by Clara Süß | To the Publication
1 Weipert-Fenner, Irene (2020): Covid-19 als Krisenverstärker: Die Pandemie und die Verschärfung sozioökonomischer Konflikte in der MENA-Region, PRIF Blog, 14.4.2020, https://blog.prif.org/2020/04/14/covid-19-als-krisenverstaerker-die-pandemie-und-die-verschaerfung-soziooekonomischer-konflikte-in-der-mena-region/.
2 Eisentraut, Sophie/Miehe, Luca/Hartmann, Laura/Kabus, Juliane (2020): Polypandemic, Munich Security Report special edition on development, fragility, and conflict in the era of Covid-19, Munich Security Conference, https://securityconference.org/assets/02_Dokumente/01_Publikationen/201104_MSC_Polypandemic_EN.pdf.
3 Ackerman, Gary/Peterson, Hayley (2020): Terrorism and COVID-19: Actual and Potential impacts, in: Perspectives on Terrorism, 14(3), 59-73; Mullins, Sam (2020): Assessing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on terrorism and counter-terrorism: practitioner insights (Security Nexus Perspectives), Security Nexus: Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, https://apcss.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/N2515_Mullins-_Impact_Pandemic_Terrorism.pdf; UN Security Council (2020): Anticipating rise in extremist activity amid COVID-19, counter-terrorism committees striving to continue work despite severe restrictions, Chairs tell Security Council, https://www.un.org/press/en/2020/sc14363.doc.htm.
4 While there are different definitions of the “Maghreb”, some of which also include Mauretania, the term usually covers North-Western Africa bordering the Mediterranean Sea and thus comprises Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya.
5 Süß, Clara-Auguste (2021): The Pandemic and its Handling as Crisis Intensifiers? Taking Stock of Mobilisation, Terrorism and COVID-19 in the Maghreb, in: Bassou, Abdelhak/Tobi, Youssef (eds.): Thriving on Uncertainty: COVID-19-Related Opportunities for Terrorist Groups, EuroMeSCo Policy Study N.21, p. 60–83.
6 Boussel, Pierre (2020): Covid-19, jihadism and the challenge of a pandemic, FRS Note n°54/20; https://www.frstrategie.org/en/publications/notes/covid-19-jihadism-and-challenge-pandemic-2020; Daymon, Chelsea/Criezis, Meili (2020): Pandemic Narratives: Pro-Islamic State Media and the Coronavirus, in: CTC Sentinel, 13(6), 26–32.
7 Sold, Manjana/Süß, Clara-Auguste (2020): The Coronavirus as a means to an end: Extremist reinterpretations of the pandemic. Global Network on Extremism and Technology, 8.4.2020, https://gnet-research.org/2020/04/08/the-coronavirus-as-a-means-to-an-end-extremist-reinterpretations-of-the-pandemic/.
8 That said, in recent years an active transnational exchange of radical ideas and actors has been observed across the Mediterranean. In light of this, the Maghreb-Sahel nexus will certainly also remain important. For details, see: Gain, Mohammed Ahmed (2021): Maghreb-Sahel Security (Dis)connections: Shifting Dynamics and Growing Challenges, Carnegie, 12.5.2021, https://carnegieendowment.org/sada/84517; Roussellier, Jacques (2017): The Forgotten Maghreb–Sahel Nexus, Carnegie, 31.10.2017, https://carnegieendowment.org/sada/74588.
9 This is based on the author’s assessments of the Global Terrorism Database and ACLED Event data covering 2011 to 2020 (pp. 64–65 in the study).
10 Jewers, Chris (2020): Jihadist arrested over plot to infect Tunisian police with coronavirus, Daily Mail, 17.4.2020, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8230393/Jihadist-arrested-plot-followers-infect-Tunisian-police-coronavirus.html.
11 The World Bank, MENA Crisis Tracker – 6/27/2021, https://documents1.worldbank.org/curated/en/280131589922657376/pdf/MENA-Crisis-Tracker-June-27-2021.pdf, p. 3. Related to this, see: Albrecht, Aljoscha/Werenfels, Isabelle (2021): Measuring the Maghreb. What Do Rankings and Indexes Really Tell Us?, SWP Comment No. 37, https://www.swp-berlin.org/publications/products/comments/2021C37_MeasuringTheMaghreb.pdf.
12 COVID-19 figures per country. Source: Worldometer (n.d.), retrieved on 15 July 2021.
per 1 mil. pop.
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13 Middle East and North Africa; also referred to as WANA (West Asia and North Africa).
14 Tunisia says health care system collapsing due to COVID-19, Reuters, 8.7.2021, https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/tunisia-says-health-care-system-collapsing-due-covid-19-2021-07-08/.
15 Al-Hilali, Amel (2018): Tunisian doctors sound alarm on health system collapse, Al-Monitor, 15.2.2018, https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2018/02/tunisia-government-medical-physicians-migration-abroad-staff.html#ixzz70fHyqoyt.
