Algeria / by Lewis McKinnon

Algeria and France signed a number of agreements to boost bilateral cooperation between the two countries. The Algerian Metro Company, along with Algerian National Railways, signed a deal to expand their Cital joint venture, which will expand their fleet of train units. The Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN) party welcomed back ex-oil minister Chakib Kheli who returned from exile thismonth. The Algerian government announced that they are struggling to deal with the number of refugees migrating from conflict zones towards Algeria. Following an article published in the French media associating Algeria’s president with the Panama Papers, Algeria denied the French press visas to cover the French Prime Minister's visit to Algeria. The Algerian government released an announcement supporting Libya and declaring that it hopes to reopen its Libyan embassy as soon as possible. On 20 April, the Algerian Berber community took to the streets in protest to commemorate the 36th anniversary of the ‘Berber Spring’ and to demand official recognition for the Amazigh language. Algeria has defended its stance against foreign military intervention in Yemen, declaring that Algeria supports non-intervention over military action. The Algerian airforce increased its order of Russian made Mi-28NE attack helicopters. The Algerian airforce killed 14 Islamist fighters near the border with Tunisia. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) released growth expectations for Algeria in 2016 and 2017, showing declining growth rates in 2017.