Algeria has banned street protests over the coronavirus, President Abdelmadjid Tebboune said on Tuesday, bringing to an end a year of unprecedented mass demonstrations that brought down the veteran president and convulsed the state.
“The lives of citizens are above all considerations even if this requires restricting some freedoms,” he said.
The protest movement, known as the Hirak, exploded onto the streets in February 2019 as it became clear that octogenarian leader Abdelaziz Bouteflika would seek another term as president after 20 years in the job.
Demonstrators quickly moved from demanding he step aside to insisting that the entire ruling elite that had run Algeria since independence from France in 1962 must also quit.
In April, as hundreds of thousands of people continued to march through the streets of major cities, Bouteflika gave in. He resigned hours after the powerful army chief, Ahmed Gaed Salah, said he should go.
With Bouteflika out of power, the authorities began detaining many of his closest allies on corruption charges in the biggest purge of the ruling class for decades, but the protesters viewed the reforms as cosmetic and would not yield.
As they started to demand the armys withdrawal from politics and Gaed Salahs resignation, the army chief pushed for a new election to replace Bouteflika.
The protesters opposed that, saying anRead More – Source