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Date archive for: February 2013

How and why is North Africa depicted by the US and EU as the ‘next Afghanistan’?

The recent intervention in Mali and hostage-taking in Amenas, Algeria have caused North Africa to dominate the headlines and increased speculation and discourse on whether North Africa will become the ‘next Afghanistan’. The GWOT (Global War on Terror) however, is not a new phenomenon to North Africa. Despite Al-Qaida being the current threat emanating from North Africa, the most extreme terrorist attacks by Al-Qaida in African history, the bombings of the US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in August 1998 and the fatal bombings in Casablanca, Morocco in 2003 were quickly forgotten. The attack in Amenas adds to a long list of kidnappings, attacks on international symbols and transnational terrorism which plagues North Africa. In 2009, there were seven separate kidnappings of European citizens including the controversial murder of a British citizen as well as an attack against the French embassy in Nouakchott.

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