News / Africa

    Analyst: Algerian Leader Smart to Lift State of Emergency

    Riot police officers detain a protester during a demonstration in Algiers, February 19, 2011
    Riot police officers detain a protester during a demonstration in Algiers, February 19, 2011

    Related Articles

    Multimedia

    Audio
    • Claud Salhani, an official of G-Risk, an international risk assessment organization, spoke with Clottey

    Peter Clottey

    An official of G-Risk, an international risk assessment organization, says Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was “smart” in lifting the 19-year-old state of emergency, a concession to opposition groups aimed at preventing a wave of uprisings sweeping the Arab world.

    Claud Salhani says the government’s decision to appease opposition demands could help prevent a possible anti-government protest from toppling Bouteflika. A presidential order lifted the law Thursday when it was published in the government's official gazette.

    “There is a simple explanation to that; he just has to look around him to see what’s going on. On the one side, he has Libya and Egypt, and Tunisia on the other. It’s change and adapt or face the same consequences as what is going on all around him,” said Salhani.

    “I think he has learned a lesson, the easy way, let’s say, rather than wait for the uprising to come to him. He is pre-empting it, which is a very smart thing to do.”

    Ending the emergency powers was one of the demands voiced by opposition groups that have been staging weekly protests in the Algerian capital.

    The measure was imposed to help authorities combat Islamist rebels but, in the past few years, violence has subsided and government critics have alleged the emergency rules are being used to repress political freedoms.

    Lifting the law is one change promised by Bouteflika in the aftermath of weeks of anti-government protests. Algerians have been demonstrating their objections to high unemployment and food prices in protests similar to those that led to the recent ouster of the Tunisian and Egyptian leadership.

    Algeria's military-backed government first imposed the state of emergency on February 9, 1992, the date marked as the start of the country's civil war.

    Salhani describes Bouteflika’s move as a victory for both the president and the opposition.

    “Of course it’s a victory for the opposition and it’s a victory for democracy as well. Nineteen years of the state of emergency is more than enough. If he (Bouteflika) gives the protesters what they want, there is no reason for him to step down,” said Salhani.

    “The perfect analogy is what Sultan Qaboos of Oman did in the (19)70s when he faced a rebellion. The rebels had a list of demands, which were very just; they wanted schools; they wanted roads; they wanted girls to go to school; they wanted hospitals, which they didn’t have under the old system, and he gave them all of that. And, then he said, ‘Now, what are you rebelling about?’ And the rebellion filtered out and died.”

    You May Like

    US, Somalia Launch New Chapter in Relations

    US sends first ambassador to Somalia in 25 years; diplomatic presence and forces pulled out in 1993, after 18 US soldiers were killed when militiamen shot down military helicopter

    Brexit Vote Ripples Across South Asia

    Experts say exit is likely to have far-reaching economic, political and social implications for a region with deep historic ties to Britain

    Russian Military Tests Readiness With Snap Inspections

    Some observers see surprise drill as tit-for-tat response to NATO’s recent multinational military exercises in Baltic region

    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.
    Testing Bamboo as Building Materiali
    X
    June 27, 2016 9:06 PM
    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora