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Algeria Tense in Anticipation of Planned Anti-Government Protests

Washington  / Morocco Board News -- If the Moroccan authorities have agreed to let anti-government protesters hold a rally on February 20, the Algerian government seems less self-assured to allow Algerian non-governmental organizations march on February 12, in Algiers.

With all the talks of the soon to be announced lifting of the State of Emergency in Algeria, President Bouteflika along with the Algerian Military establishment are still adamant in their refusal to let Algerians protest against the regime. Watching the fast moving events in Egypt, the Algerian Military, the true ruler in Algiers, is jumpy and on edge with the real possibility of a spread of the Tunisian fever that led to the removal of President Ben Ali in Tunis.
The Algerian government has officially announced that the march that is planned for Saturday, February 12 in Algiers is “banned”. The demonstration that was called by opposition political parties, unions, and other civic organizations seems to frighten the Algerian establishment especially in the aftermath of the violence that accompanied the popular rally in Algiers that was sponsored by the Rally for Culture and Democracy (RCD) in January.
Yet, a repeat of the January widespread riots that shook Algeria to the core remains a source of concerns for the Bouteflika government. Marches and public demonstrations have been outlawed in the Algerian capital since June 2001 when the state of emergency went into effect in the country.
The Algerian government ban on the planned march has hardened the opposition in Algeria making a showdown between the security forces and marchers likely to turn violent. Algerian independent media are reporting on another massive deployment of police and anti-riots forces all around the capital Algiers in anticipation of confrontations with potential demonstrations. Last month, the Algerian authorities deployed more than 10000 police officers around   Algiers in order to prevent the RCD march.
Despite news stories reporting the imminent repeal of the state of emergency in Algeria, President Bouteflika endorsed the ban on the February 12 march. On the other hand, the president of the Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights among several democracy and human rights activists has decried the “hypocrisy” of the Algerian government.
 The National Committee for Change and Democracy, a coalition of opposition and nongovernmental groups that are sponsoring the march, insists on marching into Martyrs' Square in the heart of Algiers as a way to reference to the Egyptian protests in “Tahrir” square in Cairo. Such allusions are making the Algerian military nervous and uneasy with any possible “unintended consequences” of the upcoming march.
The Algerian opposition considers the Military’s refusal to let Algerian voice their legitimate grievances as “an attempt by the authorities to weaken the dynamics of civic change,” and “a stab at further dividing the opposition groups.”
Some European observers predict the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutionary wave to sweep the Algerian Military backed government. Other analysts, noting the weakness and the disorganization of the Algerian opposition forces, foresee the survival of the Military controlled political establishment in Algiers, albeit weak and fragile. However, most political forecasters predict a long period of political, social and ethnic strife in Algeria, unless real democratic and economic reforms are implemented.
 

Comments (11)  

 
Maroc11
0 #1 maroc11Maroc11 2011-02-07 03:33
Algeria is next, it is a matter of time only!!
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Ussef
0 #2 COMMENT_TITLE_R E Algeria Tense in Anticipation of Planned Anti-Government ProtestsUssef 2011-02-07 05:18
No, Algeria will not be next. Algiers has ample reserves, enough to appease the very large civil servant class and spillover other groups. The riots were clearly young people getting rid of the excess testosterone and frustration, going berserk,looting and destroying without aim. It met with the disapproval of almost every other part of the society.
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Morcelli
0 #3 Hold your thoughts!Morcelli 2011-02-07 07:25
Let's not jump to any conclusion. The Algerian rulers killed 250,000 Algerians, and they will not hesitate killing few hundreds here and there. To the generals, human life has no value if their livelihood is threatened.
We are neighboring the most ruthless dictators in the planet so let's not dream that Algeria will follow Tunisia or Egypt. If you talk to any Algerian, he/she will tell you that they are proud and can hold their head high, the truth is that their generals removed any sense of pride they may brag about. The oil price is now higher and that will not help overthrow the butchers of North Africa, the higher the price of gaz and oil, the less any western government put pressure on the butchers starting with the hypocrite Spaniards.

The Algerians have been protesting for years and nothing has happened, the reason is that the butchers are well established, well organized, and well supported by the west.

Obama called bin labidine a dictator but never was able to call mubarak the same. It's the same thing, the west will not venture and call Bouteflika a dictator, because their benefit is to keep the status quo and to keep Morocco at odds with the butchers.
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Djamal
0 #4 COMMENT_TITLE_R E Algeria Tense in Anticipation of Planned Anti-Government ProtestsDjamal 2011-02-07 23:59
Funny how our Moroccan "brothers" cant wait for troubles to start in Algeria:-)
As if Morocco is heaven on earth, just for the record, Algerians revolted in 88, back when most of you were...................

