The People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa. The capital and most populous city are Algiers, located in the far north of the country on the Mediterranean coast. With an area of 2,381,741 square kilometers (919,595 sq mi), Algeria is the tenth-largest country in the world, the world’s largest Arab country, and the largest in Africa. The country is a semi-presidential republic consisting of 48 provinces and 1,541 communes (counties). It has the highest human development index of all non-island African countries.
On 2 April 2019, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned after nearly 20 years in power, following pressure from the country’s army after mass protests against Bouteflika’s campaign for a fifth term.
Algeria protesters keep up the pressure after resignations, arrests
Algerian protesters vowed Friday to keep up the pressure on the regime left behind by Abdelaziz Bouteflika, staging a tenth mass rally after a string of people close to the ex-president were sacked or arrested over alleged graft.
“We want this system to leave and all the thieves to be judged,” said Zohra, a 55-year-old teacher who traveled some 350 kilometers (220 miles) to attend the Algiers demonstration site with her 25-year-old son, Mohamed.
Hundreds of demonstrators gathered Friday outside the capital’s emblematic post office headquarters, shouting: “You looted the country, thieves!”
Authorities apparently intent on clearing away two decades of cronyism following Bouteflika’s ouster also reopened an investigation into an ex-energy minister close to the former president, state media reported Wednesday.
And earlier in the week, the head of the vast state oil firm Sonatrach, Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour, was also fired and replaced on the orders of interim president Abdelkader Bensalah.
Four brothers from the influential Kouninef family, close to Bouteflika’s brother Said, were also arrested Sunday over alleged non-compliance with state contracts, according to state media.
‘Mafia and fraudsters’
“Despite repressive counter-measures, protesters showed no sign of giving in… The protests are only growing,” the Brussels-based think tank said in a briefing Friday.
The government “should embark immediately on a dialogue with civil society leaders accepted by the protesters” to lay out a “political transition that would serve to restore confidence and prevent an uncontrolled cycle of violence”.
Ancient Algeria has known many empires and dynasties, including ancient Numidians, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Umayyads, Abbasids, Idrisid, Aghlabid, Rustamid, Fatimids, Zirid, Hammadids, Almoravids, Almohads, Spaniards, Ottomans and the French colonial empire. Berbers are the indigenous inhabitants of Algeria.