Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Report Highlights Transnational Cooperation – Jean R. AbiNader

Jean R. AbiNader, MATIC June 22, 2017 While a great deal has been written about the failure of the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) to realize its potential for making North Africa a regional powerhouse, little is known in the US about the UfM and how it is creating new cooperative relationships across the Mediterranean basin. Led since 2012 by Secretary General Amb. Fathallah Sijilmassi, it pulls together its 43 member ...

What to do with the Arab Maghreb Union? – Jean R. AbiNader

Jean R. AbiNader, MATIC June 7, 2017 In a previous blog, I focused on King Mohammed VI’s lament regarding the failure of the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU), speaking to the African Heads of State meeting in January, when Morocco joined the African Union after an absence of 33 years. He raised it as a reason for Morocco’s emphasis on building relations with sub-Saharan Africa. Now, a recent piece from the ...

A Victory for UN Peacekeeping – Robert M. Holley

Robert M. Holley April 28, 2017 Generally, the first step in solving a problem is ensuring not to make it any worse. They say, if you are in a hole, stop digging. Doctors enjoin their professional colleagues to first “do no harm.” Grandpa always says, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Lately, there is something of a renewal of an idea we have heard before, now again in some ...

Islamic Finance in Morocco Supports Ongoing Growth – Jean R. AbiNader

Jean R. AbiNader, MATIC April 3, 2017 Almost all of the pieces are in place for Islamic finance to start offering products in the second half of 2017, adding yet another sector supporting Morocco as an investment destination. With Europe’s economic recovery still sputtering, the kingdom needs more sources to fund its impressive and ambitious economic development, from supporting consumer-focused enterprises to large-scale industrial projects. This is where Islamic finance ...

What to Make of the Latest Jihadi Reorganization in the Sahara/Sahel – Caitlin Dearing Scott

Caitlin Dearing Scott March 27, 2017 Earlier this month, three of the Sahel’s leading  jihadist groups – Ansar Dine, al-Mourabitoun, and Katiba Macina — announced a merger with al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) under the leadership of Ansar Dine chief Iyad Ag Ghaly and the banner “Nusrat ul-Islam” (group for the victory of Islam and Muslims). In a video announcing the merger, Ghaly appeared with Yahya Abou Hamam, emir ...
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