North Africa is a subregion which is part of two larger geographical zones, Africa and the Arab World. For the purpose of this chapter, ‘North Africa’ refers to ﬁ ve countries: Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia. More than forming a geographic zone, North African countries share a mutual cultural identity, bearing the stamp of Islam and the Arab civilization. That said, the importance of other cultures and religions in North Africa should not be neglected. The Berber culture has remained particularly important in Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia. Also, Judaism is one of the oldest religions in Morocco and Tunisia where a Jewish community has been living for centuries. 2 North African countries also share similar political and social features. They lived under colonial rule for several decades during which various human rights violations associated with this form of political domination were committed. Since independence, which occurred in the region between 1936 and 1962, 3 the region has been ruled by dictatorial or at least authoritarian regimes. The contemporary human rights violations under the widely corrupted political regimes relate both to economic and social, and civil and political rights, and range from widespread poverty and marginalization of speciﬁ c groups to violations of basic civil and political rights.
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