TUNIS (Reuters) – Western and Arab nations mounted the biggest diplomatic push in weeks to end Syria’s crackdown on the opposition on Friday, but the talk in a marble-lined Tunisian hotel risked being overtaken by the increasingly vicious armed conflict on the ground.
Foreign ministers from more than 50 countries in Tunis for the inaugural “Friends of Syria” meeting marshaled international condemnation of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and ratcheted up the pressure on him to step dcown.
ALGIERS (Reuters) – When Moncef Marzouki, a former dissident transformed by the “Arab Spring” into Tunisia’s president, paid an official visit to Algeria on Sunday, red and white Tunisian flags flew from lamp-posts in his honor.
Just two days earlier, another former dissident and leading figure of Tunisia’s revolution had been barred from entering. Sihem Bensedrine was allowed into the country after a seven-hour wait only after protests from fellow human rights activists.
ALGIERS (Reuters) – Muammar Gaddafi’s daughter has expressed concern that a United Nations commission looking into human rights violations during the Libya conflict is not trying to find out who killed her father.
The circumstances of Gaddafi’s killing on October 20 last year remain unclear. Footage of his last moments, bloodied and dazed as his captors dragged him along a road, marked the grisly success of the revolt against his rule, even though many Libyans said they were glad to see the end of a violent dictator.
ALGIERS (Reuters) – The daughter of Libya’s former leader Muammar Gaddafi asked on Tuesday to make representations to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to help her brother Saif al-Islam, who is in a Libyan jail awaiting trial on rape and murder charges.
Aisha Gaddafi wants to hand information to the court about the welfare of Saif al-Islam, who has also been indicted by the ICC on charges of crimes against humanity dating from Libya’s civil war last year.
ALGIERS (Reuters) – Algeria’s government will ignite an explosion of unrest if it tries to rig a parliamentary election in May to keep its grip on power, according to the leader of an Islamist opposition party vying for a big share of the vote.
Algeria, a big energy exporter, is the only North African state largely untouched by the “Arab Spring” upheavals in the region but the election could still act as a catalyst for protests over unemployment, a lack of housing and a government many people feel does not listen to them.
ALGIERS (Reuters) – Behind Libya’s flare-up of violence and protests in the past five days lies a quandary.
How do you share out power in the new Libya when the jumble of tribes, militias and interest groups do not trust each other and, even worse, when the people supposed to be acting as neutral referees are widely mistrusted?
ALGIERS (Reuters) – A kidnapped Algerian regional governor has been freed after his captors were intercepted inside Libya, officials said on Tuesday, an incident that will raise new concerns about instability spilling over from Libya to its neighbors.
Two Algerian security sources earlier told Reuters the governor was being held by al Qaeda. Security experts have warned the group is exploiting turmoil in Libya after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi to carve out a safe haven.
ALGIERS (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will travel to Algeria in the next few weeks, two diplomatic sources told Reuters, a visit which would boost an Algerian government left exposed by the “Arab Spring” uprisings.
Algeria is the only north African state largely untouched by recent popular revolt in the region but its leaders face mounting internal pressure to embrace greater democracy before a parliamentary election scheduled for May this year.
ALGIERS (Reuters) – Al Qaeda took hostage an Algerian regional governor near the Libyan border, security sources said on Tuesday, an incident that will raise new concerns about militants exploiting Libya’s security vacuum.
The kidnapping, deep in the Sahara desert, was the most audacious attack on a senior Algerian official in years. One security expert said al Qaeda has been emboldened because its fighters could use Libya, in turmoil since Muammar Gaddafi’s overthrow, as a safe haven.
ALGIERS (Reuters) – Al Qaeda’s north African branch is holding the governor of an Algerian desert region kidnapped near the border with Libya, security sources said on Tuesday.
The abduction of the governor, the most senior Algerian official to be kidnapped in years, will reinforce worries that the overthrow of Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi has created a zone of instability now being exploited by al Qaeda.