Tag Archives: Algeria

W.Sahara leader returns to Algeria

Brussels 02.06.2021 The leader of the Western Sahara independence movement, Brahim Ghali, returned to Algeria on Wednesday, Juin 2, after spending more than a month in hospital in Spain – a stay which triggered a diplomatic row between Spain and Morocco. (Image above: illustration)

“He arrived safe and sound,” commented the trip Jalil Mohamed, the Polisario Front’s spokesman in Spain.

Algerian state television later showed President Abdelmadjid Tebboune visiting Ghali in hospital, but gave no details of their discussion between them.

Rabat has not yet commented on Ghali’s departure from Spain but had previously informed that it would not alone resolve the dispute.

The Algeria-backed Polisario Front is fighting for the independence of Western Sahara, which was a Spanish colony until the mid-1970s and nowadays is claimed by Morocco.

Ghali flew to Algeria from Pamplona in northern Spain at 1:40 a.m. local time on Wednesday, Juin 2, on an officially chartered private plane, the spokesman for Polisario Front said.

Ghali, who was suffering from COVID-19 complications, had been admitted to a Spanish hospital in April on humanitarian grounds, the Madrid government said.

The Polisario leader left Spain several hours after appearing remotely in a hearing with Spanish high court on a war crimes case. Following the hearing, judges did not impose any restrictions on the Polisario leader and allowed him to leave the country.

Spain’s decision to admit Ghali to a hospital in the northern Spanish city of Logrono, presenting Algerian documents and without informing Rabat, the move visibly upset Morocco.

Moroccan officials suggested that last month’s sudden influx of migrants to Spain’s North African enclave of Ceuta after security forces appeared to loosen border controls was a form of retaliation.

Algerian support for the Polisario Front independence movement is a also source of anger in Morocco.

COVID19: Morocco removed from EU travel list

The European Union removed Morocco from its safe travel list of countries from which the bloc allows non-essential voyage, after a review by EU ambassadors on August 7, Friday.

Morocco recorded a record high of 6,385 new cases of contamination in the past week, according to a statistics by the Johns Hopkins University. The official soruces in Morocco have reported a total of 29,644 cases and 449 deaths.

The list is recommended as guideline for the EU’s 27 members, proposing to EU members not to open their borders to all the countries which are not included into safe travel list.

It is based on criteria including the monitoring of number of new COVID-19 cases recorded in a country over the fortnight, whether its case load per 100,000 people is in line with the EU average, and testing capacities.

The decision reduces the list to 10 countries, and it takes effect from August 8, after the EU also excluded Algeria last week.

The safe countries deemed to have the coronavirus pandemic largely under control are Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay.

China has been approved, although travel would reumed on reciprocity basis only.

#COVID19: Algeria exclused from EU safe travel list

The European Union is set to exclude Algeria from its safe list of countries from which the bloc allows non-essential travel after a meeting of EU ambassadors on July 29, Reuters news agency reports, refering to the European diplomatic sources.

The list of countries will fall to 11, assuming the provisional decision is confirmed in writing by EU members, two EU diplomats familiar with the discussions said. The deadline for submissions was likely to be on July 30 afternoon.

The safe countries deemed to have COVID-19 largely under control are Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Tunisia and Uruguay.

China has also been provisionally approved, although travel would only open up if Chinese authorities also allowed in EU visitors.

Algerians enter post- Bouteflika era

Algeria‘s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika (82) has resigned under pressure of a several weeks of massive streets protests,  stepping down after 20 years in power, at the moment he was seeking for the fifth term.

The Algerian army refused to support Mr. Bouteflika ambition, and had called him to be declared incapable of carrying out his duties. Mr.Bouteflika became increasingly frail, after suffering a stroke six years ago and has rarely appeared in public since.

He made a rare appearance on state TV to relinquish power hours after military chief Lt Gen Ahmed Gaed Salah had called on him to leave office without delay. A French parliamentary report (2017) said Lt Gen Gaid Salahsees himself as a likely successor”. However under in the dramatic context of massive protests with the demand of democratic change, his ascendance to presidency does not seem as an easy exercise.

Bouteflika resignation before the end of mandate opens floor to questions of succession, addressing the requested of people of Algeria for free and fair elections.

Abdelkader Bensalah (75)  appeared first in ranks in Algerian state since March 1 due to his position as President of the Council of the Nation (which corresponds to the Senate), and from now onward he is mandated by the Constitution to provide interim for a maximum period of 90 days during which a presidential election must be organized.

Bouteflika refuses to renounce 5th mandate

Despite Algerian demonstrations calling to renounce presidential ambitions, the incumbent President Abdelaziz Bouteflika (82) has registered on March 3 his candidacy. However, in case he is elected on April 18, he promised in written an early presidential election in less than a year. Many Algerians have déjà vu feeling, while hearing this promise to leave. In 2014 the leader announced: “‘I will amend the Constitution & hand over power to the youth”. Five years later he requests an additional year.

The fifth term and an early presidential election in less than a year, this is the imposed ‘proposal’ of Abdelaziz Bouteflika aimed at calming down the indignation of Algerians, who find themselves in a situation when their country is led from one of the Swiss clinics ward.

The package proposed by Abdelaziz Bouteflika is obviously designed to calm the revolt of Algerians who demand his definite departure.

On March 3, the last day of the registration for presidential candidates  the head of state has sent his new campaign director, Abdelghani Zaalane, to read a letter in which he says he is “determined” to re-election to “assume the historical responsibility for the realization of the basic requirement of the people, that is to say the change of the system“. In this letter, he also says he wants to organize “an early presidential election” in less than a year and agrees not to “be a candidate for this election that will ensure [his] succession”.

Nobody had doubts about Abdelaziz Bouteflika ambition to go for a fifth term, especially after his decision to sack his campaign director, Abdelmalek Sellal before the registration deadline.

Several hundred students chanting “Bouteflika get out!” or “No fifth term for Bouteflika!” have demonstrated in Oran, Constantine or Annaba, and in Algiers, where they marched to  President’s Palace el-Mouradia and to the Constitutional Council, the latter ruled that Bouteflika is not obliged to be physically present, while registering his candidacy. This opinion contradicted the electoral commission request to all candidates to submit the documents in person.

А call for a general strike has been launched for Monday, March 4. “A million and a half” invited to continue to demonstrate Friday, March 8 throughout the country.

 

Algerians protest against 5th Bouteflika mandate

Algerians went to streets calling on President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to leave office in the country’s biggest anti-government demonstrations since the Arab Spring eight years ago.

The protests started as peaceful but degenerated to some clashes between police and demonstrates broke out in capital Algiers near the presidential palace.

Several protesters and policemen were wounded during clashes in Algiers, state television said. Local sources reported around 60 wounded, and 45 detained.

Bouteflika (82) has not directly addressed the protesters. Last week the officials said he would travel to Geneva for medical checks. Fading health of the President has been central to debate about his capabilities to function, as he has almost disappeared from public view since he suffered a stroke (2013). Citizens rarely had an opportunity to see the wheel-chair bound, and visibly frail President, however the the country’s powerful clans prefer him to stay on as a guarantor of their might.