They Used to Call it "French North Africa" because its Rulers were in France. But Today of Course ... Oh, Wait.

From MEI Editor's Blog Tue Jun 4 2013, 13:02:00

As this report (in French) points out, three of the leaders of Francophone North Africa have been in France for several weeks now, with their return dates uncertain. As we have noted previously, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has been in Paris since late April after a stroke, and is currently rumored to be in a coma "improving day by day," despite no photos or public appearances.

As it happens, Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz attended a meeting in Brussels on May 15 and has been on a "private visit" to Paris ever since, possibly for medical treatment. (You may recall that last October his own Army opened fire on the Presidential motorcade in a "tragic accident" which was eventually discovered after the President had been shot a mere five times, raising a few eyebrows and leading to hospitalization in France.)

King Muhammad VI of Morocco, perhaps avoiding political issues raised by the Istiqlal Party's declared intention to leave the government (though in April there were rumors about the King's own health, though he won't be 50 until August), has apparently been on yet another "private visit" to France since May 10, with no official photos and only one tourist photo of him in the Place Vendome.

Is this just a case of "I love Paris in the springtime," or should we worry? Who's watching the store(s) back home?

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