The visit of the French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin to the Arab Maghreb countries (Tunisia, Morocco, and Algeria), during the first third of November 2020, gained increasing importance, both for Paris and for the Maghreb capitals, due to urgent security and political considerations. While the visit was scheduled for some time, it came in the wake of the Nice terrorist attacks and the escalation of irregular migration waves to the European continent.
The Libyan negotiating parties at the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG), represented by the 5+5 Joint Military Committee (JMC), reached an agreement on a permanent ceasefire throughout Libya on 23 October 2020, at the end of a months-long negotiation process that led to establishing rules for a political consensus to manage a transitional phase leading to a new constitution for the country and the organisation of legislative and presidential elections to end the severe internal crisis that erupted six years ago.
Since the start of President Abdelmajid Tebboune’s term in office in December 2019, Algeria’s current interactions in its regional environment can be divided into three main circles: first, the Libyan circle with its recently experienced successive military and political developments; second, the African Sahel (Coast) circle which has become one of the circles constituting the most serious threats to Algerian security; and third, the Mediterranean circle that is of major strategic importance for Algeria, especially from the economic perspective.
Local and regional actors have expressed their anger at the memorandum of understanding for the delimitation of maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean Sea which Turkey and the Government of National Accord in Libya, under the leadership of Faiz al-Siraj, signed on 28 November 2019 in Istanbul. This paper will examine the main features of the deal, its position with regard to international law, and the legal, regional and international consequences.
The Ennahda (Renaissance) Movement in Tunisia is witnessing an escalating struggle between its leaders. This is mainly due to the problematic succession of Rached al-Ghannouchi as the head of the Movement, considering that the Movement has become divided between two groups, one of them advocating the continuation of Ghannouchi as the Movement’s leader by renewing his candidacy for a third presidential term to maintain the Movement’s stability and survival at the forefront of the country’s political scene, while the other refusing to amend the Movement’s internal law which stipulates that Ghannouchi may not assume the leadership of the Movement for more than two consecutive terms.
In mid-September 2020, Fayez al-Sarraj, Chair of the Presidential Council and Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, announced his intention to resign from his post before the end of October at the latest, in the hope that the Dialogue Committee would, by then, have appointed a new prime minister and Presidential Council. This came a few days after the interim government, based in the eastern city of Al-Bayda, also tendered its resignation to the president of the House of Representatives, Aguila Saleh Issa. The timing of these two events, and the continuation of each government’s activities within the scope of its temporary control, is a sign of progress in the current discussions on both the political and military tracks. It also provides a space in which to build common ground with a view to launching a new transitional period, during which existing divisions could be overcome and preparations could be made for holding presidential and parliamentary elections, in accordance with agreed constitutional provisions.
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