A forum devoted to current political, economic trends, and news of the Maghreb region.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Back After A Long Absence!

I am back after a long absence due to work and international travel. Not much has changed in the stagnant MENA region in the month or so that I have been away from my blog. I read many sad stories of continued statist abuse in the Maghreb, and one particularly disheartening news story about the Tunisian youth Abdessalam Tremeche, who set himself on fire to protest the Monastir's city council's refusal to grant him a permit for a street shop. It is disgusting when the state takes all vestiges of hope away from its youth, and compel its own citizens to embrace death in reaction to a bleak socio-economic future.

Moroccan-Algerian relations continue to be contentious on the heels of Morocco's latest accusation of Algeria's "destruction of Arab Maghreb Union." A Recent visit by UN special Envoy Christopher Ross showcased the degree of difficulty in finding common ground for negotiations away from mutual finger pointing. Morocco still rejects the referendum, while Algeria/POLISARIO maintain the Sahrawi's claim to independence through a UN-sponsored referendum. Thus, what Ross has on his hands is an impasse that would require a committed and focused effort on the part of the international community to break through.

More meaningful blogging to follow!