News / Africa

    Algerian President Seeks Treatment in Paris

    Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika listens to the speech of Libya's leader Moammar Gadhafi at the third European Union-Africa summit in Tripoli, November 2010.Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika listens to the speech of Libya's leader Moammar Gadhafi at the third European Union-Africa summit in Tripoli, November 2010.
    x
    Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika listens to the speech of Libya's leader Moammar Gadhafi at the third European Union-Africa summit in Tripoli, November 2010.
    Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika listens to the speech of Libya's leader Moammar Gadhafi at the third European Union-Africa summit in Tripoli, November 2010.
    Lisa Bryant
    Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has been seeking treatment at a Paris hospital, generating speculation he may be more sick than officially reported, and raising the prospect of a post-Bouteflika future for the oil-rich North African country.

    Algeria's official APS news agency says Bouteflika is being treated for a minor stroke at the Paris-area Val-de-Grace military hospital. The news service published a message from Bouteflika earlier this week, saying he was on the road to recovery.

    Algeria's private media, along with a number of analysts, however, believe Bouteflika's condition may be more serious than what has been officially disclosed. Included among this group is Mansouria Mokhefi, head of the Middle East and North Africa program at the Paris-based French Institute of International Relations.

    "Algeria's president is an ailing president. We are told he suffered from a minor stroke, but if it was just a minor stroke, considering how Algeria is quite closed and quite secret, he would have been treated on the spot, in Algiers, secretly, privately, I would say," said Mokhefi.

     Bouteflika, 76, has been widely expected to run for a fourth presidential term next year. North African expert Naoufel Brahimi el Mili does not rule this out.

    Interviewed on France 24 TV, he said that while Bouteflika's health raises questions about another presidential bid, Algeria's constitution allows for it - and if he is able, the Algerian leader will not hesitate to run.

    What is clear is that Bouteflika's condition has stirred up a debate about what is next for Algeria. The nation's direction long has been shaped by the country's powerful military, which also is believed to have wielded enormous influence in selecting the country's leaders, including Bouteflika. Now, even within the military, there are calls for change, according to analyst Mokhefi.

    "Algeria will enter a very uncertain transition period. Very uncertain, because Algeria has been so heavy, so closed, so shut down from everything that there is no opposition…. with a program, with personalities who can suddenly come with program ideas, strategies, whatsoever," he said.

    Bouteflika took power in 1999, at the tail end of a civil war that pitted Islamist extremists against the military-backed government. He promised peace and national reconciliation, and hopes were high at the start of his tenure.

    Today, though, many Algerians are dissatisfied. Unemployment is high, especially among the youth. And despite the country's vast oil and gas resources, much of the population is poor.

    Even the peace promised by Bouteflika has proven elusive. There are ongoing pockets of protest, and attacks by Islamist rebels - including earlier this year, at the In Amenas gas plant near the Libyan border.

    "In Algeria, you have unemployment, you have civil unrest, you have many uprisings all over the country, in different regions, for different reasons, by different chunks of the population. You have huge dissatisfaction with the system. You can consider that the Algerian people are totally divorced form the political system and their leaders," said Mokhefi.

    Algerian opposition parties remain weak and divided. But Mokhefi said the uncertainty surrounding Bouteflika's condition may open the door to something new in post-independence Algeria: the chance for a credible opposition and a civilian leadership to emerge.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora