Yesterday, Monday February 22, the Hirak resumed in force its normal course in order to achieve the main objective it has set itself: the establishment of a civil state in place of a military regime, including the foundations are more cracked than ever. Power in Algeria is at a crossroads.
The response of the Algerian people to the recent decisions and proposals of President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has been scathing. Neither the dissolution of the national assembly, nor the government reshuffle (both very partial and very partial), nor the release of innocent political detainees, and other last-minute decisions have prevented the Algerians from demonstrating massively, in this regard. February 22, in the arteries of all the major cities of the country (Algiers, Annaba, Tébessa, Bejaia, Tizi Ouzou, Bouira, Boumerdes, Sétif, Oran, Tlemcen, Sidi Bel Abbès, Bouira, Mostaganem, Constantine…).
This show of force was also a clear response to the recent maneuvers of high-ranking army officers, all of whose diversionary attempts failed miserably, while further widening the gulf between them and the people.
Their latest scheme to date is none other than the statement from the Algerian Ministry of Defense, which accused Morocco last Sunday of having suggested that the Algerian army was going to deploy in the Sahel as part of the operation. anti-terrorism known as “Takuba”, under the French umbrella. However, it is the French President Emmanuel Macron who affirmed it publicly, during a press conference.
Sterile was also the televised staging in which an alleged terrorist, straight out of the boots of the “services” of the Algerian army, accused, last Wednesday, the Hirak to be in cahoots with the jihadists to plot against the Algerian power. The demonstrators, who beat the pavement yesterday, Monday February 22, in almost all the agglomerations in Algeria, made hot throats of the grotesque staging of this alleged terrorist, named Abu Dahdah.
These delusions continued again on this same Monday, on the Algerian public television channel (ENTV) which chose the headlong flight by updating the same techniques of the Bouteflika regime during the first marches of 2019. The public channel greeted “the Hirak blessed authentic ”, but accused voices of having sought to instrumentalize for occult purposes. This is exactly reminiscent of the coverage of the Hirak in the Algerian public media during the first demonstrations which followed February 22, 2019. Is this a remake that already announces the imminent end of Abdelmadjid Tebboune?
In any case, two flagship slogans were chanted on Monday by the demonstrators: “dawla madanya machi 3askaria“(A civil status, not a military one) and”Tebboune Lmzawer, jabouh l3asker»(Tebboune is illegitimate, he was placed by the military). These two slogans were chanted in all the major cities of Algeria, showing that the main demand of the Hirak is the establishment of a civilian regime in place of the military regime, in force in the country since the coup, in 1965, of Colonel Mohamed Boukharouba, who will take the less harsh name of Houari Boumédiène.
The other slogans go in the same direction: “We did not come to celebrate, but to demand your departure”, “Y’en had enough of the generals”, “You will release all!”, “The fateful hour has sounded ”,“ Algeria, free and democratic ”,“ Algeria regains its independence, down with the generals ”.
But although the people have shown that they devote the generals to gemonies, the Algerian authorities have recovered the date of February 22 and declared it “National Day of fraternity and people-army cohesion for democracy”.
How will the divorce between the army of generals and the people evolve? What can the generals give to the streets to appease the ardor of the demands? President Tebboune? It is unlikely that the street will be satisfied with a president, considered illegitimate, and imposed by the generals. That the generals cede power to the civilians and take care of the missions traditionally devolved to an army? Are they not already too wet in cases of corruption and nepotism, to take the risk of incurring a possible accountability?
There is always the possibility of negotiating a peaceful transition from a military regime to a civil state, with an amnesty or other. The case of General Pinochet, who ceded power to civilians in Chile, without striking a blow, is a model of transition between a military dictatorship and a civilian power. But it is still necessary that the generals want to hand over to the civilians. The next few days will show how the generals will handle the pressure from the streets.
In any case, the generals know that they will have to, in one way or another, respond to the main demand of the Algerian people: “A civil and non-military state”.
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