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Archive for the ‘Africa’ Category

Collusion to Crackdown: Islamist-Military Relations in Egypt

June 27, 2015 Comments off

Collusion to Crackdown: Islamist-Military Relations in Egypt
Source: Brookings Institution

Nearly two years after ousting President Muhammad Morsi, Egypt’s military continues to crack down on the Muslim Brotherhood. Much like during Egypt’s 1952-54 political transition, the recent interactions between the powerful armed state bureaucracy and the influential religious organization have had a major impact on the country’s political trajectory. In both instances, the military and Muslim Brotherhood initially cooperated before ultimately clashing violently. How has each entity determined what approach to take toward the other? What does a continued imbalance in civil-military relations mean for Egypt’s future?

In a new Brookings Doha Center Analysis Paper, Omar Ashour examines the legacies and patterns of cooperation and conflict between the leaderships of Egypt’s military and the Muslim Brotherhood. Relying on extensive field research, he analyzes how each entity has made its critical decisions regarding the other by applying various decision-making models. Ashour considers the impact of cost-benefit analysis, organizational dynamics, factional disputes, and psychological factors to gain a deep understanding of the leaders’ motives.

Middle Eastern and North African Immigrants in the United States

June 26, 2015 Comments off

Middle Eastern and North African Immigrants in the United States
Source: Migration Policy Institute

As of 2013, approximately 1.02 million immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region resided in the United States, representing 2.5 percent of the nation’s 41.3 million immigrants. Migration from the MENA region to the United States, motivated mainly by political instability in the region and economic opportunities abroad, began in the 18th century and has occurred in three phases.

CFR Backgrounder: Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)

June 15, 2015 Comments off

CFR Backgrounder: Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)
Source: Council on Foreign Relations

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is a Salafi-jihadist militant group and U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization (FTO) operating in the Sahara and Sahel. The group traces its provenance to Algeria’s civil war in the 1990s and has in the past decade become an al-Qaeda affiliate with regional ambitions. AQIM and its offshoots pose the primary transnational terror threat in North and West Africa but are unlikely to strike in the United States and Europe, according to U.S. officials. The flow of militants from the Sahara and Sahel to Syria and Iraq, where thousands of Moroccan and Tunisian citizens have joined terrorist groups, is raising concerns about battle-hardened fighters returning to these relatively stable countries.

Country Analysis Brief: Egypt

June 3, 2015 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: Egypt
Source: Energy Information Administration

Analysis – Energy Sector Highlights

  • Egypt is the largest non-OPEC oil producer in Africa and the second-largest dry natural gas producer on the continent. The country also serves as a major transit route for oil shipped from the Persian Gulf to Europe and to the United States.
  • Egypt is the largest oil and natural gas consumer in Africa, accounting for about 20% of petroleum and other liquids consumption and 40% of dry natural gas consumption in Africa in 2013. Energy subsidies have contributed to rising energy demand and a high budget deficit.
  • One of Egypt’s challenges is to satisfy increasing oil demand amid falling production. Total oil consumption grew by an annual average of 3% over the past 10 years. Egypt’s oil consumption currently outpaces its oil production.

Revolution and Political Transition in Tunisia: A Migration Game Changer?

June 2, 2015 Comments off

Revolution and Political Transition in Tunisia: A Migration Game Changer?
Source: Migration Policy Institute

With more than 1.2 million Tunisians living abroad in 2012 out of a total population of 11 million, Tunisia is, and has long been, a prime emigration country in the Mediterranean region. Dating to the country’s independence in 1956, Tunisian emigration has been heavily dominated by labor migration to Western Europe, especially to the former colonial power, France. From the mid-1970s onwards, Libya emerged as a destination for migrant workers, while family migration became the main entry pathway to traditional European destinations.

In the 1980s, Italy became increasingly attractive for low-skilled Tunisian workers due to its geographical proximity and the absence of immigration restrictions. After Europe restricted its visa regime and strengthened border controls in the early 1990s, permanent settlement, irregular entry, and overstaying became structural features of Tunisian emigration. More recently, soaring unemployment among tertiary-educated youth has triggered new flows of student and high-skilled emigration, especially to Germany and North America.

CFR Backgrounder: Europe’s Migration Crisis

May 13, 2015 Comments off

CFR Backgrounder: Europe’s Migration Crisis
Source: Council on Foreign Relations

The growing numbers of migrants and asylum seekers fleeing turmoil in Africa and the Middle East poses complex challenges for European policymakers still grappling with weak economic growth and fractured national politics. Europe, according to a 2014 report from the International Organization for Migration, is currently the most dangerous destination for irregular migration in the world, and the Mediterranean Sea the world’s most dangerous border crossing. To date, the European Union’s collective response to its growing migrant crisis has been ad hoc and, critics charge, more focused on securing the bloc’s borders than on protecting the rights of migrants and refugees. With nationalist parties ascendant in many member states and concerns about Islamic terrorism looming large across the continent, it remains unclear if political headwinds will facilitate a new climate of immigration reform.

Country Analysis Brief: South Africa

May 5, 2015 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: South Africa
Source: Energy Information Administration

South Africa’s energy sector is critical to its economy, as the country relies heavily on its large-scale, energy-intensive coal mining industry. South Africa has limited proved reserves of oil and natural gas and uses its large coal deposits to meet most of its energy needs, particularly in the electricity sector. Most of the oil consumed in the country, used mainly in the transportation sector, is imported from Middle East and West African producers in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and is locally refined. South Africa also has a sophisticated synthetic fuels industry, producing gasoline and diesel fuels from the Secunda coal-to-liquids (CTL) plant and Mossel Bay gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant. The synthetic fuels industry accounts for nearly all of the country’s domestically produced petroleum as crude oil production is very small.

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