Category Archives: Africa Podcast – Analysis

Algeria: A nightmare named MAK

Thursday, March 30, at the end of the day, the Authority of regulation of the audiovisual in Algeria (ARAV) pond a communiqué of the most absurd. Is denounced a sequence of the most banal appeared in a scene of a television series broadcast by the public channel of television. Of a nothing at all the gendarme of the Algerian audio-visual made a scandal. Algeria: A nightmare named MAK.

Algeria: A nightmare named MAK

The scandal has splashed the whole political-military power which does not cease multiplying the blunders and the drifts as well inside the country as abroad. The scene implicated by the ARAV is located at a passage where the market of the popular district of Bab-El-Oued in Algiers was being filmed. On one of the walls appears a badly erased graffiti. “MAK” read the gendarme of the Algerian audiovisual. A graffiti to which nobody paid attention. Not even the leaders of the MAK (Movement for the Autodetermination of Kabylia) nor its militants. Moreover, it took a week for the ARAV to notice it.

A phone call from a military officer is the cause of the scandal

Obviously, there is reason to wonder how the ARAV waited for the broadcasting of seven episodes, that is to say after a week, for it to wake up on a graffiti that nobody has seen.

To find an answer to this question we asked our sources close to the building of 21, Boulevard des Martyrs in Algiers, headquarters of the National Television Company (ENTV) to identify the origin of this battle wobble that shook the landscape of the Algerian audiovisual and gave cold sweat to its Director General, Nadir Boukabes. Recently appointed to this position to replace Chabane Lounakel dismissed last December for a reason of the most sordid.

The name of Morocco was pronounced to announce the qualification of its national soccer team for the semi-finals of the World Cup in Qatar, it is unforgivable. In less than 24 hours the boss of the public television is dismissed as a mess after long years spent in the service of the regime under Bouteflika and then under Tebboune. Until this stage of the competition, the Algerian media were content to announce the elimination, in turn, of Belgium, Portugal and Spain without naming their opponent. Incredible but true. This happens in the “new Algeria” of the tandem Tebboune-Chengriha.

This time, the appearance of a graffiti on a wall that serves as a background to a scene filmed in a market almost cost his successor his job. The MAK, three letters banished from the lexicon of the Algerian media if not preceded by the famous sentence imposed by the military “the terrorist organization”.

How and by whom did the scandal come about?

Our sources assure us that a phone call from an army officer startled Mohamed Louber, the president of ARAV, on the afternoon of Thursday, March 30. As soon as he was told, “Didn’t you see the MAK, this terrorist organization, on full display on public television?”, he almost fell into a faint. He only came to his senses when he realized that it was only graffiti on a wall and that it appeared in the television series “eddamma” (the checkers game).

He wasted no time in writing a statement that he sent to the official press agency (Algeria Press Service) before calling the poor Director General of ENTV and giving him a dressing down.

The level of some Algerian decision-makers

This reaction of the ARAV dictated by a general who was, certainly, actuated by a laudatory stooge, is revealing of the level of some Algerian decision-makers. Decision-makers to whom the old adage applies that says “when you point the finger at the moon to the fool, he looks at the finger”. From a TV show that gives the viewer his sad daily life that sinks into trafficking of all kinds (psychotropic drugs, narcotics, gold etc..) to survive in a country immensely rich, we retain a graffiti badly erased.

This serious drift of the ARAV reveals, one cannot better the coldness of the Algerian political regime in front of the big questions which are posed, today, in Algeria. Among other issues, the claim of self-determination of Kabylia under the umbrella of the MAK in reaction to the state of abandonment from which this region suffers in terms of socio-economic development and to the repression that falls on its inhabitants and particularly its youth. Instead of negotiating and debating intelligently with this political movement whose leadership is composed essentially of intellectuals and academics known and recognized, the power of Algiers, rejected and hated by the whole of the Algerian people, prefers to make in the denial and the contempt. Worse still, it qualifies as terrorists this movement and its militants who have never used violence neither by acts nor by words.

Algeria: A nightmare named MAK

By refusing to see the reality in the face, the political-military power of Algiers lives a real nightmare which has for name MAK (Movement for the Self-determination of Kabylia). A movement that is gaining popularity in its own region, Kabylia. It is taken as an example by other regions that are becoming aware of their poor living conditions caused by a regime unable to provide the population with basic food products such as milk, semolina, oil and especially running water. The MAK does not cease, also, to make wipe the power of Algiers, of incessant reverses on the international political scene notably within the international organizations of the Human rights.

