Moocco Board News-- The demise of the Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi has further alienated the Military backed regime of Algeria’s President Bouteflika. Aside from the very public media war fought between Algiers and Libya's National Transitional Council CNT, Algeria's government is embarking on a campaign against the Gulf sheikhdom of Qatar and its Pan-Arab news channel Al-Jazeera. In response, the Qatari government decided to stop issuing visas to Algerian nationals.
Not long ago, the Algerian media was showering Qatar and Al-Jazeera with praise and commendation for its "coverage" of the Western Sahara conflict. The Qatari Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani last visit to Algeria was hailed as the “inauguration” of a new Algiers-Doha axis against Morocco and its Saudi ally in the Maghreb region. However, the Libyan revolution came to change things for the Algerian Military. While the Qatari supported the popular revolution against dictator Gaddafi, the Algerian government decided to support the Gaddafi regime attracting the fury of the Libyan rebels and their allies.
If observers expected to see an Algerian media campaign against Libya's CNT, the anti-Qatar smear by pro-government media outlets came as a surprise. In an article published by the Algerian Website algerie360 accused the QIA (Qatar Investment Authority- Qatar’s sovereign fund) of damaging the Algerian economy by waging a discreet "campaign of buying strategic assets in Algeria”. In addition, the Algerian press accused the Qatar of undermining the Algerian gas industry by deflating prices.
The Algerian press have accused the Qatari Soccer Federations of paying sports agents to “secretly” follow young Algerian soccer players living in Europe in order to offer them Qatari citizenship as Qatar prepares to host the Soccer World Cup in 2022.
However, it is on the Libyan crisis that the pro-military Algerian media proped up its accusations against Qatar and Al-Jazeera. In several editorials, the Algerian press accused Qatar of “funneling hundreds of millions of dollars to fund and fuel the CNT and its various branches including the army of Al Qaeda.” By accusing Qatar of funding the most lethal terrorist organization through the CNT, the Algerians are in fact saying that the United States, England, Italy and France are supporting Al Qaeda. The western countries and Qatar have not answerd such outlandish accusations signaling that the Algerian position on Libya is irrelevant and inconsequential as a CNT military spokesman put it.
The Qatar based Aljazeera news channel did not escape the wrath of the pro-military press in Algeria. Some in the Algerian media have accused Al-Jazeera of biased coverage in their reporting on the on going violence in their country. The Aljazeera has been accused of being too sympathetic toward the Algerian Islamists.
As the Arab League and most of the European Union countries move to recognize the CNT government, Algeria, along with
Venezuela, Iran and Cuba are undertaking a campaign criticizing Libya's CNT as a western Puppet.