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Spring-Loaded Algeria

ALGIERS – More than a year has passed since the Arab Spring dawned in the Maghreb, yet the promised political renaissance in the region has not materialized. Although Tunisia, the movement’s birthplace, held multi-party elections in November 2011, disillusionment runs high. And, while presidential elections are expected to be held in Egypt this month, Tahrir Square remains a theater of bloody protests against the military council that has ruled since former President Hosni Mubarak’s fall.

For Libya, where general elections will be held next month, the situation has become alarming. The National Transitional Council, Libya’s interim government, has lost control of the country. Tribal and militia leaders in oil-rich eastern Libya declared autonomy in March, and violent clashes between armed groups persist.