Algeria massive demonstrations against Bouteflika's bid for fifth term

February 25th 2019

Massive demonstrations are increasing in Algeria to protest President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's announcement on February 10th to stand in presidential election scheduled to be held on April 18th, 2019.


On Friday, February 22nd, tens of thousands took to the streets in numerous Algerian cities in response to calls posted by anonymous users on social media.


The mobilization has been unprecedented for 20 years in Algiers where an official ban on demonstrations the capital has imposed since 2001.


 On the same day, marches were organized all over the country, from Oran to Annaba going through Kabylie and the southern cities like Ouargla or Adrar.


A security official told AFP some 20,000 people had demonstrated nationwide, around 5000 of them in Algiers and 4000 in Béjaïa. Human rights groups argue that the figure is nearly 800,000 protesters. According to the Algerian authorities, 41 people were detained, including 38 in Algiers.

Hundreds of protesters have gathered in Algeria’s streets on Sunday, February 24, answering a call from political movement Mouwatana (Citizenship in Arabic / an opposition group) despite a large police presence.

In Adrar (South-West), where an official delegation was expected to celebrate the double anniversary of the creation of the General Union of Algerian Workers (UGTA) in 1956 and the nationalization of hydrocarbons in 1971, local media reports that several hundred protesters were contained by anti-riot forces.

The Algerian public radio and television broadcasters have totally ignored the demonstrations gathered Friday several thousand people across the country. As a result, Meriem Abdou, an editor of the national radio, resigned from her position to protest against this lack of coverage.