الوضع" بين فاتح عزام وعبد الباسط بن حسن Status Audio Journal hosts a conversation about the role of civil society in the Tunisian revolution.

Charlie Hebdo et les limites de la République (English version here) In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, Arthur Asseraf examines the dark history of freedom of expression in the French colonial context and argues that these events were an attack on freedom of the press everywhere.   

The Roots of Conflict: From Settler-Colonialism to Military Occupation in the Western Sahara (Part 1) Erica Vasquez examines the history and changes of the Western Sahara conflict and how Morocco has asserted itself through military occupation. 

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