Articles and analysis

Although locked in a long competition for regional primacy with its traditional rival, Algeria, Morocco has benefited from Algeria's large and well secured territory which buffers the country from jihadists in the region and in the Sahel, writes Garcia Munoz.


But economic and social unrest and growing conservative forces of Islam together with rising political militancy are threats to Morocco's long time stability. Contemporary religious political movements espouse a postmodern Islamist model to attract youth who, out of frustration due to unemployment that reaches more than 36 percent, are searching for an alternative to the current system

The countries that make up the Maghreb region of North Africa — Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya — are defined as much by the broad desert expanses of the Sahara and the Atlas Mountains as they are by the waters of the Mediterranean. Wedged between the coastline of the southern Mediterranean and an ocean of sand, the populations of the Mahgreb have a long history of interaction with Southern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa and the broader Middle East. Current challenges to political stability, regional militancy, changes in energy production and in the economy — given their proximity to Europe and to former European colonial holdings in Africa, and the continued economic and security relationships between these regions, makes events in the Maghred resonate in regional and Western capitals, says Ambassador García Muñoz.

PART 1 - TUNISIA

Six years after the “Liberty and Dignity Revolution” in Tunisia, the threats to the country are: first, to improve the economy to meet the expectations of the population regarding development, jobs, healthcare, transportation, education and so on, because the government has still not improved the welfare and the standard of living of a great mass of its citizens. And second, corruption that is corroding Tunisia’s democratic achievements. Of the claims of the population during the revolution, one -liberty- was achieved through the political transition and the constitution. Yet the other –dignity- is the biggest challenge it is encountering because in many ways the Government is acting as if nothing has happened after 2011. This situation makes that the fraught economic and political environment is in danger. At the root of all this is the corruption that is pervading the whole Tunisian system of governance.

As the European Union struggles under the reality and threat of countries or regions leaving it (as discussed in "Humpty Dumpty in slow motion"), it might be thought that the United States of America represents a haven of stability. But the Southern Confederacy was not the first or last word on secession, which history shows is as American as apple pie, writes Joseph E Fallon..

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