... are two things that interest me, separately.
[picture: sucker-punch, moroccan style]Fouad Ali el-Himma, the royal confidant who left his post to run for parliament in Morocco, is now shoring up support for his own movement. This latest mutation in the country's pro-palace political landscape is creating a new catch-all movement -- improbably named yet appropriately abbreviated the Movement of All Democrats -- to counter the rise of the PJD islamist opposition. It's off to a stumbling start, but the latest news are that the el-Himma party, the Parti authenticité et modernité (PAM) has coalesced with an older pro-palace outfit, the Rassemblement national des indépendants (RNI), to create a joint bloc in parliament. Since I'm not doing a very good job at it, I suggest you follow Moroccan blogs closely on this topic, because it's bound to become very important.
[picture: cia agent under cover]As for the Touareg, the British expert on Sahelian revolutionary politics, Jeremy Keenan, has an essay out in the latest issue of the Review of African Political Economy. He is deep into conspiratorial arguments about how the US and Algeria are together staging al-Qaida attacks across the Sahara to extend their joint control over it, and I've registered my mild dissent with this theory before (there simply is no evidence to support it, with Keenan relying on some rather speculative opposition rants as if they were definite proof). Nonetheless, it's thick with interesting information, and definitely required reading for anyone interested in the region and its politics. A pirated and poorly paragraphed copy of the entire piece can be read here. For another take on that whole Sahel business, you should also read Adrian's Media Shack post and thesis.