The Tunisian independent electoral commission announced last week the 26 candidates running in next month’s early presidential election. From among Tunisia’s political elite, the list includes the current and multiple former prime ministers, its defense minister and a former president. That’s in addition to a media mogul, a fugitive and, for the first time, an official candidate of the Ennahda Party.
Even though Tunisia has seen multiple elections since its 2011 revolution, this year’s presidential race is shaping up to be an exceptional one: hugely competitive and remarkably unpredictable.
The death of Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi on July 25 crucially reshaped the structure of the contest and upended the calculations of parties and candidates.… Seguir leyendo »
Last week, Moroccan police confiscated over 12 tons of cannabis in the border town of Nador. Last year, the seizure of over 700 kg of cocaine in Algeria triggered high-profile arrests and public outrage. As dramatic stories of drug trafficking dominate the coverage of smuggling in North Africa, the reality of the region’s border economies is increasingly misunderstood.
Popular talking points suggest that smuggling in North Africa is occurring under the radar of its states, and is subverting them through corruption and the creation of porous borders that terrorist groups can exploit. Proposed solutions, including new border walls and internationally funded surveillance equipment, have focused on improving the surveillance capacity of states and raising the costs of cross-border movements.… Seguir leyendo »