French Newspaper Le Monde: “Algeria Is Keen To Restore Its Role As Regional Power”
The French newspaper “Le Monde” said that Algeria wants to return as a regional power, after France withdrew from the Sahel and disengaged its military link there with the end of the “Barkhane” operation. In addition, President Abdelmadjid Tebboune made it clear in his warnings in January 2020 that Tripoli was a red line not to be crossed.
In an article entitled: “Algeria wants to restore its role as a regional power,” the French newspaper “Le Monde” said that the Algerian authorities did not miss an opportunity to pass on a message that “Algeria was ready to intervene in one way or another in Libya”.
The daily harked back to President Tebboune’s interview he granted last week to Al-Jazeera TV Channel, during which he stated that Algeria was ready to intervene in Libya and linked it to his warning statement in January 2020 at the height of the “Battle of Tripoli” when he said that Tripoli was a “red line” that should not be crossed.
The newspaper said that “eight months later, the Algerian president confirmed that his warning was not only rhetorical, when he said: “We do not accept that the capital of a Maghreb and African country be occupied by mercenaries… We will not sit idly by and the message has reached those concerned”.
“Le Monde” believed that President Abdelmadjid Tebboune’s invocation of this “episode” reflects Algeria’s desire to restore its voice on the regional scene.
The French newspaper did not miss talking about the constitutional referendum in November 2020, which pointed to the possibility of “sending units of the Algerian army abroad”.
“Le Monde” linked the possibility of the Algerian army leaving the country and the announcement of the end of the French military operation “Barkhane” in the Sahel region by French President Emmanuel Macron, which, according to the newspaper, may fuel “speculations about the possibility of the Algerian army’s intervention in its immediate surroundings if the security situation deteriorates.” It is there to the point of threatening Algeria’s strategic interests”.
Furthermore, “Le Monde” newspaper went in its article to officially deny the statement of the Algerian Ministry of Defense, regarding Algeria sending “troops to participate in military missions outside national borders under the cover of foreign powers within the framework of the G5 Sahel countries,” describing the speculation as “false and unacceptable”.
“Le Monde” went on to say that Algeria has other tools to influence security on its borders, as it can activate the Joint Operations Staff Committee (Cemoc), which was created in 2011 along with Mauritania, Niger and Mali.
The newspaper also dwelt on active Algerian diplomacy, saying that it seeks to prefer a political approach through mediation, of the kind that was reached on the Algiers Agreement signed in 2015 between Bamako and the Tuareg rebels from coordinating the Azawad movements, to try to achieve peace and stability in Mali.
“Le Monde” considered that this Algerian desire to beef up its presence in the Sahel region, politically rather than militarily, is getting more intense, because neighboring Morocco also wants to play a growing role there.
“Le Monde” concluded by saying that the post-Operation Barkhane phase in the Sahel region is closely linked to the bets of regional rivalry between Algeria and Rabat, with the escalation of tensions between the two capitals over Western Sahara.