Monday, 8 August 2011

Algeria: Problems of geographical identity, verification and disinformation

We commented last week on the difficulties of identifying many of the place names in Algeria's various security-related reports. Part of this is because of bad sub-editing in the media and part of it is that reports get passed on orally and are therefore subject to phonetic transcription. But the most serious problem is that the security stories are often nothing more than disinformation'.

In last week's comment, we referred to the problem of the reference to Libyan arms being shipped from a place called Adjila. In P&S 22.07.11, we raised questions over the veracity of a reported security force engagement with alleged traffickers in the region of Tisdirine, which the security forces claim to be the region where the three frontiers of Niger, Libya and Algeria meet, but which is unknown to us.

We cannot throw much further light on this ongoing problem, except in these latest two cases, to wonder whether they may actually be the same place or region. As we suggested, Adjila may be the Algerian Edjeleh, while Tisdirine could be a misrecording of Titserine, which as in the Libyan Tihemboka region, some 25-50km from the Algerian border.

What both Edjeleh and Tisdirine have in common is that they are now regions were Algerian-Libyan trans-shipments and 'trafficking' are taking place on an increasing scale and where Algeria's security forces are active. If we are correct in this, it does at least make sense of otherwise highly questionable reports from the country's security services.

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

© 2011 Menas Associates

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