Since February 2009 , this blog and Huib's 3 other Euroblogs are together at:

- In Europa Zu Hause [DE]
- L'Europe Chez Soi [FR]
- At Home in Europe [EN]
- In Europa Thuis [NL]

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Algiers Bombings: European Solidarity Now!

Today, it was Algier's 11/4.
Not less important to us, than Madrid's 11/4 or London's 9/7.
I do not want to hear that it were the Algerians' fault, that their Salafists united with Al Qaeda.
It is ours. We left free Algeria alone. We stuck to the illusion, that the North face of Africa has almost nothing to do with us. Of course, of course: I do not agree with the Boumediene dictatorship, I did not agree with islamisation and arabisation, I loathed the methods the Algerian army applied to the countryside during the 90s.
Corruption, economic stagnation, isolation - all wrong policies.
But what did Europe do to help Algeria diversify its economy?
Why did we hesitate to join the transmediterranean accession efforts of the EU, led by France and by Spain? That the North-Africans belong to the same cultural and geographic sphere as we do, it suddenly became evident, today, when suicidal bombs ravaged the Algier government buildings and a popular neighbourhood.
I lived in Algier, in June 1963, and I experienced the joy of freedom, of self-management in the 'biens-vacants', abandoned by the fugitives from the North. I saw, what havock, what wounds the the repression during the fifties had caused. And I came to admire the human resourcefulness of so many people I met in the city and outside of it.
Algeria is no Afghanistan. It should not be left to slide into a new civil war, theatre of atrocities committed by fanatics first, by repressive local and foreign military next.
A generous move imposes itself on Europe. In its own interest. Diversification, development, open frontiers should destroy the basis of unrest and frustration that lies behind the upsurge of Al Qaeda and its methods on our doorstep.

Here is what Reuters reports about today's bombings:

Al Qaeda claims deadly Algiers bombings

By William Maclean and Lamine Chikhi
Reuters - Wednesday, April 11

ALGIERS (Reuters) - Bombs killed 30 people in Algeria's capital on Wednesday, attacks claimed by al Qaeda that raised fears the north African oil exporter was slipping back into the intense political violence of the 1990s.

One of the blasts, believed to be a suicide bombing, ripped part of the facade off the prime minister's headquarters in the centre of Algiers. A second bomb hit Bab Ezzouar on its eastern outskirts, the official APS news agency said.

The Al Qaeda Organisation in the Islamic Maghreb claimed responsibility for the bombings in an Internet statement, which also included a claim of responsibility for attacks in neighbouring Morocco and pictures of three "martyrs".


One Algerian analyst said the operation appeared to be a reply to stepped-up attacks by the army on Islamist insurgents in the Bejaia region in mountains east of Algiers.

"This is a violent reaction to Bejaia operation where important leaders of al Qaeda in the Maghreb are surrounded," said security expert Anis Rahmani.

"I do believe though, that that group has no capability to topple the government but obviously it has the means to disturb the life of peaceful people in Algiers."

For more comments, take a look at my posts in L'Europe chez Soi and in Toto Le Psycho, both in French. In the latter, I dwell somewhat more than here on my relations to Algeria.

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