ALGIERS (Reuters) – Mali’s government and Tuareg-led rebels resumed U.N.-sponsored peace talks in Algeria on Monday in pursuit of an accord to end uprisings by separatists seeking more self-rule for the northern region they call Azawad.
Decades of mistrust and recent intensified fighting between rebels and government-allied militias have complicated attempts to reach a comprehensive deal on Mali’s desert north.
ALGIERS (Reuters) – Algerian soldiers killed the leader of the militant group responsible for kidnapping and beheading French tourist Herve Gourdel in September, a security source and a television station close to the government said on Tuesday.
Ennahar TV said special forces had killed Abdelmalek Gouri, a veteran of Algeria’s 1990s Islamist conflict and leader of the Caliphate Soldiers group, which declared its allegiance to jihadist Islamic State fighters in September.
ALGIERS (Reuters) – President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s mental and cognitive faculties are intact and he will continue to govern Algeria, the ruling FLN party’s chairman said on Friday, in comments aimed at quashing rumours over the ageing leader’s health.
Bouteflika, 78, suffered a stroke last year that put him into a French hospital for months and fueled speculation over whether the former independence fighter would step down and make way for a transition in the North African state.
ALGIERS, Dec 7 (Reuters) – Algerian state energy company
Sonatrach will intensify its exploration efforts by drilling 125
wells a year to boost production over the next five years, it
said on Sunday.
The North African OPEC state’s crude oil and gas production
has stagnated in recent years, stymied by a lack of foreign
investors because of bureaucracy and security concerns, but
neither Sonatrach nor the energy ministry provided details on
incentives for potential oil partners.
ALGIERS (Reuters) – President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has signed a decree to curb the presence of Algeria’s military intelligence service in public institutions, government sources said, to downgrade his rivals and ensure a smooth transition when he steps down.
Since independence from France in 1962, Algerian politics has often been dominated by an opaque behind-the-scenes power struggle between military and civilian leaders to control branches of North African state’s government.
ALGIERS (Reuters) – Nearly a thousand Algerian policemen staged a sit-in outside President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s office in Algiers on Wednesday, demanding better working conditions on a third day of public protests by police officers.
Security forces rarely take to the streets in the North African state, where the Front de Liberation Nationale party and the military have dominated politics since 1962 independence from France, although protests over jobs and housing are common.
ALGIERS (Reuters) – Two Algerians who accompanied Frenchman Herve Gourdel just before militants kidnapped and beheaded him are under house arrest while a judge investigates whether they were involved in the abduction, two security sources said on Wednesday.
The two men were among five Algerians who went with Gourdel on a mountain hike last month before he was taken by militants who killed him to punish France for its military intervention against Islamic State fighters in Iraq.
ALGIERS (Reuters) – When a little-known group of Algerian militants beheaded a French tourist last week, they were not only lashing out at the West, but also staking an unmistakable claim in the shifting ground of jihadist power politics.
Herve Gourdel’s murder by the Caliphate Soldiers, ostensibly to punish France for Western military strikes on Islamic State forces in Iraq, was testament to the pull now exerted by the al Qaeda-offshoot in the battle for the loyalties of jihadists.
PARIS/ALGIERS (Reuters) – A French national was kidnapped in eastern Algeria on Sunday, France’s foreign ministry said, and his kidnappers issued a video threatening to kill him if Paris did not halt its intervention in Iraq.
The Caliphate Soldiers, a group linked to Islamic State militants, published a video on the Internet soon after the French ministry’s announcement on Monday, claiming responsibility for the kidnapping and showing a man who identified himself as Herve Gourdel, 55, from Nice in southern France.
ALGIERS (Reuters) – A new armed group calling itself the Caliphate Soldiers in Algeria has split from al Qaeda’s North African branch and sworn loyalty to the radical breakaway group Islamic State fighting in Syria and Iraq.
A breakaway of key Algerian commanders from Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, known as AQIM, would show deepening rivalry between al Qaeda’s core command and the Islamic State over leadership of the transnational Islamist militancy.