The demonstrations, the largest in over 30 years, have grown larger every week and seem unstoppable. Algeria, the largest country in Africa and a rare pillar of stability in the Arab world, now faces an uncertain future.
The protesters’ demands are unambiguous: After two decades of undivided reign, Mr. Bouteflika, his clan, and his system must go.
“We feel like we’ve been violated for 20 years,” said Haid Mohamed Islam, a 27-year-old doctor standing outside the modernistic national library on a recent wind-swept day. “It’s time to break the chains.”
While it remains far from clear what happens next, a sense that change is inevitable is sweeping the country. […]
The government and the security forces, adept at swatting away the small protests that periodically erupt in Algeria, seem stymied. Its officials say they have ruled out firing on the protesters. And as the protesters’ numbers have grown, a violent response could backfire.
Although it remains difficult to imagine the government yielding to the protesters, recently there have been positive signs of at least a tacit acceptance. […]
Now France is watching events here anxiously from across the Mediterranean. Home to an Algerian diaspora in the millions, France is already reckoning with the boatloads of young would-be migrants who attempt the dangerous crossing.
Die Berichte darüber, wie das Regime taktiert und sich Loyalitäten erkauft, werden ergänzt durch ein Interview mit dem Schriftsteller Boualem Sansal im Standard vom 26.03.2019