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Algeria’s southern unemployed demand oil jobs

March 30, 2013 • Business


In this photo dated March 14, 2013, a demonstrator holds a sign reading “I am Algerian, where are my rights?” during a protest by thousands of young unemployed men in Algeria’s southern city of Ouargla. Protests by the unemployed in southern Algeria are raising the specter of rising unrest in the country’s sensitive oil regions, and are increasingly attracting the attention of al-Qaida. (AP Photo/Nabil Zahani)

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Protests by the unemployed in southern Algeria are raising the specter of rising unrest in the country’s sensitive oil regions, and are increasingly attracting the attention of al-Qaida.

Algeria’s vast, sparsely populated Sahara only holds 10 percent of the country’s population but it is home to this North African country’s enormous oil and gas reserves — the basis of the entire economy and the source of the government’s power. Those who live there claim they aren’t benefiting from that wealth, and can’t get jobs with the oil companies.

Now al-Qaida has praised the protesters, raising the possibility that it is seeking support among the disaffected groups. The government is rushing to address the protesters’ demands, but hasn’t yet convinced them that it’s serious.

Some 10,000 people — an enormous number Login to read more

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