16 Grira, Sarra (2021): Covid-19. La Tunisie à bout de soufflé, ORIENT XXI, 6.7.2021, https://orientxxi.info/magazine/covid-19-la-tunisie-a-bout-de-souffle,4901.
17 See the various contributions in: Yerkes, Sarah (ed.) (2020), Coronavirus threatens freedom in North Africa, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, April 2020.
18 Amnesty International (2021): Halt Criminalization of Peaceful Dissent in Algeria, Public Statement, 24.6.2021, https://www.amnesty.org/download/Documents/MDE2842642021ENGLISH.pdf. See also: POMED (2021): 82 organizations call on states to address Algerian authorities’ alarming crackdown on pro-democracy forces during HRC 47, 28.6.2021, https://pomed.org/82-organizations-call-on-states-to-address-algerian-authorities-alarming-crackdown-on-pro-democracy-forces-during-hrc-47/?portfolioCats=191.
19 Amnesty International (2021): Algeria: Escalation of pre-election crackdown with arrest of two prominent journalists and opposition leader, 11.6.2021, https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2021/06/algeria-escalation-of-pre-election-crackdown-with-arrest-of-two-prominent-journalists-and-opposition-leader/.
20 Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (2021): Targeting of Algerian lawyers constitutes new escalation in the unrelenting criminalisation of fundamental freedoms, 9.7.2021, https://cihrs.org/targeting-of-algerian-lawyers-constitutes-new-escalation-in-the-unrelenting-criminalisation-of-fundamental-freedoms/?lang=en.
21 Abouzzohour, Yasmina (2020): Morocco’s sharp turn toward repression, Brookings, 8.1.2020.
22 Eljechtimi, Ahmed (2021): Trial of Moroccan journalists raises fears of repression, Reuters, 22.6.2021, https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/trial-moroccan-journalists-raises-fears-repression-2021-06-22/
24 Al Jazeera (2021): Protests against police brutality spread across Tunisian capital, 17.6.2021, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/6/17/rally-against-police-brutality-spreads-across-tunis.
25 Bethke, Felix/Wolff, Jonas (2020): COVID-19 and shrinking civic spaces: patterns and consequences, in: Zeitschrift für Friedens- und Konfliktforschung 9, 363–374.
26 Arab Barometer (Wave VI, part I) conducted from July to October 2020, no survey data on Libya. See: Abufalgha, Mohamed (2020). Arabs’ evaluations of their governments’ response to COVID-19, Arab Barometer, https://www.arabbarometer.org/2020/12/arabs-evaluations-of-their-governments-response-to-covid-19/.
27 For example, Della Porta, Donatella (2018): Radicalization: A Relational Perspective, in: Annual Review of Political Science, 21(1), 461–474; Wehrey, Frederic/Boukhars, Anouar (2019): Salafism in the Maghreb: Politics, piety, and militancy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 140.
28 Fakir, Intissar/Werenfels, Isabelle (2021). The pandemic and governance in the Maghreb: A moment of truth, SWP Comment No. 15, https://www.swp-berlin.org/10.18449/2021C15/, p. 4.
29 For similar findings for the Sahel, see: Claes, Johannes/de Bruijne, Kars/Mertens, Sophie (2021): COVID-19 in the Sahel: Litmus Test for State Capacity Rather Than Fuel for Extremists, in: Bassou, Abdelhak/Tobi, Youssef (eds.): Thriving on Uncertainty: COVID-19-Related Opportunities for Terrorist Groups, EuroMeSCo Policy Study N.21, p. 16–39.
30 Statista (2021): Maghreb countries: National debt from 2011 to 2021 in relation to gross domestic product (GDP), 9.6.2021, https://www.statista.com/statistics/796110/national-debt-of-the-maghreb-countries-in-relation-to-gross-domestic-product-gdp/.
31 IMF (2020): World economic outlook, October 2020: A long and difficult ascent, https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/WEO/Issues/2020/09/30/world-economic-outlook-october-2020, p. 58.
32 World Bank estimates; IMF (2020): World economic outlook, October 2020: A long and difficult ascent, https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/WEO/Issues/2020/09/30/world-economic-outlook-october-2020, p. 58.
33 Arab Barometer, Fact Sheet: MENA Region Economy, 21.6.2021, https://www.arabbarometer.org/2021/06/fact-sheet-mena-region-economy/.
34 Background talk with Tunisian stakeholder, 5.6.2021.
35 For a more detailed assessment and possible ways forward, see: Fakir, Intissar/Werenfels, Isabelle (2021). The pandemic and governance in the Maghreb: A moment of truth, SWP Comment No. 15, https://www.swp-berlin.org/10.18449/2021C15/, p. 6–7.
36 For instance, Süß, Clara-Auguste/Weipert-Fenner, Irene (2021): Socioeconomic factors of radicalisation in Tunisia and Egypt: what we (don’t) know, in: ORIENT, II, 14–19.
37 As argued previously in the context of the Arab Uprisings: Schwedler, Jillian (2016): Taking Time Seriously: Temporality and the Arab Uprisings, POMED, https://pomeps.org/taking-time-seriously-temporality-and-the-arab-uprisings