Algerian President Abdulaziz Bouteflika’s announcement to cede power in the next election, led to a widespread celebration across the nation. Bouteflika has occupied the throne since 1999, imposing a political framework with little scope for dissents. After suffering a stroke in 2013, he has made fewer public appearances.
Algerians raged against Bouteflika’s re-election bid as they believed that he isn’t suitable to run the country with oil and gas resources.
UAE’s master plan for Bouteflika
It seems that United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been helping Bouteflika, a political tyrant, to reinforce the autocratic, corrupt and nontransparent system before he finally gives up on power.
During the Arab Spring 2011, UAE supported the Egyptian leader, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, by pumping billions into the country, and forcing out the democratically-elected Mohamed Morsi.
A key ally of Saudi Arabia and a privileged interlocutor of the Trump administration in the Middle East, the UAE has been the source of an extremely aggressive diplomacy in the region, especially after the Arab Spring.
The UAE has also endeavored to end Tunisia’s democratic transformation and return the country to dictatorship rule during the 2011 Arab Spring. Recently, the presence of Emirati influence can also be seen in Sudan as well as Mauritania, where President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz has willingly accepted UAE’s advances and oil money.
UAE: The money laundering haven
Having become a powerful haven to launder dirty money, UAE has always been an open source, to house, in its banks of Dubai or Abu Dhabi, the hidden accounts of Arab, Maghrebian and African leaders.
In the wake of their close ties with the Bouteflika clan, and the Chief of Staff, Gaid Salah, the Emiratis are playing a troubled, but decisive role in the ongoing Algerian crisis. The only objective is to destabilize the democratic wave in the country, thereby favoring a monarchical setup.
Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed, also known as MbZ, has entrusted Gaid Salah with the responsibility of controlling the popular anger among Algerians. It is no coincidence that, after Salah returned from the UAE during the protests in Algeria, he warned the demonstrators about the risk of unrest. He even openly supported the presidential campaign.
UAE’s interests in Algeria
The United Arab Emirates has an unvarying strategy of acquiring port facilities worldwide. It also secured the Port of Algiers management contract in record time. The Algerian authorities, for the second time, awarded to an Emirati Group, Sraem, chaired by Mohamed Al-Cheebane, a close associate of MbZ, the bulk consignment of the tobacco market.
Apart from weapon purchases worth billions, a military cooperation has also been established between the two countries, since 2012.
There are plenty of opaque financial links woven in Dubai and Abu Dhabi that clearly indicate the unity facade between the Bouteflika clan and the UAE leaders.