Northern Africa

AhliUltras March 2018

Egyptian Ultras: Down But Not Out

  Egyptian general-turned-president Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi won a second term virtually unchallenged in what is widely seen as a flawed election. The run-up to the poll, including a soccer protest, suggests, however, that it will take more than a democratic whitewash to get a grip on simmering discontent.

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Tunisia’s Next Revolution

Protests are once again shaking Tunisia. A new finance law, which imposes drastic austerity measures on the country’s workers, has sparked a wave of resistance. Put into effect on January 1, this legislation meets the requirements of a $2.9-billion IMF loan by increasing prices on basic goods, reducing public sector employment, and hiking the value-added tax (VAT). The government is repressing the uprising harshly: it’s already killed a protester and arrested 800 others.

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Sisi’s Islamist Enemies and Secret Friends

  Egypt has been battling with Sinai-based terrorists ever since the overthrow in 2013 of former president Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood government that he headed.

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Seasonal Sex Tourism in Egypt

Hundreds of under-age Egyptian girls enter temporary marriages with rich tourists from the Persian Gulf during the summer in return for money for their families. These unions – dubbed summer marriages – are not legally binding and end when the foreign return to their own countries.

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Egypt’s Authoritarian Presidential Elections

Egyptian election can be everything but democratic. It is not only that all those who ran as rival candidates to the incumbent president Al-Sisi have been removed from the picture, but also Sisi’s only rival candidate in upcoming elections is a fierce supporter of him. Controversial? Very much!

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Damming the Nile – Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia Battle It out

That Egypt’s economic well-being is dependent on the Nile has been a geopolitical fact of life since ancient times.  Fly over the country, and Egypt’s dependence on the river is starkly illustrated.  Amid vast deserts, the river and its cultivated banks appear as a narrow green ribbon snaking its way to the north, where it widens into a delta before reaching the Mediterranean. The vast majority of Egypt’s 94 million people live adjacent to this fertile belt, along which its main cities from Aswan to Cairo to Alexandria cluster.  The lower Nile valley and the delta together comprise about 3.5…
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Iran’s Expansionist Scheme – Op-Ed

Iran’s “theocratic regime”, which has maintained power domestically via brutal oppression for over four decades, continues its expansionist policies across the Middle East, paying no heed to the bloody results of its subversive policies.

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Al-Sisi Steps Up Repression to Cover Policy Failure

Egyptian general-turned-president Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi would likely be the first to admit that an iron fist is no guarantee for retaining power. Not because of the fate of the country’s longest ruling autocrat, Hosni Mubarak, who was toppled in 2011 by a popular revolt. But because Mr. Al-Sisi’s iron fist has not squashed resistance, nor has it enabled him to properly deliver badly needed public goods and services.

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