Friday, February 26, 2021

In the News: the Hirak, two years later …


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Two years ago, to the day the first major demonstration to demand the departure of President Bouteflika filled the streets in Algiers and in the main cities of the country. Two years later, the protest movement is still very present, even if it has been sealed off by the pandemic and by the repression.

Illustration with this drawing published by El Watan : we see a masked demonstrator, Algerian flag on his shoulders, blowing out two candles on a cake and opposite, a policeman with a water cannon who says to him: “ Need help ? »

Daily commentary Freedom: « Algiers spent a weekend under close surveillance. We do not know whether the deployment of conspicuous forces responds to an apprehension of unrest or whether it materializes a message of dissuasion. But, more than any speech and in spite of all speech, it is revealing of the police base of our State. »

Dress rehearsal in Paris

Already, yesterday Sunday, peak The Morning of Algeria, « there were several thousand Algerians in Paris on the eve of the second anniversary of the popular uprising. The demonstrators, upset by the mistakes of the regime, called for the release of all prisoners of conscience and demanded a ‘radical change’ of the system. (…) The latest releases of some thirty prisoners of conscience have not convinced. ‘It’s a measure aimed at thwarting the demonstrations of February 22’, believes Nabil, quoted by The morning. ‘The regime has not changed its software, it continues to tinker with solutions to last and fool us, we want a global change in governance’, Ali abounds. Another adds: ‘we want the liberation of all Algeria, not just a few detainees arbitrarily thrown into prison’. Less than 24 hours from the anniversary date, this gathering gives the spotlight to the marches scheduled for Monday in Algiers, concludes Le Matin, a capital already locked by the security services. »

How to make the movement last?

So, two years later, “ can the Hirak reinvent itself? », Wonders in Young Africa journalist Nadia Henni-Moulaï. ” The Hirak is not dead. Simply dormant, she replies. Everything seems to have changed for two years – Bouteflika is gone, and Tebboune promises a ‘new Algeria’ – but the issues of justice, freedom and rights remain. The fate of the prisoners of conscience, including that of journalist Khaled Drareni released Friday after nearly a year in prison, clashes, insolently, with the acquittal of Saïd Bouteflika and Generals Tartag and Toufik, pronounced by the military court of Blida , January 2 … How, then, to sustain the movement, and endow it with an efficient roadmap?, wonders Nadia Henni-Moulaï. Today, the question is no longer about restarting the Hirak. Rather on the form he will now have to take to resolve the challenges he has launched. With a line of fracture looming, perhaps, within the movement itself: should we negotiate with power or not? And if so, who to represent the movement? »

Niger: the scale of the security challenge

Also on the front page, the second round of the presidential election in Niger marked yesterday by a terrorist attack: 7 electoral agents of the CENI, the Electoral Commission, were killed in the explosion of their vehicle which ran over a mine.

This attack ” is in itself symptomatic of the scale of the security challenge that awaits the next president, s’exclame Ledjely in Guinea. Whether his name is Mohamed Bazoum or Mahamane Ousmane, Mahamadou Issoufou’s successor knows he will have to face the threat of terrorism. The jihadists do not admit defeat. And even for those who still doubted it, the attack perpetrated in the region of Tillabéry yesterday is a dramatic proof. Their despicable act must even be seen as a sort of warning to the future president. Whoever he is, he will have no respite. »

« The time is no longer for emotion, but for action! », For his part Wakat Séra in Burkina. ” It is urgent to put in motion the resolutions brought about by the last G5 Sahel summit in N’Djamena, especially those which reinforce the presence of Barkhane in the Sahel and the sending of 1,200 Chadian soldiers to this area of ​​the ‘three borders’ shared by Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso and which has become an open-air cemetery for the military and the civilian populations of these countries. »



#News #Hirak #years

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