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

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

Nigerian Islamic School Tries to Combat Boko Haram

Kaduna school headmaster teaches his students that what militants are doing is are doing is 'a total misunderstanding of the Islamic religion' More

University Trains Students to Advocate for Deaf People Worldwide

Program prepares graduates to advocate internationally for access to education, jobs for people with disabilities More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid