Although combating irregular migration and human smuggling in the Sahel region was already imminent in 2010, its significance for the EU and its member states such as Germany has increased massively since 2015. It is therefore expected that Germany and Algeria will continue to cooperate closely in this domain as the war in Mali remains a significant security threat for Algeria. Meanwhile, human smuggling and migration continue to affect political discourses in Algeria and Europe.
Results for Category: Algeria
Merzoug Touati was arrested in Béjaïa in January 2017 and subsequently accused of ‘incitement to non-armed gathering’, ‘foreign intelligence aimed at harming diplomatic ties’ and ‘incitement to gatherings and sit-ins in public spaces’. In May 2018, he was found guilty of ‘communicating with intelligence agents of a foreign power that could be harmful for the military or diplomatic situation of Algeria or its essential economic interests’,
The implication of government officials in drug trafficking is not surprising, Matthew Herbert, a research fellow with the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, told Fanack Chronicle. “This mirrors similar efforts by traffickers and businessmen to corrupt government officials at other points along cocaine trafficking routes, such as Guinea-Bissau or Mali,” he said. “What is surprising is that the Algerian officials were openly linked to the case. Usually such affairs are kept fairly quiet.”
Following Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia’s appointmentd in August 2017, Algerian authorities further escalated their crackdown on sub-Saharan nationals and have intensified their arrest and expulsion campaigns of migrant workers and refugees ever since. In March 2018, Minister of the Interior Noureddine Bedoui said that his government has repatriated 27,000 migrants since 2015 and intends to continue expelling those who reside in the country illegally.
Hundreds of FLN supporters were brought to the area by bus, waving pictures of Bouteflika and the Algerian flag at what the news website TSA Algérie called an informal election campaign kick-off and highlighted the absence of Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia, one of the most promising candidates for Bouteflika’s succession.
Rachid Nekkaz, algerian businessman, activist and former presidential candidate, is one of the few opposition leaders who currently enjoy popularity among young voters. His unconventional initiatives have not only positioned him as a man of the people, they have also increased his understanding of Algerian society, countering frequent criticisms that he is a rich, out-of-touch foreigner. However, many doubted his intentions, given his lack of success in French politics, and accused him of being out of touch with the realities of ordinary Algerians.
Two days after the general strike, Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia said that he will not tolerate “the persistence of this anarchy” and promised to put an end to it. Despite his threats and ongoing state repression against protesters, Cnapeste announced on 16 February 2018 its intention to continue its actions.
As a result of these measures, sub-Saharan migrants and refugees trying to cross North Africa have been forced to stay in Algeria, a trend that has fuelled anti-migrant sentiment and xenophobia among Algerians. In the spring of 2017, the controversial online campaign ‘No to Africans in Algeria’, which framed sub-Saharan migrants as a threat, went viral and heralded a significant political shift to the right.