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The Rising Sons of North Africa

LONDON – The role played by Libyan ruler Muammar al-Qaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, in gaining the release of the Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s state visit to Washington accompanied by his son, Gamal, suggest that dynastic successions are underway in both countries.

They are not alone. Mubarak and Qaddafi, along with Tunisia’s Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria, are among the world’s oldest and longest-serving heads of state. All four face the ticklish problem of succession, and speculation has been mounting for some time of possible attempts to keep power in the family.