Algeria. In January, the armed Islamist group GSPC (Groupe Salafiste pour la Prédication et le Combat) changed its name to al-Qaeda’s organization in the Islamic Maghreb (al-Qaeda in Maghreb). Under its new identity, the group stepped up its armed struggle against the government, its troops and against employees at foreign companies. Several actions were typically coordinated in al-Qaeda. For example, on April 11, 33 people in three simultaneous suicide attacks in the capital. At the same time, similar attacks occurred in Morocco and Tunisia. The violence continued during the fall; Al Qaeda, for example, took assumes responsibility for two assaults – September 6 in Batna and September 8 in the port of Dellys – which required a total of at least 50 lives. GSPC’s founder Hassan Hattab, who left the organization in 2003 and distanced himself from the violence, surrendered to the police on September 22. Several al-Qaeda leaders, including group treasurer, was reported to have been killed in October and November in fighting in Kabylia.
According to CountryAAH, Algiers is the capital city of Algeria. The three government-friendly alliance parties National Liberation Front (FLN), National Democratic Assembly (RND) and Social Movement for Peace (MSP) together took 249 out of 389 seats in the May 17 parliamentary elections. The turnout was 36 percent, the lowest since independence in 1962, among other things. because of concerns about attacks by al-Qaeda who called for a boycott. The Liberal Socialist Forces (FFS) also boycotted the election. The government under Prime Minister Abdelaziz Belkhadem remained largely unchanged.
France’s new President Nicolas Sarkozy visited Algeria on July 10, promising major French investments, including in the energy sector, as well as increased arms exports.
The biggest fraud case in Algeria’s history ended on March 22 when Rafik Khalifa, the owner of the Khalifa Bank, was sentenced to life imprisonment in his absence. The bank collapsed in 2003 and government assets worth approximately SEK 10 billion were lost along with hundreds of thousands of people’s private savings. 104 bank executives and officials had been brought to justice. embezzlement and forgery. 55 of them were sentenced and 49 were released. Khalifa is said to have been requested to be extradited from the United Kingdom.
In its search for militant Islamists, in September the government ignited forest areas in the mountains of eastern Kabylia, killing at least six people in the ensuing forest fires.
Prison for protest surveillance
Journalist Khaled Drareni is sentenced, after an appeal, to two years in prison in a case which, according to non-governmental organizations such as Reporters Without Borders, is about the authorities wanting to restrict freedom of the press and expression (see 1 April). Among other things, he has reported for the French TV channel TV 5 Monde about the protest movement Hirak, which forced former President Bouteflika’s resignation in 2019.
Proposals for constitutional amendments ready
The government agrees behind proposals for constitutional amendments on which there will be a referendum (see 24 August). Some of the most important: Now the people will also have their say on a text that says that the presidency is limited to a maximum of two terms, consecutively or separately (a requirement that was shaken during President Bouteflika’s time, after which Parliament voted in 2016 to reintroduce a restriction). The independence of the judiciary must be strengthened. New transparency rules will reduce the risk of corruption. When President Tebboune presents the proposals, he expresses his opinion that they are fully in line with the demands of the protest movement Hirak, but representatives of Hirak have not been allowed to participate in the work of producing the draft. Five days later, 256 out of 462 Members of Parliament’s lower house will vote in favor of the proposals, which must also be approved in the upper house before the referendum.