Again, Algeria went through a lot but Algeria is still here, and will always be here. dear " brothers" try to mind your business instead of wishing us trouble.
This blog might want to focus on the severe poverty in Morocco, why phosphate mines are a royal property, while the most people suffer in misery, or the role of ONA in the moroccan economy, or its corrupted policies?
Even better, why is it that Morocco is described as theThailand of Africa??
You see Algeria is not perfect but please try to clean up your mess before lecturing Algerians about what they should do and while you there try to liberate you land from Spain before talking about dignity.

Regards :-)
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Moroccan in the U.S.
0 #5 Good luck to our brothers in Algeria.Moroccan in the U.S. 2011-02-08 01:20
The Algerian people need and deserve change. I wish them the best of luck, I hope they get rid of their heavily flawed system in the most peaceful fashion and the least amount of casualties.
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Moroccan in the U.S.
0 #6 COMMENT_TITLE_R E Algeria Tense in Anticipation of Planned Anti-Government ProtestsMoroccan in the U.S. 2011-02-08 03:20
@Djamel

Morocco has been seeing a lot of positive change in the last decade, can you say that about Algeria?
Is the situation in Morocco perfect? Not at all, but progress is being made and more importantly being felt, noticed and appreciated. There's NO need to halt the progress that Morocco is experiencing.

If you're happy with the situation in Algeria then just sit tight.

As to your childish comment about Morocco being described as the Thailand of Africa, I am just gonna ignore your "petite mentalité".
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borsa
0 #7 COMMENT_TITLE_R E Algeria Tense in Anticipation of Planned Anti-Government Protestsborsa 2011-02-08 17:02
@Djamal We are not lecturing Algeria on their problems in fact we are not spending hundreds of millions each year supporting a group of Moroccan renegades calling themselves polisario in an attempt to undermine Moroccan sovereignty and stability for the last 35+ years. I think the hypocracy here is quite apparent don't you think?

Quote:
Again, Algeria went through a lot but Algeria is still here, and will always be here
Morocco has also been through a lot and we have been "here" a long long time, long before the country of Algeria even existed.

Quote:
You see Algeria is not perfect but please try to clean up your mess before lecturing Algerians about what they should do and while you there try to liberate you land from Spain before talking about dignity.
Morocco is still in the process of dealing with these issues, but it doesn't help when our so called brothers across the border side with Spain as was best demonstrated in the Perejil incident - who needs enemies when you have friends like Algeria hey?
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Ussef
0 #8 @ DjamalUssef 2011-02-08 21:28
Algerians deserve what they have, and deserve what they do to each other. I think those who predict change in Algeria are too nice. Personnaly, I have no sympathy for you people, I'd rather you stay the stagnating backward quagmire you are now for another decade at least, and I think your elite will oblige and grant my wish. Seriously, what a waste, as the biggest country, with abundant resources and the largest population, you could be a power house not only in the Maghreb, but the Mediterranean and Africa. But you're majeurs et vaccinés, if you want to shoot yourselves in the legs, I will gladly stand away and enjoy the show.
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Professor
0 #9 ProfessorProfessor 2011-02-10 07:22
Keep on marching fellow Algerians! This is your chance. It is time for all Arab governments to shape up or ship out. We cannot continue living in shame and degradation. The times are ripe for national revolutions. By revolutions I mean radical change in which our governments treat us. We must demand respect and the application of all just and democratic laws which we all inspire on embracing. The Algerian government is on the way to obliteration. Sit back and watch!
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Algerian
0 #10 COMMENT_TITLE_R E Algeria Tense in Anticipation of Planned Anti-Government ProtestsAlgerian 2011-02-10 07:35
My Algerian brothers and sisters,

Let me tell you that history has proven beyond any doubt that if the citizens show up in the millions like their Egyptian bretheren that no military force will be able to control or contain them. Algeria has a population of about 35 million. If only 6 million citizens protest, the military will have no chance to even know where to begin. Remember! It is the numbers that prevail and not the fire of the gun.
Algerians are very strong people who have fought against the French who had far superior weaponry. I see a spark of reason who the Algerians cannot win against their dictatorship hands down especially if they show up in the millions. By "hands down" I mean the military will be so shocked at the numbers that they will be frozen into inaction. Make it happen Algerians. Please, do it for the sake of your bright future, not a future of utter darkness, extreme poverty, and perpetual failure. We deserve better.
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Dan
0 #11 It's time to unitedDan 2011-02-11 22:50
I am sick and tired of all these bad comments about the Algerians and the Moroccans. STOP undermining and hurting each others.
It's time for unity and revolt for a better life for all of us. These dictators are for themselfs.
Remember 2 dictators are downs 20 more to go.
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