Algeria is giving comfort to Qaddafi’s second wife, his daughter, and two sons. This welcome has raised a few eyebrows and questions.
The media has hardly hinted at the cosy relations between the two countries. Yet Algeria has supported the fall Libyan colonel in men, arms, and has defend him politically.
Little wonder: Algeria has been, more or less successfully, waging a 20 year war against its own insurgents, admittedly hardline Islamists who took up arms after being denied the fruits of an election by the politico military junta that has ruled the country since independence in 1962.
Any bolstering the cause of Libyan ‘rebels’ would, for the Algeria elite’ breathe new strength into a flagging radical Islamic armed opposition. Furthermore, it would encourage secular forces, especially the Algeria left, which the FLN coalition government has kept tightly down during since the overthrow of Ben Bella in 1965.
Today, floating on a sea of petrodollars, the Algerian treasury is ‘pleine a craquer’; the country’s wealth, especially in oil and gas,is tightly under state control, and the ruling circles intend that it remains so.
So the overthrow of Qaddafi spells new challenges for Algeria since any step the new government will take towards democracy and modifying the economic picture, spells ‘existential’ danger for this North African country.
Offering asylum to half of the Qaddafi family signals uneasy relations with the New Libya, and more headaches for Algeria.