How the UAE wants to impose its order on the Maghreb

Abu Dhabi wants to restore “authoritarian stability” from the Middle East to North Africa.


How the Emirates want to impose their order on the Maghreb

THE MAGHREB LETTER. Under the rule of Mohammed ben Zayed, Abu Dhabi wants to restore “authoritarian stability” from the Middle East to North Africa.

February 23, 2020 ( – Suburb of Tunis, shortly before the presidential and legislative elections. LDP candidate Abir Moussi, president of the LDP and former Ben Ali’s Zealot, holds a press conference. She recites her programmatic gospel: return of order, the real one, and locking up of everything that looks like a bearded man. At her side stands quietly the ambassador of the United Arab Emirates. The social-democrat Mohamed Abbou, future minister for the fight against corruption, chokes himself to see such interference.

Diplomatic reserve is no longer required these days in the country of Mohammed ben Zayed (known as MBZ), crown prince and Minister of Defense of Abu Dhabi. He has set up intellectual software that acts as a counter-revolution from the Gulf countries. In the light of Libyan events, his influence continues to grow. The software appeals to European capitals. And the man has resolutely set course for North Africa.

Sabotage of democratic transitions

The Emirates no longer ask themselves rhetorical questions. They act. Draw their diagonal from the Persian Gulf to the tip of Morocco. For Sébastien Boussois, a political science researcher associated with ULB and author of Pays du Golfe, les dessous d’une crise mondiale, “in the context of the overall failure of the Arab Spring, apart from Tunisia, the MBZ matrix advocates a return to reassuring leaders and the sabotage of certain democratic transitions, the coup in Egypt in particular”.

This so small and rich country, once populated by pearl fishermen, became petro-kingdom thanks to the discovery of black gold, took the ascendancy in the Arab world. “It embodies one of the two visions of the Arab world, that which wants to restore security stability pawn after pawn, domino by domino, by stifling each democratic alternative”, continues the researcher. The alternative being that embodied by Qatar which “supported the revolutionary movements of 2011, often close to the Muslim Brotherhood” before undergoing in 2017 a terrible embargo on the part of the Saudis and the Emiratis. Since then Turkey has taken the lead on the subject, minus the subtlety of Doha (soft power and petrodollars). In the Maghreb, several countries are stirring up MBZ’s interest.

Two billion dollars for Mauritania, 40% of its GDP

We rarely talk about Nouakchott when we talk about the Maghreb, yet Mauritania is one of the five countries that make it up. On February 3, 2020, during the official visit of the Mauritanian president, Mohamed Ould Cheikh El-Ghazouani, the Emirates granted him $ 2 billion. A staggering sum for this country: 40% of its GDP. Thanks for his participation in the anti-Houthi coalition in Yemen, where the war has become a bloody quagmire, and his counterterrorism action on his soil despite the jihadist contagion in the Sahel (Mali, Burkina Faso mainly).

The fact is rare enough to be noted: despite its prodigious wealth, the petro-monarchy does not grant its subsidies lightly. “There is always a counterpart,” says a diplomat. When it was necessary to finance the force of the G5 Sahel, “the Emirates granted little and demanded much”, he continues. The Libyan file monopolizes the attention.

A great Middle East revisited by MBZ

Despite negotiations started in Geneva between the GNA, the government of national unity imposed by the UN, and the LNA, the forces of Marshal Haftar, the clashes in Tripoli are increasing day by day. Bombed port, oil crescent almost at a standstill: the aim is to strangle the city. Despite his 78 years, the ex-Gaddafist who has been in the CIA continues his crusade launched on April 4, 2019: the conquest of the Libyan capital with its Central Bank and the headquarters of the NOC, the Libyan oil company, the Grail of currencies. Ten months later, the lightning conquest has turned into a tedious advance. Its official sponsor? Abu Dhabi. The MBZ software wants to crush at all costs the official government that it considers “close to the Muslim Brotherhood” while it was set up by the United Nations.

A Haftar victory would be an additional crown for MBZ six years after Marshal Sissi’s coup over the democratically elected President Morsi. At the Berlin conference on Libya, the German authorities forgot to invite Morocco and Tunisia. As a result, MBZ made a stopover to meet Mohamed VI immediately afterwards, with a photo to back it up. And is stepping up the intensity of its support for Haftar’s company. Ilyushin landed at regular intervals in the East, bringing new weapons. The UN is alarmed.

But Haftar is in phase with the MBZ software: “The great Middle East, that of Bush father, vintage 1991”, summarizes Sébastien Boussois. More cowardly, he concludes: “The Emirates are a good student of the Americans, they lose all their wars, like the United States from Vietnam.” Libya’s fate will tell whether the MBZ doctrine rules from the towers of Dubai to the outskirts of Tunis.

By Benoît Delmas

Description odf source: Internet content from weekly Le Point, including national and international news in real time. Includes content from Le Point Afrique as of March 2019. Country of origin: France
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Revelations from Le Point on the influence exerted by the Emirates on Gaïd-Salah

Gaïd-Salah at the UAE Minister of Defense.



The involvement of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Minister of Defense of the United Arab Emirates, Mohammed Ben Zayed, in the plan to establish a military dictatorship in Algeria is becoming increasingly evident.

September 23, 2019 (Algeriepatriotique) – The French weekly Le Point returned in an investigation into this role of “emperor” of the Arab world that Ben Zayed shares with his Saudi alter ego, Crown Prince Mohammad Ben Salman.

Leading what is commonly called the “counter-revolution”, this zealous prince is behind the return of all the authoritarian or military regimes that survived the “Arab Spring” of 2011. In Algeria, Le Point investigators believe they know that the crown prince Abu Dhabi “maintains close ties with the Chief of the Defense Staff, Gaïd-Salah, who makes numerous visits to Abu Dhabi and whose protesters are demanding his departure”.

Both Le Point and other media note the existence of narrow interests in Algeria which would push the ruling family of Abu Dhabi to want to keep Gaïd-Salah in power and to safeguard the dominant role played by the army in the country.

In the background of this interference which does not say its name, markets which amount to billions of dollars spent by the Bouteflika regime, supported by its chief of staff, with the emirs of this Gulf State which fears of losing the control he had begun to exercise over whole swathes of the national economy, notably the very strategic maritime transport sector through its port companies as well as the automobile and military industry.

Scalded by his status as a “privileged” interlocutor of the American administration, and believing himself invested with the mission of “reshaping” the Greater Middle East, Mohamed Ben Zayed is not cluttered with any scruples to interfere in the internal affairs in the countries of the region. Thus, in the name of the fight against political Islam, he financially supported the candidacy of Béji Caïd Essebsi in 2014 to block the movement Ennahdha, supposedly close to the Muslim Brotherhood, and Qatar, sworn enemy of the United Arab Emirates.

In Libya, he militarily and financially supports the offensive led by Marshal Khalifa Haftar to seize power and establish a military regime there. In Egypt, he brought key financial support to another marshal, Abdelfattah Sissi, whose authority has been disputed for several days by new popular demonstrations which demand his departure. In Sudan, Mohmmad Ben Zayed is suspected of having been the main instigator of the dismissal, last April, of President Omar El-Bashir, to install in his place a transitional military council.

Even more offensive, its military intervention in Yemen is at the origin of a humanitarian disaster, where the Emirati army, in the pay of Ben Zayed, was distinguished by unparalleled savagery, recalls the Parisian magazine.

By Mohamed K.

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