North Africa Theater
Stephen Ulph of the national-secuity think-tank The Jamestown Foundation writes that "militant Islamist forums" in Algeria are circulating a statement dated May 8 purporting to announce the formation of a new al-Qaeda cell, apparenrly seeking to revive Algeria's dormant civil war.
The Intifada which has broken out in Morocco-occupied Western Sahara continues too grow, and has even spread to Morocco proper. Yesterday, bludgeon-wielding police raided a university campus in Rabat to break up a protest by Saharawi students held in solidarity with demonstrators in the occupied territory. Students hurled stones at the police, and injuries were reported on both sides. (AlJazeera, May 28)
Clashes between Moroccan security forces and Saharawi demonstrators have broken out in towns across Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara, following the violent repression of pro-independence protests. Saharawi human rights activists say that nineteen people are missing in police custody, including one whole family, and that a young demonstrator was raped by Moroccan security forces.
Reporters Without Borders issued a statement Feb. 5 protesting a "smear campaign" against Moroccan journalist Ali Lmrabet, who has been accused of "treason" in numerous pro-government media outlets since he ran a piece in the Spanish daily El Mundo on his visit to bases of the Polisario Front guerilla organization, and an interview with Polisario leader Mohamed Abdelaziz in the UK-based Arabic newspaper al-Moustakillah.