Recently, the UN Human Rights Council reminded Algeria that it is mistaken in its definition of terrorism by mentioning in its resolution “Algeria applies a definition (of terrorism) that corresponds to its context and its reality. And Ferhat Mehenni, the leader of the MAK added “a racist and anti-Kabyle reality. The inhumane treatment of Kabyle political prisoners is proof of this.

France & Algeria: together for boating!

France & Algeria: together for boating! The unknowns of France’s real interests in the Maghreb.
The visit of the Algerian army chief of staff, General Said Chengriha, to Paris has provoked many misgivings.

France & Algeria: together for boating!

Algeria‘s latest political and military moves include France in what is seen as a series of strategic positions of the two countries. Beyond the interpretations of every move in Algiers to disqualify its neighbour Morocco on the European and international stage, just at the moment of a great increase in Morocco’s prestige and image thanks to its Atlas Lions at the World Cup in Qatar, it has now been conditioned by an alleged Qatari bribery scandal in the European Parliament that some are taking advantage of to involve Moroccan lobbying.

It is somewhat surprising that left-wing, far-left and radical parties in the European Parliament managed with some ease and speed to get a critical resolution on human rights and press freedom in Morocco debated and voted through. Other influential and decisive groups in other occasions managed by the governments of large European countries, such as France or Germany, absented themselves from the debate and facilitated the approval of a resolution that was intended to give great advantage to Algeria’s military-political government over Morocco. Moreover, just a couple of weeks before an important High-Level Meeting between Spain and Morocco that will significantly boost relations between the two neighbours.

At this time, some key aspects of the recovery of relations between France and Algeria, after profound differences, need to be analysed.

Sale of arms

For many observers, France is counting, among other things, on the recent $18 billion increase in Algeria’s defence budget to establish arms contracts with the Algerian army.

The sale of arms to Algeria is proving to be a high-risk act, due to doubts over the final destination of these weapons, which will undoubtedly benefit armed groups in the region, such as the separatist militias of the Polisario Front. This conceivable scenario will have the effect of contributing to increased regional instability and undermining the integrity of Moroccan territory.

The question of Algeria’s deployment in the Sahel would be among the issues to be addressed by the two parties, particularly in this situation that is provoking anti-French sentiment in Africa.

Algeria should play the role of France’s emissary in the Sahel to try to curb the growing anti-French sentiment in the Sahel-Saharan region. This raises a number of questions about Paris’ contradictions as a victim of Russia‘s advance in Africa, while at the same time supporting one of Moscow’s main supporters in Africa, Algeria.

Duplicity of Algeria

This visit perfectly demonstrates the duplicity of Algiers, which despite signs of rapprochement with the West (Paris and Washington), remains Russia’s unfailing ally. The alliance with Moscow is even a constant of influential wings within the Algerian establishment. This gives Chengriha’s move to France the lure of Algerian deception towards the West.

This deception should also be seen in the wake of the Algerian establishment’s growing sensitivity to relations with the United States, and illustrates the gradual abandonment by the tenants of El Mouradia of their policy of mistrust in the face of pressure from Washington, which has now targeted Russia’s allies and no longer hesitates to brandish the spectre of economic sanctions against them (CAATSA law).

In order not to further arouse the ire of the West, the PNA and its leaders are less and less reluctant to diversify their arms suppliers, especially given that the Russian ally is currently struggling to meet its needs and allow the West to benefit from an arms contract with the Algerian army. A change in trend that could be attributed to developments on the international scene and Western pressures, which are increasingly binding on Algiers.

Issues in the Sahel

France, fully aware of Algeria’s potentially damaging role in northern Mali and neighbouring countries through its acquiescence to Russia’s establishment in the region, its allegedly dubious relations with the coup regimes in Mali and Burkina Faso, as well as its suspicious relations with armed groups in the region, would even be tempted to bring Algeria back to its side in lieu of an opposition of interests between the two sides in the Sahel-Saharan region.

However, this visit is perceived as a service rendered by France to the person of General Chengriha, denounced and accused by the Algerian opposition abroad of having committed crimes and human rights abuses. Man and the trafficking of drugs and weapons. (Guermit BOUNOUIRA’s revelations, which have turned the net upside down and revived truths about the dark side of CHENGRIHA, already mentioned in the book published by the former AN officer Habib SOUAIDIA, in 2001, “the dirty war”).

His trip to Paris is a kind of discredit to the accusations of the Algerian regime’s detractors.