Monday, 13 June 2011

Algeria starts freeze of Qadhafi's assets

The Algerian media has given widespread coverage this week to the government's announcement that it is freezing Libyan assets in compliance with international sanctions against the Qadhafi regime. This announcement, and its prominence in the media, is an immediate and direct response to the US 'deal', which, as we reported last week, firmly directed Algeria to cease its support for the Qadhafi regime.

Finance Minister Karim Djoudi is reported to have sent a 'secret' instruction to the banks, insurance companies and all local and foreign accredited institutions to freeze assets belonging to members of the Libyan government. It is also reported to order all Libyan assets, including real estate, funds and investments in Algeria to be tracked down and frozen.

According to the daily Arab-language newspaper Echourouk last Sunday (5th June) and subsequently widely reported elsewhere, Djoudi's order, in the form of a letter to the banks and other financial institutions was dated 12th May.

According to our sources, however, no such letter was actually sent on 12th May. Djoudi's reference to such a letter is apparently 'untrue' and merely an attempt to divert any attention away from the US 'deal' and to help further its public denial of support for the Qadhafi regime. According to the Echourouk report, the alleged letter of 12th May reminded the banks of sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council on 26th February.

Whether Algeria will actually impose these sanctions is another matter altogether.

or more news and expert analysis about Algeria, please see Algeria Focus and Algeria Politics & Security.

© 2011 Menas Associates

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